Addicted to cookie dough? New D.C. business breaks all the rules

WASHINGTON — This goes out to all the people who were told not to eat raw cookie dough but did it anyway. The Cookie Jar DC, a new business out of the Columbia Heights neighborhood, is making egg-free dough you can eat straight out of the jar.

Lindsay Larner, a marketing manager by day and a no-bake baker by night, has five regular flavors for sale as well as a “flavor of the month.” If you live within the D.C. delivery area, you can get dough delivered to your door like a pizza. If you’re not that fortunate, she’s got pickup and shipping options as well.

“I haven’t been baking and cooking since I was five years old, and my story isn’t one of a lifelong dream to be in the kitchen and have a food business,” Larner said. “I really just wanted to do something creative and manage my own project.”

The idea for raw dough came after her original idea, cookie mixes in Mason jars, didn’t quite match the appeal of ready-to-eat foods.

Chocolate chip cookie dough-- it's a classic. (The Cookie Jar DC)
Chocolate chip cookie dough — it’s a classic. (The Cookie Jar DC)

“I started thinking, how can I still stay in the world of cookies but do something that’s ready to eat?” Larner said.

Actually baking cookies wasn’t an option for her since, as she says, “Everyone bakes cookies.”

Memories of sneaking cookie dough out of the fridge in her college sorority house led her to consider raw dough as an option.

“The more I talked to people, the more I realized that the majority of people have a memory of their parents telling them not to eat the raw cookie dough, then trying to sneak some dough from the bowl,” she said. “This is a freedom that you may not have experienced in your childhood.”

So go ahead, take a whole spoonful.

The Cookie Jar DC has only been around since Feb. 1, so Larner considers the business to still be in the development stage. Before she began distributing the dough, Larner spent a long time perfecting the recipe she created from scratch.

“I did a lot of research on the chemistry of making cookies and learning about what each ingredient contributed, so that I could have the information to create my own recipe,” she said. “I could have gone online and used someone else’s recipe and no one would ever know, but I wanted to build a business on my own recipes, something I could honestly and proudly call my intellectual property.”

Some of you may be wondering, can you bake it too? All the cookie chemistry comes in handy when Larner answers that question.

“I wouldn’t serve it at a dinner party, but nothing bad will happen. It’ll just be a very crumbly cookie,” she said.

She says the egg she leaves out not only helps the cookie rise, it binds all the ingredients together. Her doughs are missing baking powder and baking soda as well, which she says are important leavening agents.

But, bakeable cookie dough isn’t out of the question for the future.

“I’m working on expanding the options,” Larner said. “One day there will be a recipe that has an egg in it that you can bake. I want to have more flavors. I want to offer vegan and gluten-free options. I want to make something that’s accessible to everyone.”

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