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Baking must include tradition of eating dough

December 20, 2018 GMT

The Center for Disease Control is again telling people that in no way should they be eating raw cookie dough. It’s the eggs that aren’t cooked that you need to be worried about because there is evidence it could give you salmonella poisoning.

I thought of this advice as I popped the equivalent of 10 raw cookies into my mouth when I was baking this weekend. What bad timing. It’s Christmas baking week, and if you don’t taste the cookie dough you might not discover that you didn’t put in enough sugar or forgot to add the vanilla.

Honestly, some of my cookie recipes yield dough that’s way better than the baked version. I look forward to this ritual of baking. It’s necessary to eat the dough. I made icebox cookies, and I had to cut off the ends of the log when I took it out of the refrigerator to make even slices of cookies to bake. Everyone knows you have to eat the cookie dough scraps cut from the ends of the log. Then I had to cut extra so the other cook in the kitchen could help me eat the uneven ends. It’s a tradition.


The reason our great-great-great-grandmothers made cut-out cookies was so that they and we could eat the scraps of dough that are left in between the cookie cutters. You can’t re-roll all of the scraps — they would be too rubbery. Just pop those thin pieces of sugar cookie dough right in your mouth. After all, eating more dough now means less baked cookies on which to you’re required to carefully paint Santa faces and tiny belt buckles on later.

The CDC regularly puts out warnings to “Bake before you Bite,” and it isn’t only the raw eggs that has them worried. They are also warning people that they shouldn’t eat any raw flour either.

You heard right — no flour that’s not been cooked because e-coli has been found in uncooked batter or dough.

So you’re not supposed to even let little kids handle raw cookie dough, pie crust or bread dough because the uncooked eggs, and now the flour, may make them sick.

After reading the warning and the fact that 60 people get sick every year from eating raw flour, I’m thinking our odds are good that we aren’t going to fall over from eating raw cookie dough. I don’t mind taking the risk.

I’m going to continue to lick my fingers throughout the baking process. What is Christmas if you don’t get to eat the peanut butter star cookie dough right out of the mixing bowl before it hits the cookie sheet, right?