Cookie dough is becoming so popular among consumers that it is fast becoming a stand-alone, mainstream dessert – a move up from being most commonly used as an ice cream and frozen inclusion, according to Pecan Deluxe Candy (Europe).
Cookie dough in ice cream originated in the United States around 1984; since then, it has been introduced to consumers all over the world and as an ingredient in ice cream and has become one of the top five flavor variants globally. In response, the Pecan Deluxe has trebled its cookie dough production capacity in Europe as part of a multi-million-pound investment program.
According to Graham Kingston, Pecan Deluxe EMEA managing director, the cookie dough’s raw nature is what makes it so popular.
“You can taste the real butter, and the texture of sugar granules in the mouth makes for happy reminiscing over days licking the remnants from the mixing bowl when making cookies at home. Nostalgia is one thing but the product from a textural perspective in ice cream means it’s an ingredient that consumers have fun digging in for,” he explains.
The huge growth of cookie dough as a standalone ingredient has also been fueled by new shops springing up such as ‘Do Unbaked’ and ‘Cookie Dough Café’, says the company. These are independent retail outlets offering a plethora of interesting cookie dough varieties. Also, dough is being used as a main portion dessert served hot as a giant soft cookie with ice cream on top.
Pecan Deluxe is echoing these trends with its cookie dough which, unusually, can be eaten raw thanks to highly rigorous production standards and controls. For the same reasons, it can be blended into milkshakes and sprinkled on desserts, amongst many other applications. The size of the dough pieces makes them easy to both handle and process, such as when baking into skillet cookie and hot cookie dough desserts.
One massive advantage for restaurants is that the dough doesn’t need to be defrosted beforehand – it’s a simple matter of scooping the frozen chunks into a dish and baking, rather than having to plan ahead and defrosting the right quantity of dough overnight.
The versatility of cookie dough is also gaining momentum in an increasing number of other indulgent food items. It is available in bakery, snacking and confectionery products, including chocolate bars, biscuits, and bite-size pieces, and as a baked, skillet dessert in many restaurants and fast food chains worldwide.
Graham Kingston predicts cookie dough improving on its current place of fifth best-selling ice cream variant; line extensions will be introduced, such as brownie batter/dough, which Pecan Deluxe is already manufacturing across all three of its facilities in the U.S., UK, and Thailand. Likewise, the franchising of cookie dough foodservice outlets will work its way east from the U.S.