An Unprecedented Treat for Unprecedented Times


One of the greatest ironies of human existence is the simultaneous deliciousness and riskiness of eating raw cookie dough. It’s the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, Pandora’s box, Odysseus’s lotus flowers, and it has haunted us for decades. 

But if humanity excels at one thing, it is the invention of things we never knew we needed. Perhaps our greatest innovation to date is Pillsbury’s recently released “Ready to Eat” cookie dough and brownie batter line— a collection of delicious, bakeable, and safe-to-eat-raw doughs to finally satisfy our urge for uncooked baked goods. 

It could not have arrived at a better time.

2020 will be remembered as the year to forget: the year of coronavirus, of murder hornets, of massive tragedy, of an election so fraught it makes 2016’s political showdown feel like the height of class and civility. But for these few minutes, I ask that we honor this hellish year not for the events listed above, but rather the arrival of Pillsbury’s Ready to Eat cookie dough. 

You may be thinking to yourself that edible cookie dough has existed for many years, thanks to all the cheeky baking blogs that populate the Internet, as well as the contestants on Shark Tank and other small businesses who have aimed to do the impossible. But if you’re anything like me, you’ve sampled these before, used almond flour to make a wonky chocolate chip cookie dough, and consumed too much meh dough in the process. At a certain point, raw, unsafe cookie dough seems worth the risk of salmonella and E. coli in comparison to these pale imitations. It’s a fun game of Russian roulette, you tell yourself. Besides, who trusts these health organizations always telling us what to do?

These poor excuses are no longer necessary. Pillsbury’s Ready to Eat brings you edible cookie dough in bite-sized portions and a variety of flavors, from Oreo to Reese’s to the ever unpopular oatmeal raisin that your local grandpa will enjoy. According to the Pillsbury website, the company is currently in the process of making all of its flavors safe to eat raw (including those addictive sugar cookies with the little holiday pictures on them).

As a journalist and dedicated teller of the truth, I will admit that normal Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough— both the original and Ready to Eat version— has always tasted a little tangy in a bad way. But the other flavors truly do satisfy, and more than that, Pillsbury’s expedition into the world of prepackaged edible doughs sets a new standard for the refrigerated baked good industry.

America is built on people who pushed a little harder, who sought to improve what was lacking, who recognized that things can and should be better. If it wasn’t, we would still be driving Ford Model Ts and using cell phones the size of bricks. It’s our capacity to imagine more for ourselves and our sheer audacity in believing that those dreams are achievable that have gotten us where we are today. Pillsbury’s Ready to Eat cookie dough is a challenge to other food brands. Soon Tollhouse will follow, then Trader Joe’s, then David’s in creating better cookie dough for a better world. So let us honor and recognize the human triumph that took place this year, and be sure to remember 2020 not only for its immense difficulties, but also its victories.