For those who believe cookie dough should be eaten as-is rather than baked, California Cookie Dough may very well be a dream come true. For the first time, OC has a shop specializing entirely in edible raw cookie dough — and it’s exactly what you’d expect.
The small Fountain Valley spot feels a little bit like a warmer Afters without the ice cream (or doughnuts). There’s no indoor seating, just a counter with just under a dozen different flavors of cookie dough to select from, handfuls of toppings to put on each of them (in case you don’t have enough sugar in the dough itself), and a menu telling you they also make a few types of lattes and teas.
As far as the product itself goes, you get to choose between traditional flavors (like Chocolate Chip and Snickerdoodle) and even more gratuitous options like the brightly colored and insanely sweet Circus Animal and Unicorn flavors. In truth, the simpler flavors tend to work a whole lot better because it actually tastes like the dough of a cookie you’d want to eat. Sure, the more visually interesting flavors might look like a good idea, but our brief experience left us feeling like we’d just eaten a bite of an extremely sugary and somewhat generic ice cream flavor (like bubblegum or some nonsense like that) with a strange chewy texture.
Regardless of flavor, the first few bites of straight cookie dough are unmistakably blissful. Every morsel is still cold from its chilled container — much like how it is directly from the fridge when eaten instead of cooked — and the slightly sticky texture reminds you of that last moment of licking your fingers clean after placing regular cookie dough on a baking sheet. The dough gets a little softer and creamier once it warms up a bit, which makes it seem less like the real thing (hopefully people aren’t leaving store-bought cookie dough out until it reaches room temperature at home), but it’s still a good time.
Although they’ve now gone as far as offering flavored cones to complement your doughy experience, less is often more when putting sugar on top of sugar. It may not look quite as pretty as some of the ridiculous flavor/topping/cone combinations you’ll see all over Instagram, but getting a scoop of your favorite actual cookie dough (peanut butter chocolate chip, anyone?) in a cup for $4 is a pretty damn fine experience. Of course, you can also get a double dose for a couple bucks more, but even the most limitless of sweet tooths can get worn out after a pair of massive scoops of raw cookie dough.
California Cookie Dough, 18854 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley, (714) 592-7644. Instagram: @californiacookiedough