I was reminded recently how much I like cookie dough. Too much. My stomach ached afterward. I sprawled on the couch like a lump, of, well, cookie dough.

My mom shook her head. I refrained from telling her this was her fault even though she had not been home at the time of the overindulgence. (It was really bad because I made two batches of cookies, which I don’t usually do.)

Raw cookie dough is good no matter your age and no matter what the CDC says. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

It was mom’s fault because she is the one who introduced me to cookie dough before I was big enough to operate a mixer or even measure ingredients. This was via licking the beaters.

This is a glorious rite of childhood—beater and spatula cleanup from cookie dough, brownies, cake mix, whatever the sweet concoction may be.

This clearly was not the first time I had a stomach ache after making cookies. Maybe if I made them more often I would eat less. Doubtful. Clearly, the problem is that I’m a slow learner without willpower.

My favorite part is before the dry ingredients have been added, so just the eggs, butter, sugar and vanilla. Oh, my, it really is mouthwatering yummy.

I don’t care that the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention says this habit of mine is horrible, even dangerous. I have never been sick from cookie dough other than an upset stomach from over doing it. So, I say phooey to what the CDC says.

And this is what the CDC says, “Raw and lightly cooked eggs can contain salmonella, a germ that causes food poisoning.”

I’ve known about the raw egg bit for eons. I don’t care. I’m going to keep eating cookie dough and Caesar salad dressing, which also has raw eggs.

What I didn’t know until writing this story is that flour is also a problem. I remember when mom was making bread all the time when I was a kid. I would readily consume a small piece of dough. It had such a unique taste and texture. Not as good as cookie dough, but interesting enough to never say no when offered a nibble.

This is what the CDC says about flour: “Flour doesn’t look like a raw food, but most flour is raw. That means it hasn’t been treated to kill germs that cause food poisoning, such as E. coli. These harmful germs can contaminate grain while it’s still in the field or flour while it’s being made. Steps like grinding grain and bleaching flour don’t kill harmful germs—and these germs can end up in flour or baking mixes you buy at the store. You can get sick if you eat unbaked dough or batter made with flour containing germs. Germs are killed only when flour is baked or cooked.”

While the CDC says no to raw dough, I say yes.

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