Clever Hacks for Store-Bought Cookie Dough
Not everyone has the time or skill to bake homemade goodies like cookies. Luckily, using premade cookie dough does not mean you have to sacrifice the flavor or quality.
To help you set up your baking game, here are the ways on how to make store-bought cookie dough taste better.
How To Make Premade Cookie Dough Better
Here’s how you can improve premade cookie dough from a mix:
Add ground cinnamon or ginger to the cookie dough
You may upgrade your cookie dough by adding some spices to it, as it can lead to a warm, spicy cookie. To do so, you may combine ground cinnamon, ginger, and sugar then roll your balls of cookie dough in the mix before baking.
If you want to level it up more, you can spice up your cookies with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
Add vanilla or lemon extracts to punch up the flavor
To add richness to the flavor of your cookie dough, you can incorporate a few drops of pure flavor extract to your dough. It is a simple way to personalize cookies to your liking or give them a unique twist every time you bake them.
Some extracts you may try include lemon, peppermint, vanilla, coffee, coconut, and almond.
Roll the dough in a garnish before baking
Another way to add flavor or texture to your cookies is by rolling the balls of dough in your garnish of choice. To start with, you can try using chopped nuts, sanding sugar, chocolate chips, sprinkles, and cocoa powder.
Stir the nuts into the dough for an added crunch
For added texture, you can add some nuts into your cookie dough. You may use some common nuts like pecans, walnuts, or macadamia nuts. Or you may want to use the ones that are not commonly found in store-bought cookies like pistachios.
It will add color, crunch, and wholesomeness to your baked cookies.
Incorporate snacks like pretzels and chips
Mix-ins are a great way to make it seem like you spent a ton of time on your homemade cookies. Also, it will give them a unique flavor, so stir in a surprise ingredient that you like, such as crushed pretzels, potato chips, popped popcorn, and roasted chickpeas.
Top your cookies with flaked sea salt
To make your cookies have that rich flavor, you can top them with flaked sea salt before putting them in the oven. The salt can help in balancing the sweetness while providing a more well-rounded taste and flavor.
Dip cookies in chocolate or drizzle it on top
After the cookies are finished baking, you can use chocolate to give them a high-end look and homemade flavor. Once the cookies are baked and cooled up, you can dip them into chocolate or just drizzle them on top. It will give them a finishing and fancy look without a lot of extra work.
Add citrus zest to give cookies a fresh taste
You can create an intriguing taste by using freshly grated citrus zest as a cookie topper. It will result in cookies that seem extra special and fancy. For instance, you can add orange zest on chocolate cookies or lemon zest on vanilla cookies.
Which Is Better: Nestle Or Pillsbury Cookie Dough?
If you are looking for ready-to-bake cookie dough, Nestle Toll House and Pillsbury Cookie Dough are the two most popular pre-made cookie dough brands.
Yes, making cookies from scratch is great, and you probably tried it once in a while. But if you lack the time to create your dough, you can rely on the ready-to-bake dough, making it easier with a yummy endgame.
Both Pillsbury and Nestlé Toll House are available in ready-to-bake cookie dough in log form, making a super easy process of slicing and baking. And most of the time, they are being compared. So to answer which is better between the two when it comes to taste, texture, and how long they took to bake, read on more below.
Both of the two products come with ready-to-bake logs of dough that are sealed using metal twists. Therefore, the way to open them is by cutting off one end. Using a knife, you can easily slice the Toll House plastic. Meanwhile, you had to make several incisions in the Pillsbury package to get it open.
WINNER: Nestle Toll House
Though both packages advise that consuming raw cookie dough is not encouraged, I still want to sneak a taste of both products. In my opinion, Pillsbury dough had more of a grainy texture to it than Nestlé’s dough. In addition, the flavor of Pillsbury is smooth and has a recognizable cookie dough flavor that is not too sweet.
The texture of the Toll House dough was softer than Pillsbury’s and had as much flavor. As for the chocolate flavor, it is more prominent in the Pillsbury mixture, though.
WINNER: Based on my flavor preference, Nestle Toll House
Ease of preparation
If you slice an inch round of dough and place it on the baking sheet, the Toll House dough remained in discs while the Pillsbury dough broke apart more often. You had to push the Pillsbury dough back together to keep it in one piece.
WINNER: Nestle Toll House
When it comes to cooking instructions, Nestlé’s instructions recommend 12-13 minutes while Pillsbury’s instructions recommend around 12-15 minutes with an additional minute out of the oven for cooling. Though the Pillsbury cookies looked golden after just 12 minutes, they are still nearly raw at the center.
Meanwhile, Nestlé’s coloring was still a bit light after 12 minutes, so I decided to put them back into the oven for an additional two minutes, which did the trick. After 14 minutes, voila! The Pillsbury cookies are evenly cooked and have the right color while the Toll House cookie just turned golden brown while still mushy inside.
WINNER: Pillsbury Cookie Dough
The Pillsbury cookies expanded a bit in the oven, but for the most part, they held onto their shape and their clunky grooves. On the other hand, Nestlé’s cookies melted outward, flattened, and became visibly smoother as they cooked.
Since there’s no major difference when it comes to flavors, this one comes down to personal preference.
WINNER: Nestle Toll House
If you prefer a crunchier cookie that has some texture on the surface and the chocolate chips are still intact, then Pillsbury’s ready-to-bake dough is the best for you. Toll House ready-to-bake dough is best for someone who enjoys a chewier, but still crunchy on the outside, cookies.
Overall, the best store-bought cookie dough brand is Nestle Toll House, because of its packaging, flavor, ease of preparation, and texture.
Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Here are the best brands of chocolate chip cookie dough from Amazon:
Betty Crocker Baking Mix, Chocolate Chip Cookie
If you want to go the semi-homemade preparation, but full-homemade flavor, Betty Crocker’s is the best choice. When preparing the dough, you just need to provide your egg and a stick of butter. Remember to leave them out at room temp long enough to get the best results.
Once you baked the dough, the cookies are soft, and taste a little buttery, with a stronger vanilla flavor and a generous number of chocolate chips. But, if you’re making a large batch of cookies, you might toss an extra half cup of semisweet chips in there for an extra chocolate flavor.
Pillsbury Ready To Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pillsbury is one of the edible cookie dough trains, and you can taste a bit of it. The latest label on this chocolate chip cookie dough is indicated as “safe to eat raw”. Raw or baked, the dough tastes the same. It has a heavy and rich vanilla flavor with no gritty texture or strange aftertaste that other safe-to-eat doughs have.
Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
If you are looking for chocolatey chocolate dough, then the Nestle Toll House is your best option. The Toll House Chocolate Chip Lovers Cookie Dough is pretty close to perfection. The dough does not break apart and remains chewy. Once baked, they expand, and the treats are bigger than the classic break and bakes. The dough is every bit as brown sugar-laced and pillowy.
Is It Safe To Eat Store-Bought Cookie Dough?
There is only one thing that can rival a freshly baked cookie: the dough. We’re all guilty of nibbling raw dough before baking them in the oven.
But the CDC has made us rethink with its recent campaign to “Say No to Raw Dough!“
It is not safe to eat store-bought cookie dough because it contains raw eggs among its ingredients. Raw eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria, which can cause fever, diarrhea, and headache. While the most store-bought dough is pasteurized, the risk of Salmonella is lower but still present.
What Else Can You Do With Cookie Dough?
If you have extra cookie dough, you add it to that pint of ice cream in your freezer. You get cookies and cream ice cream flavor!
You may stir the cookie dough into plain vanilla ice cream or even use baked cookies if you wish to make homemade ice cream sandwiches.
Instead of using that cookie dough to bake usual cookies, you can make decadent desserts even tastier and a little bit nostalgic!
It’s easy to spice up dessert recipes using leftover cookie dough. Just ensure that you’re cooking the cookie dough to prevent the risk of eating raw eggs or flour.
Here are some of the best desserts wherein you can use your cookie dough. Use your leftover cookie dough to make these desserts even easier:
- Cookie Dough Truffles
- Cookie Dough Cheesecake
- Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs
Why Do Store-Bought Cookies Taste Different?
To make a homemade cookie, you need a handful of the basic ingredients, such as butter, sugar, and flour. You don’t need to add preservatives because the cookies will be made and eaten within just a few hours or days. You don’t need to add color agents because you don’t care about the consistency, or achieve the golden brown look.
You are not worried about shelf life, or maintaining the texture. Also, once the cookies are made, you’re not going to need to worry about temperature abuse like going from hot to cold to hot.
When cookies are made for stores the manufacturers must use ingredients that deliver a consistent product that lasts for a long time. These ingredients preserve the texture, color, and freshness of the cookies, but they also impart flavor. That is why store-bought cookies taste different than homemade cookies.
Most of the time, they don’t have a taste but they somehow impart a taste, which is almost bitter if you taste enough at once.
Why Put Cookie Dough In The Fridge Before Baking?
Chilling cookie dough can control the spread.
Putting cookie dough in the fridge before baking helps solidify the fat in the cookies. As the cookies bake, the fat found in the chilled cookie dough will take longer to melt than room-temperature fat. Keep in mind that the longer the fat remains solid, the fewer cookies spread.
Moreover, something else happens as the dough rests in the fridge. A part of the flour breaks down into its components, such as the carbohydrate and sugar. Since sugar is a flavor enhancer, the cookies may taste more flavorful and sweeter after resting.
In addition, the sugar in the dough may absorb the liquid.
So, if you bake the dough right away, the sugar has a lesser chance to absorb much liquid. The liquid will remain “free” in the dough, and promote spreading.
For instance, if you compare thin vs. thick pancake batter: the more the batter liquifies, the more it spreads, right? The same applies to cookies.
The dough that dries out is responsible for texture change, because of its resting in the fridge. The drier the dough, the more concentrated the sugar becomes. The more sugar is concentrated, the cookies may become chewy and crisp, instead of a soft and dough texture.
Can You Save Unused Cookie Dough?
Another piece to note is that cookie dough is just like most foods, and will last longer if stored properly. It is recommended to store your cookie dough in a small airtight container in your fridge or freezer.
As a general rule, any cookie dough that is left on the kitchen counter at room temperature will be good for around 2 to 4 hours; however, it increases more risk, especially if it is already past its “best by” date.
Meanwhile, placing your unused cookie dough in a cool, dark, air-free container in the fridge or freezer will be the best place to maximize its shelf-life.