Think back to your childhood. Remember helping your mom bake cookies in the kitchen, using a roller to smooth out the dough? Maybe you added sprinkles or chocolate chips, or tossed a little sugar onto the cookies as they made their way into the oven. As the smell of cookies baking filled the house, you couldn’t wait – when Mom wasn’t looking, you snuck a spoonful of cookie dough straight from the mixing bowl. It was the best part of making cookies, and totally worth the risk of getting caught.
That nostalgic experience of indulging in cookie dough is now completely enjoyable as an adult, too, thanks to Kristen Tomlan, founder of safe-to-eat, made-to-order cookie dough purveyor DŌ.
Tomlan rediscovered the joy of this treat on a girls-getaway weekend in Philadelphia in 2013. While visiting a local cookie shop, Tomlan waded through the delicious smells of freshly baked cookies to the freezer section, where she came across a tub of cookie dough. Rather than going for the warm, gooey delight of a just-baked cookie, she went straight to the source.
“We all decided to just pass around this tub in the car and I thought, ‘why isn’t this a thing?’” Tomlan says. “Why can’t you go somewhere and only get cookie dough? Half the time when you bake cookies, the dough doesn’t even make it to the oven because you’re sneaking little spoonfuls along the way.”
Soon after that, DŌ was born. With a background in branding and marketing, Tomlan opted to start with the overall look of her new business: the playful yet memorable polka dot theme, the look of the menu, and of course, the name. That long “O” in DŌ is certainly by design–Tomlan wanted the name to be simple. What better way than the phonetic spelling of what you sell?
Tomlan estimates there are about 36 items on the menu. For those who don’t want to bring the entire inventory home, Tomlan does suggest a few favorites: Confetti, Red Velvet (a seasonal offering that’s available now), and Heavenly, a sugar cookie base with Nutella, sea salt, caramel bits and chocolate chips.
You probably recall as a child that there were naysayers of consuming pre-baked cookie dough. A parent or teacher, perhaps, would scold you for eating dough containing raw eggs, citing all the bad foodborne illnesses contained therein. DŌ ensures all of the ingredients they use in their products are completely fine for people to eat.
“Not all cookie dough is safe to eat,” Tomlan admits. “But we use a pasteurized egg product, so ours is totally safe. We’ve allowed people to avoid the scary part and just enjoy the nostalgic treat that they love.”
And don’t worry—after extensive recipe testing, you can’t even tell the difference between the egg substitute and an actual egg. DŌ also offers gluten-free and vegan selections on their menu; again, the taste is just as good as the standard version. The gluten-free options are inspired by Tomlan’s real-life experience.
“Under the advice of some doctors, I gave up gluten, and it’s really changed my life,” Tomlan said. “I just feel so much better. I haven’t turned back ever since.”
DŌ exists in a few iterations currently. The online storefront is always open for business with nationwide shipping, and New York City residents can visit the company’s headquarters or Dylan’s Candy Bar to pick up cookie dough in person. The team is also looking into a few other wholesale partners and has been doing extensive research into a Brooklyn storefront, checking out ideal locations to set up shop.
To round out the company’s nostalgic experience, part of DŌ’s retail concept will feature an all-out milk bar, providing the perfect pairing for the sweet cookie dough offerings. You’ll find everything from cow’s milk to local partners making almond and cashew milk, and don’t be surprised to see some seasonal flavors like birthday cake-flavored milk.
Stay tuned for updates on DŌ’s brick-and-mortar location by checking out their website. And in the meantime, there’s no harm in ordering a flavor or two online. That’s some DŌ you won’t mind spending.