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Hello, Cookie Dough
110 Doughlicious Confections to Eat, Bake & Share
Formats and Prices
- Hardcover $28.00 $35.00 CAD
- ebook $14.99 $18.99 CAD
This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around October 15, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.
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Finally, you can eat cookie dough how you’ve always craved it: straight from the mixing bowl! In her rule-breaking first book, Kristen Tomlan, the Queen of Cookie Dough, spills her secrets about how to make cookie dough safe-to-eat and all of the best ways to enjoy it. Kristen is sharing 110 decadent recipes–a mix of fan favorites from her famous New York City confectionery and never-before-seen creations–each with an innovative twist.
HELLO, COOKIE DOUGHis filled with recipes for cookie dough lovers at every age and skill level. All 40 flavors, spanning the classic to the wildly creative, are ready to eat off the spatula OR can be baked into perfect, chewy cookies. Kristen’s baked creations are equally tempting, with treats like cookie dough-stuffed cinnamon rolls, deep dish skillet cookies, and molten cookie dough cupcakes. Sprinkled throughout are her tips on perfecting your confections plus easy swaps to make the recipes gluten-free or vegan. Since cookie dough is best when shared, Kristen is serving up inspiration for all your party needs, including ideas for baby showers, weddings, ice cream parties, and the all-important girls’ night in.
This is the unconventional baking book every person with a sweet tooth will love. Join Kristen on her mission to make cookie dough all about joy, transforming this once-forbidden treat from a “no-no” to HELLO!
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It might seem like an overnight sensation, but DŌ wasn’t built in a day. I’m from the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri, where I grew up in a rambunctious family of six. My mom, Karen, is the captain of the ship, the ultimate multitasker keeping it all together. She’s very much the boss of the clan, and my dad, the World’s Nicest & Most Loving Creature to Walk the Planet™ is very much along for the ride.
I’m the second of the four kids, or “number two piece of poo,” as my siblings still like to call me. And how can you blame them? I’m not the first, the model child—my older sister, Lauren, gets that title. And I’m not the only boy, the prince of the family—that’s my brother, Trey. And I’m not the baby of the family, the “best surprise ever”—talking about you, Maddie. I’m the typical second child—the conflict resolution queen, the most likely to get picked on (and also the most likely to be forgotten), the people pleaser, and the troublemaker of the bunch.
When I was young, our home was always buzzing with a million activities, with fights, and friends, and laughter; and mostly it was overflowing with lots and lots of love. I was an awkward kid (don’t believe me, see photo 6), trying to get good grades, play on the soccer team, and maybe kiss a boy, but I didn’t feel like I totally fit in anywhere. Well, anywhere other than my kitchen. There, in front of my mixing bowl, I was totally myself.
The kitchen was my escape from the world of homework and sibling rivalry, a place where I could experiment and be creative… and get all my mom’s attention. I followed my mom’s every move as she gracefully prepared everything from a quick casserole for a family dinner to an elaborate, multicourse meal when she was entertaining. She’s a physical-therapist-turned-stay-at-home-mom-turned-cookbook-author-and-chef-turned-back-to-physical-therapist. A woman of many talents. She taught cooking classes all over St. Louis—from private kitchens to educational workshops. But her most eager student was waiting at home: me, Kristen—Kris for short.
I took everything she taught me and ran with it. I checked out every cookbook from the library. I signed myself up for summer school because it meant I could take cooking class. I tried to weasel my way into the adults-only cooking school at Dierbergs, my local grocery store. After wearing out multiple Easy-Bake Ovens, I left them in the dust for the grown-up version; I was a real baker.
Showing off my baking skills by sharing my creations with the people I loved was my favorite pastime. I whipped up nightly desserts, cakes for friends’ birthdays, and cookies for absolutely no reason at all—they were my specialty. As a human Cookie Monster (swap the blue fur for bright blonde hair), I loved all cookies, but my favorites were homemade by me, so I could sneak some cookie dough straight from the bowl.
Cookie dough has always been my true love, and I have my dad to blame thank for that. Whenever I baked, I always made at least a double batch of dough: half to bake into chewy delicious cookies and the other half to save for my dad and me to chow down on, unbaked. He’d come home from work, get a whiff of fresh-baked cookies, and head straight to the fridge to find his secret stash, marked “DAD’S—DO NOT EAT”—an attempt to keep my siblings’ dirty paws off it. It was our special ritual.
Baking was my thing, but it was just a sweet hobby. I never considered a career in the food industry. Instead, I harnessed all of my creative energy and went to design school. I chose to major in interior design at the world-renowned College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati.
The first inkling of what would grow to be DŌ came to me in January 2012. I had graduated college and was living in New York when a few girlfriends and I decided to take a trip to Philadelphia to visit my college roommate, Caroline. We ate our way through the city, including a stop in a local bakery. While deciding what to order, I spotted a freezer stocked with cookie dough. The purpose was to take the dough to go and make fresh, bakery-quality cookies at home… but I had a different idea.
I quietly turned to my friends and asked if they wanted to ditch the cookies and split this cookie dough with me. The answer was an enthusiastic “YES!” But, as much as I wanted to sit down in that adorable shop and dig in to the cookie dough with my friends, it wasn’t exactly socially acceptable (yet!). We headed to the car with our forbidden treat, where we passed around the tub, pulling chunks of cookie dough out with our fingers until it was empty.
That’s when the idea hit me: If we all loved cookie dough so much, why did we have to hide it? Had I ever met someone who didn’t like cookie dough? Why wasn’t there a place where you could sit and enjoy it? Why hadn’t anyone made it totally safe to eat? Why couldn’t you have cookie dough exactly as you craved it—in a bunch of flavors? With ice cream? Baked? Unbaked? Half-baked? Is that a thing? Oh my god… I could make it a thing.
I realized there was an entirely untapped market of cookie dough lovers in the world waiting for me to make something just for them! The girls and I left the trip with fun memories and lots of laughs, but I left with a little something extra: the idea for a business. I came home and all I could talk about was my concept for this crazy thing—and it already had a name: DŌ.
For a couple more years, my cookie dough idea stayed just that—an idea. I was consumed with life, with wedding planning, and with my busy career at Lippincott, a global brand strategy and design consultancy. I was creating innovative retail experiences for clients including BMW, Kiehl’s, Delta, Walmart, Samsung, and Cracker Barrel. I enjoyed my job. It was challenging and inspiring, and I was working with some of the smartest, most talented people in the biz. Over the course of five years I honed my expertise in customer experience, retail design, marketing, branding, and more. Though I didn’t know it at the time, I was refining the skills and building the confidence I needed to embark on my own business venture.
My friends and family sometimes asked me about how that “dough” idea was going. I’d have to answer, “Oh, I haven’t done anything with that, yet.” Eventually, I realized I was guilty of committing one of my biggest pet peeves—talking about doing something but not actually doing anything about it. I sure as hell wasn’t going to be that person any longer. In January 2014, during a lull in the wedding planning process, I decided it was time for some action.
So we rolled up our sleeves. Chris (my then-fiancé, now-husband) and I dedicated all of our free time to working on the DŌ business plan. We didn’t actually know how to go about opening a business, so we just started with what we knew. I began with baking and branding. Chris, who (very conveniently) has an architecture and business background, started guesstimating the numbers and putting them down on paper. For everything else, we asked our dear friend Google. Together, the three of us made a good team.
The most immediate challenge I faced was making cookie dough that was safe to eat. The easy answer was to remove the eggs to eliminate the risk of salmonella, but I was not interested in making something that was like cookie dough. No way. I would be serving 100 percent real cookie dough—the kind you could eat AND bake, the kind I’d been enjoying all these years.
I spent months researching, experimenting, taste-testing, and trying every egg substitute under the sun. Still, no egg-free egg-wannabes were as good as the real deal. Eventually, I found a safe-to-eat genuine real egg (more about that here). One problem down. But egg wasn’t the only tricky ingredient. During my research, I discovered raw flour also can contain harmful bacteria (what?!?). So my quest for safe-to-eat flour began (more about that here). After many months, I cracked the safe-to-eat-cookie-dough code, swapping risky family recipes with my new ready-to-eat creations.
By May 2014, Chris and I were almost done with the business plan. We decided to hold off on the final investment and money conversation until after our wedding and honeymoon. And just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, like they say, God laughs, right? Yup.
I got sick. In my typical all-or-nothing fashion, it wasn’t just sick, but suddenly and very dramatically life-threateningly ill. I went from going a million miles a minute to being admitted to the ICU. An allergic reaction to an antibiotic I was prescribed developed into a rare and serious condition called Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS). Mine progressed to toxic epidermal necrolysis syndrome (TENS), a diagnosis with a terrifying 30 percent mortality rate. The result was essentially chemical burns covering my body, occurring from the inside out. My skin, my largest organ, was literally falling off. And my seemingly perfect life began to fall apart with it.
My condition quickly deteriorated. I was placed in a medically induced coma because I could no longer breathe without the help of machines, and I was likely going to lose my eyesight. Doctors suggested that my parents and soon-to-be husband stop discussing wedding plans and start talking about funeral plans instead.
I spent three weeks in the Burn ICU at NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell, one of the best burn trauma centers in the world. Thanks to a lot of prayers, support from my family and friends, an incredible medical team, and my fierce determination, I had a miraculous recovery.
I was released from the hospital four weeks before my wedding. At the age of twenty-six, I had to move back in with my parents in St. Louis to recover. Despite my near-death experience, Chris and I were married (mostly) as planned on July 5, 2014.
After the wedding, it was back to New York to visit my doctors and continue my recovery. All I wanted was the clearance to go back to my career and resume my normal life. When I was finally able to return to work full-time a couple months later, I found that my “normal” was not all I hoped it would be. After everything I’d been through, my day-to-day just didn’t seem as fulfilling as I remembered. I felt like I was running through the motions but working without a purpose. I was haunted by this nagging question “What would make me happy?” So, I did what felt most natural. I dusted off my mixer.
Getting back in the kitchen was my own personal therapy, the only thing that blocked out the pain of my arduous recovery. It was the only time I was able to feel like my “old self” who I was attempting (and failing) to mourn. Baking made it all go away. I had discovered an answer to that nagging question and a “new me” with a mission.
I knew I had nothing to lose. I mean, c’mon, I’d almost died! Life is short and there’s no time to waste when it comes to chasing after what you want. And I wanted to pick up my business plan, right where I’d left off.
My illness brought me more clarity than I’d ever had before. Even more than that, it showed me that I was strong, brave, and I had enough fight in me to accomplish whatever I put my mind to.
So, I did it. Well, we did it. Chris and I.
In December of 2014, on the six-month anniversary of being released from the hospital, I opened the virtual doors to my dream come true, DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections, my gourmet, edible and bakeable cookie dough brand.
THE DŌ STORY
I had always imagined DŌ as a shop—a physical retail experience where people could visit to enjoy cookie dough. But following my illness, after practical and thoughtful consideration, I chose to launch my brand online, running the business entirely out of my Brooklyn apartment. Looking back now, it was the best decision I could have made. I was still working as a full-time consultant—and when I say full-time, I mean a New Yorker’s full-time. I worked late nights and long weekends to meet deadlines on top of being expected to travel at a moment’s notice.
In the back of my mind, I knew that I would have to commit to just one career. But as excited as I was about this passion project (my side hustle, if you will), I wasn’t sure I wanted to quit my day job. I was nervous to leave my comfortable bubble and the career I’d worked so hard to create to jump into the unknown. And besides, I felt like I owed it to my company to stick it out. After taking almost four months off when I was sick, I didn’t want to leave them hanging. I ended up staying on for a few more months, working a flexible part-time schedule (thanks, Lippincott).
Though it was exhausting to work two jobs, launching online had perks: It gave me time to adjust as I transitioned industries; it gave me space to wrap my head around the challenges of running a business; and it allowed me to share my love of cookie dough with a national audience. Social media and articles from Glamour magazine and Refinery29 helped things take off quickly. My business almost immediately exceeded all of my expectations.
Chris and I would come home from work and stay up into the early (and then late) hours of the morning to keep up with the dozens of orders we received each day. Our not-so-spacious freezer wasn’t cutting it, so two commercial deep freezers moved into our one-bedroom, 450-square-foot apartment. It came at the expense of pretty much every other belonging we owned—including all my beautiful, shiny new wedding gifts, which were temporarily relocated to my in-laws’ in Ohio.
The fantastic response to DŌ took a toll, and not just on my apartment. I was exhausted. I always give 100 percent of my energy to the things I take on in life, so while working two jobs I was maxed out at an unbearable 200 percent. Every “free” moment was spent tackling website maintenance, customer service, order fulfillment, and production, which left no time for sleep. Work-life balance didn’t exist because I was busting my ass just to have work-work balance, on top of the still-constant doctors’ appointments and therapy sessions necessary to continue my recovery. In one month I traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, twice for my day job and came straight back to NYC for a series of eye surgeries attempting to reverse some of the damage done by SJS/TENS. When I returned home from the hospital, a giant stack of containers needing labels stared back at me and my glamorous new accessory: an eye patch. With no time for “downtime,” it was clear that the life I was living was neither sustainable nor healthy.
Ultimately, I followed my heart. I quit my day job and dedicated myself full-time to DŌ.
My first move as a full-time DŌ Pro was moving the business out of my apartment. In April 2015, with my first hire, Brianna, DŌ opened a commercial kitchen space in Midtown Manhattan. Bri, fresh out of pastry school, was a gift from the almighty dessert gods. She’s the only person I’ve ever met who loves baking and sugar more than I do, and she caught on to the brand’s mission right away. She’s a rock star, the ultimate Hardbody (thanks, Christina Tosi, for that enlightening term), and I’m convinced that she has cookie dough running through her veins. She is still my Executive Pastry Chef today.
The new commercial space was intended to help increase my capacity to fulfill online orders. A real kitchen meant that we could produce more dough and store more materials, so I could ship more packages around the country. What I didn’t expect was the amount of walk-in traffic we would get now that we had a physical address.
Once word got out that we had a space in the city, fans skipped online ordering altogether and came in person to see what flavors they could get scooped fresh from our mixing bowls. The problem was, we didn’t have anything for them to buy. Our production was ONLY for existing orders—we had no extra dough lying around. But who was I to leave a cookie dough craving unfilled?! I couldn’t tell these people no. So, we increased our batch sizes and started keeping “extras” on hand to sell to walk-in customers. The policy was simple: We had what we had, and when we were out, we were out. Pretty soon, we had “regulars” we knew by both name and flavor preference.
I was always impressed by those early customers’ persistence. Since it was not meant to be customer facing, visiting our kitchen was not glamorous or easy. The space was hidden on the second story of a 2nd Avenue walk-up that looked like an apartment building, sandwiched between a smoke shop and a questionable psychic. When new customers visited for the first time, they always said the same thing: “I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place! Walking up was pretty sketchy, but this is sooo cute,” pointing to the polka-dot wallpaper and colorful mixers. Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly the experience I had in my mind for my customers or for my brand. DŌ needed a traditional, all-cute, non-“sketchy” storefront, so I turned my attention to creating the cookie dough shop I’d always dreamed of.
The process started with location scouting. No two New York City neighborhoods are the same. What if I picked the wrong one and my business went under? Where do you even start in a city like New York? I explored my options, looking at storefronts in as many neighborhoods as possible. After an unsuccessful eight-month roller coaster, I nearly gave up. Then, a location in Greenwich Village took me by surprise.
The space wasn’t what I thought I was looking for (in fact, it was double our budget and double the size). It was a run-down, rat-infested former sandwich shop. It needed a lot of work—as in ripping out every surface, wall, and floor. But it was on the ideal tree-lined two-way street, and through all the scum, I could see it had good bones. When I closed my eyes, I saw marble countertops, bright white subway tile, colorful walls, and a neon DŌ logo. Redoing the shop would be a challenge, but I’d never let a challenge stop me before. I signed a lease for the space. Then the demo began.
Chris’s construction management expertise, coupled with my background in design, meant the two of us were largely able to plan, demo, and act as our own general contractors for the remodel. The shop would capture the true spirit of the brand and be an experience in itself, complementary to the cookie dough served there. Instagram loves the food industry and the food industry loves Instagram, so I designed the most photo-friendly shop possible. The color scheme popped on camera, the wallpaper created natural backgrounds, and the special lightbulbs (5000 Kelvins) provided ideal picture-taking conditions.
I’ve always wanted DŌ to feel approachable, so I installed a huge window that divided the kitchen and the customers, allowing them to watch cookie dough being made. I decorated the space with hand-painted KitchenAid mixing bowls and my grandfather’s custom-made whisk light fixtures, little details to make the shop feel like the home kitchen of your dreams.
On January 25, 2017, after lots of sweat, tears, late nights, and spending nearly every dollar we had, we opened our flagship shop—the first cookie dough scoop shop the world had ever seen. It was the beginning of the lines, the beginning of the press frenzy, and the beginning of the cookie dough craze.
Today, DŌ is known for specializing and innovating all things cookie dough. At the flagship shop, we serve up to two thousand pounds (A LITERAL TON) of cookie dough a day by the scoop, blended into milkshakes, stacked onto sundaes, baked and half-baked into a variety of confections, and more!
- On Sale
- Oct 15, 2019
- Page Count
- 304 pages
- Grand Central Publishing