How to Make Safe, Edible Cookie Dough

iStock.com/mchebby
iStock.com/mchebby

Life is tough for cookie dough lovers. No matter how many times the CDC reminds you that cookies in their unbaked form are unsafe to eat, the right mixture of butter, sugar, raw eggs, and flour never stops being a tempting treat. But you don't need to wait in line at a trendy cookie dough cafe to get your fix without the health risks. It's easy to make edible cookie dough at home—and it's just as satisfying as the other stuff.

The Seattle Times recently shared Olivia Hops's recipe for safe-to-eat chocolate chip cookie dough from her book, The Edible Cookie Dough Cookbook, which was published earlier this year. It includes many of the same ingredients you'd expect to find in regular cookie batter, like butter, sugar, flour, vanilla, chocolate chips, and salt. Eggs (and the Salmonella they potentially carry in their raw state) are the only major exclusion.

Hops has made one more noticeable tweak to the recipe: She calls for all-purpose flour that's been heat-treated, which means it has been heated to at least 160°F in the microwave. Even if dough doesn't use raw eggs, it can still be dangerous to eat if it contains raw flour. Most flour isn't treated to kill germs before it's packaged and sent to the supermarket, so it may be harboring E. coli.

After treating your flour, proceed with the recipe as you would if you were baking regular cookies. Cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, then mix in the vanilla until combined. Whisk the remaining dry ingredients in a medium bowl and then keep adding a little bit to the wet mixture, mixing on low as you go. Incorporate the chocolate chips by hand before digging in.

"Feel free to switch the type of chocolate chips you add or even to add multiple types of chips," suggests Hops. Click here for the full recipe.

[h/t The Seattle Times]

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What Really Happens When Food Goes Down the 'Wrong Pipe'?

The dreaded 'wrong pipe' calamity can strike at any time.
The dreaded 'wrong pipe' calamity can strike at any time.
Photo by Adrienn from Pexels

Your average person isn’t expected to be well-versed in the linguistics of human anatomy, which is how we wind up with guns for biceps and noggins for heads. So when swallowing something is followed by throat irritation or coughing, the fleeting bit of discomfort is often described as food “going down the wrong pipe.” But what’s actually happening?

When food is consumed, HuffPost reports, more than 30 muscles activate to facilitate chewing and swallowing. When the food is ready to leave your tongue and head down to your stomach, it’s poised near the ends of two "pipes," the esophagus and the trachea. You want the food to take the esophageal route, which leads to the stomach. Your body knows this, which is why the voice box and epiglottis shift to close off the trachea, the “wrong pipe” of ingestion.

Since we don’t typically hold our breath when we eat, food can occasionally take a wrong turn into the trachea, an unpleasant scenario known as aspiration, which triggers an adrenaline response and provokes coughing and discomfort. Dislodging the food usually eases the sensation, but if it’s enough to become stuck, you have an obstructed airway and can now be officially said to be choking.

The “wrong pipe” can also be a result of eating while tired or otherwise distracted or the result of a mechanical problem owing to illness or injury.

You might also notice that this happens more often with liquids. A sip of water may provoke a coughing attack. That’s because liquids move much more quickly, giving the body less time to react.

In extreme cases, food or liquids headed in the “wrong” direction can wind up in the lungs and cause pneumonia. Fortunately, that’s uncommon, and coughing tends to get the food moving back into the esophagus.

The best way to minimize the chances of getting food stuck is to avoid talking with your mouth full—yes, your parents were right—and thoroughly chew sensible portions.

If you experience repeated bouts of aspiration, it’s possible an underlying swallowing disorder or neurological problem is to blame. An X-ray or other tests can help diagnose the issue.

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