We all know that the Cookie Monster loves cookies. Did you know that his favorite is the sugar cookie? Did you know that, in the 1970s, he published the recipe for his family’s secret sugar cookie dough? He did—in Big Bird’s Busy Book. Here’s the thing: He didn’t give instructions on how long to cook the dough. We think he ate it raw. Lots of people grew up eating raw cookie dough, before the Centers for Disease Control upped and ruined everything by telling us that folded into that dough are bacteria that can cause life-threatening diseases due to the uncooked flour and eggs. It’s hard to get over cookie dough. Not only because it’s a singularly delicious taste, but also because it takes us back to being in the kitchen with Mom helping her make cookies. No more worries! We can now have our cookie dough and our childhood memories happily and healthfully with Doughp (pronounced “Dope”) Cookie Dough.
Kelsey Witherow, founder and CEO of Doughp, loved baking with her mother, but after receiving her degree in marketing and international business from Arizona State University, she took a route common to millennials—information technology. She spent 10 productive and rewarding years at Intel Corporation, and then realized that a dependence on alcohol was preventing her from being her best self.
When she regained her sobriety and began a healthier lifestyle, she rediscovered her love for baking and for cookie dough. No formal training in the kitchen. No problem. Kelsey taught herself. She made the dough safe to eat by heat-treating the flour and substituting flax seeds for the eggs. She kept the butter though, lots of butter, for the rich and creamy dough like Mom used to make.
Kelsey sells her dough online, shipping it all over the country; wholesale in 4-ounce jars for retail and by the pound to restaurants and dessert shops; by catering corporate and private events; and in her three brick-and-mortars at San Francisco’s Fisherman Wharf and Mission Bay and the Las Vegas Strip.
In the shops, you can have one, two or three scoops of cookie dough in a colorful cone or cup, then hit the toppings bar and help yourself to delights such as chocolate chips, chocolate sauce, caramel, rainbow sprinkles, childhood cereals, peanut butter, coconut shavings and Nutella. Maybe you’ll want to try a cookie dough milkshake. Maybe you’ll wake up in the middle of the night and really need cookie dough. If you’re in Las Vegas, you can get it at the 24/7 cookie dough vending machine, the Doughp Dealer.
Kelsey came up with some fun, imaginative flavors (and names), including:
Amber Rose: cranberry sugar dough with subtle notes of elderflower and rose
Basic Bae: Vanilla dough with rainbow sprinkles
Basic Betch: Pumpkin spice dough
Cookie Monsta: Blue dough with Oreos folded in
Eminem: Dough with M&Ms
Lemon & Chili: Lemonade-infused dough with a cayenne kick
Matcha Dood: Snickerdoodle dough with matcha green tea
Red Rum: Blonde cookie dough with red velvet cake smashed into it
A major part of Kelsey’s mission is to give back:
- The dough is mixed by The Bread Project in Berkeley, CA, a non-profit that employs low-income individuals to teach them job skills, give them work experience and help them find employment.
- HELP of Southern Nevada, an organization that serves the poor, homeless and anyone in crisis, heat-treats all of the flour.
- A chunk of her profits went to Hurricane Harvey victims.
- All of the proceeds from every scoop of #Doughp4Hope goes to a revolving slate of non-profits.