“We had to hire bouncers to stand out front,” says Kristen Tomlan, talking about the opening of DŌ in Greenwich Village. The spot quickly went viral, resulting in four-hour lines down the block. “People were obsessed with trying to get in and get a bite. We eventually developed a ticket system.” If you’ve ever tasted one of the confectioner’s addictive treats, you’ll understand the craze. With enticing flavors like Cake Batter and Oatmeal M&M, the raw-cookie-dough creations instantly trigger a pleasure center in the brain that identifies them as the forbidden fruit of many a childhood. But for Tomlan, snacking on the stuff has always been a part of life. We caught up with the baker, who just opened her dessert empire’s second outpost at Time Out Market, to talk about where her love for cookie dough came from, her favorite things to do in New York and her brand-new cookbook, Hello, Cookie Dough, which came out this week.
So, I’m guessing you ate a lot of cookie dough as a kid.
Yeah, definitely. I grew up making cookies my whole life and was constantly sneaking from the bowl. But it was really my dad who would always make us save a little Tupperware container of cookie dough for him. When he came home from work, we would have a little container of cookie dough waiting for him in the refrigerator. So, in my house, it was acceptable to, you know, live a little and eat some dough. My mom was strict in many ways, but not in that way.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about DŌ?
We serve a lot more than just dough! You can also get cookies, cookie sandwiches, and ice cream and milkshakes with cookie dough. Also, some people don’t know that you can buy the dough to bake cookies
What’s the main thing you want people to take away from your new cookbook?
A couple of things! One is that there are so many things you can do with dough. I think that idea is definitely displayed in the cookbook. We have lots of cookie-dough recipes, but we also have a ton of other desserts and confections and even breakfast items in there. So, it’s really just about understanding the versatility of the product. At the end of the day, I want people to have fun in their kitchen and enjoy the full experience of eating it raw and baking it.
Your cookie dough first got a lot of attention as a viral phenomenon. Is there a foodie or baking trend happening right now that you wish would die?
Wish would die? Doing things specifically for Instagram is a little bit much. They’ll do something that’s so over-the-top crazy, no one would want to actually eat it. Like, a 35-pound burger.
What’s your biggest cookie dough–related celebrity sighting?
Probably Chrissy Teigen and John Legend. They were just standing right outside DŌ one day, and we ended up giving them a bunch of cookie dough. It was a great day.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I used to do a lot of babysitting in high school, and there were some families that had just terrible terror children.
Well, those kids are probably regretting it now. They could be drowning in cookie dough.
What’s your favorite neighborhood?
I’d probably say Brooklyn Heights. I love the architecture and the quietness of the streets. There are a lot of really great restaurants and food, and it has the best view of Manhattan.
East Village or West Village?
NYC Ferry or Citi Bike?
The ferry. Biking in the city makes me way too nervous
New York’s coolest dessert craze—and one that the inner kid in us can’t get enough of—is now available at Time Out Market: Stop by the confectioner’s new outpost for sugary-sweet scoops of decadent flavors like Nutella, fluffernutter and peanut-butter cup. Or take things to the next level by ordering a mouthwatering Ice Cream SandDŌ ($6), which features house-made ice cream sandwiched between two layers of cookie dough.