Cookie dough is becoming so popular among consumers that it is fast becoming a stand-alone, mainstream dessert – a move up from being a versatile and universal product most commonly used as an ice cream and frozen inclusion, according to leading confectioner and inclusions specialist Pecan Deluxe Candy (Europe).
Customers have been hooked on cookie dough in ice cream since it originated in the United States around 1984, since then it has been introduced to consumers all over the world and as an ingredient in ice cream has become one of the top five flavour variants globally. In response the food tailor has trebled its cookie dough production capacity in Europe as part of a £multi-million investment programme, demonstrating its commitment to the sector and its confidence that cookie doughs will continue to lead the march across multiple applications.
What is it about cookie dough that makes it so popular? Graham Kingston, Pecan Deluxe EMEA managing director, explained:
“Just the raw nature of it. You can taste the real butter, and the texture of sugar granules in the mouth make for happy reminiscing over days licking the remnants from the mixing bowl when making cookies at home. Nostalgia is one thing but the product from a textural perspective in ice cream means it’s an ingredient that consumers have fun digging in for.”
The huge growth of cookie dough as a standalone ingredient has also been fuelled by new shops springing up such as ‘Do Unbaked’ and ‘Cookie Dough Café’. These are independent retail outlets offering a plethora of interesting cookie dough varieties. In addition, dough is being used as a main portion dessert served hot as a giant soft cookie with ice cream on top.
Pecan Deluxe is echoing these trends with its cookie dough which, unusually, can be eaten raw thanks to highly rigorous production standards and controls. For the same reasons it can be blended into milkshakes and sprinkled on desserts, amongst many other imaginative applications. The size of the dough pieces makes them easy to both handle and process, such as when baking into skillet cookie and hot cookie dough desserts. The inclusions expert is helping to fuel demand in niche outlets such as dessert parlours and artisan bakers, by supplying cookie dough pieces in smaller quantities.
One massive advantage for restaurants is that the dough doesn’t need to be defrosted beforehand – it’s a simple matter of scooping the frozen chunks into a dish and baking, rather than having to plan ahead and defrosting the right quantity of dough overnight.
The versatility of cookie dough is also gaining momentum in an increasing number of other indulgent food items. It is available in bakery, snacking and confectionery products, including chocolate bars, biscuits and bite-size pieces, and as a baked, skillet dessert in many restaurants and fast food chains worldwide.
Graham Kingston predicts cookie dough improving on its current place of fifth bestselling ice cream variant and line extensions will be introduced such as brownie batter/dough, which Pecan Deluxe is already manufacturing across all three of its facilities in the US, UK and Thailand. Likewise, the franchising of cookie dough foodservice outlets will work its way east from the US. New applications within soft serve ice cream in major QSR chains and new and unique cookie dough variants will be introduced as it consolidates its position as a mainstream ingredient/component.
Pecan Deluxe’s range of cookie dough flavours include chocolate chip, plain and double chocolate, but the company is at the forefront of innovation and can create bespoke flavours and products for customers. The R&D department anticipates market trends and develops new ingredients to suit, frequently working alongside manufacturers to develop inventive products tailormade to meet their requirements and consumer demand.
All Pecan Deluxe products, including traditionally made fudge, moulded chocolate shapes, brownie pieces, cookie dough and praline nuts, are made using natural colours and flavourings in strict allergen controlled, BRC A grade facilities. The company is constantly innovating to develop new flavours and textures and can create bespoke products tailor-made to customers’ requirements. For more information, visit www.pecandeluxe.com