One dessert that seems to traverse all borders and cultural traditions is the humble, and sometimes not so humble cookie. There are endless ingredient combinations that make up one of our favorite treats and we are seeing the evolution of cookies happening as innovators are taking the concept to a whole new level, playing with not just flavors, but textures, form, and even function.
Possibly one of the more indulgent additions to the cookie landscape is the raw cookie dough trend. From sneaking a spoonful, or just ignoring potential food-safety issues, many of us have done it, and the experience is now a full-fledged reality. Companies like Portland, Oregon’s The Cookie Dough Café have perfected their recipe and flavor combinations including Monster, featuring natural peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips and M&M candies, and sell them in grocery and convenience stores nationwide. The removal of raw eggs and special recipe adjustments allow consumers to enjoy the unbaked dough, in single-serve and 4-pack formats.
Taking inspiration from the flavors of cookies, we are seeing food items pop-up on fast food menus such as the Cookie Butter Shake, from Arby’s that combines a signature vanilla shake with cinnamon spice and a cookie butter-flavored syrup for a beverage version of the dessert. Then there’s the seasonally-inspired Dunkin Donuts that feature Christmas flavors including Frosted Sugar Cookie, Gingerbread, and Snowflake Sprinkle. These offerings give the sensation of something familiar, but with a twist.
A unique development in the world of cookies involves adding atypical ingredients like protein and vegetables for added health benefits, allowing cookies to be categorized as a functional food. This once niche category has many new contenders looking to take cookies from the traditional to the more nutritional. Farm & Oven recently debuted its cookies containing 40 percent of the daily recommended amount of vegetables, in flavors like Pumpkin Maple Pecan, and Beet Dark Chocolate, inspiring food that tastes good and has a health halo.
All in all, consumers now have more choices than ever when it comes to picking a favorite cookie to enjoy, and most are within reach, even if it’s a little further than the cookie jar hiding in your kitchen.
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This article is courtesy of our insights partners at CultureWaves.