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WASHINGTON — If there’s one thing better than homemade chocolate chip cookies, it’s homemade chocolate chip cookie dough.
And now, there’s no need to limit yourself to a few licks of the spoon when no one is looking. Thanks to D.C. native Nikki Azzara, it’s not only safe to eat cookie dough, it’s actually healthy.
Azzara is the founder of P.S. Snacks, a 3-year-old food startup that operates out of Union Kitchen. The 25-year-old launched the company right after graduating from Wake Forest, and the products she sells — three flavors of cookie dough — are from the popular food blog she started while still in school.
Unlike a traditional cookie dough — made from flour, butter, eggs and sugar — Azzara’s dough is bean-based. If that’s hard to conceptualize, think of a hummus, but with a sweet flavor profile.
“So instead of doing the typical hummus recipe, which is chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic, things like that, I’m using chickpeas with almond butter and coconut oil and a little bit of organic cane sugar and pink sea salt,” Azzara explained.
Organic fair-trade chocolate chips top it all off, and then the “batter” is refrigerated to achieve the desired consistency.
“It gives it more of a cookie dough texture,” said Azzara, who sells P.S. cookie dough in three flavors, including chocolate chip, peanut butter and fudge brownie.
Sixty-five percent of the dough is organic beans — chickpeas for the chocolate chip and peanut butter cookie doughs, and black beans for the fudge brownie cookie dough. This packs the dough with protein, fiber and antioxidants.
The second ingredient in the mix is heart-healthy nut butters, including peanut butter and almond butter. All three doughs are gluten-free and dairy-free and have no genetically modified ingredients or preservatives. Plus, there are only 3 grams of sugar per serving (2 tablespoons).
“It’s really low in sugar — lower than a lot of things you could be eating out there,” Azzara said.
The cookie dough can be baked into actual cookies, but that usually doesn’t happen.
“It’s funny, I’ve learned in the past two years that no one does,” Azzara said.
Straight from the tub to the spoon is the preferred method of consumption, but Azzara said the options are endless.
“I put it in smoothies, my friends put it in protein shakes, my mom puts it in her oatmeal,” she said.
The P.S. Snacks doughs are available at Whole Foods Markets in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, as well as a handful of small retailers in the area and on the e-commerce platform jet.com. Three-ounce snack packs are around $3 each; 12-ounce containers retail for $8.69.
For now, Azzara is focused on growing the reach of the business, but has plans to develop new flavors in the near future.
“It’s just a really fun way to eat something sweet, but it isn’t bad for you,” she said.
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