If you look at a bowl of cookie dough as only a precursor to cookies, you’re missing out on so many other possibilities. From cheesecake to pie crust, creative options abound. Sugar and chocolate chip flavors offer some of the best options.

Make a batter with pasteurized eggs so you can scoop it straight from the bowl; or simply leave the eggs out altogether if you plan to use it raw. Pasteurized eggs are safe to eat raw as they’ve been treated to kill any trace of the food-borne bacteria salmonella. If you’re using a cookie dough made with traditional eggs, bake cookie dough into unexpected treats. Purchased dough should also be baked to eliminate any risks.

Sugar cookie dough yields interesting cookie variations with glazes and toppings, but can also produce so many more desserts.

  • Bake the dough into cookies, then dip in melted chocolate and sprinkles, crushed candy or chopped nuts for a quick yet elegant cookie-tray addition.
  • Scoop out balls of dough and press a small indentation into them with your thumb. Fill with 1/2 teaspoon of jam and bake.
  • Roll the dough into a flat sheet about 1/4-inch thick. Brush on a light layer of butter and sprinkle on cinnamon-sugar. Roll up into a cylinder and cut into rounds. Bake the rounds for delightful pinwheel cookies.
  • Make mini tart shells by pressing balls of the cookie dough into a mini muffin tin. Arrange the dough so it covers the bottom and the sides of each cup. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden; cool and remove from the pan. Fill with pudding and whipped cream; cream cheese blended with powdered sugar and orange zest; or a homemade chocolate mousse. 
  • Braid thin strips of dough and sprinkle them with coarse grains of sugar for sweet pretzels