Following months of recipe development, a close-knit Concord family opened their dream confectionery last month specializing in a once-taboo dessert: cookie dough.
Located on Clayton Road, Out The Dough boasts more than 12 flavors of the guilty pleasure. The Lonardo family – mom Jill, son Angelo and daughter-in-law Marina — developed a recipe that doesn’t include raw eggs or flour, making the mixture safe to eat without cooking it first.
The family came up with the idea after Angelo Lonardo took a trip to New York and saw block-long lines for a dessert parlor selling raw cookie dough. The culinary school graduate brought the idea back to his family, who had been looking for a unique business concept that could combine their love of culinary arts and sweet treats.
“We wanted to get out of corporate America, and then we discovered this niche," Jill Lonardo said. "We felt that it was a great combination of our talents and wanting to be our own bosses. I’d always been a baker growing up, my kids had always eaten raw cookie dough even when they weren’t supposed to, it felt like a natural progression for us.”
Recipe development was a little tricky, but the family enlisted their friends to give feedback before settling on a base mixture that incorporates pasteurized egg and heat-treated flours. Prices range from $3 to $7 depending on size, and customers can opt to have their dough in a waffle cone or cup. Leftovers can be taken home and baked into — yep, you guessed it — cookies.
“We tried tons of recipes before landing on one that worked,” Angelo Lonardo said. “But we definitely had fun trying them all! We haven’t gotten sick of it yet.”
Getting the shop up and running was a fairly arduous process, but the Lonardos believe their hard work paid off. The recipes aren’t the only thing the family made from scratch, either. After renting the store space, the family labored on construction for weeks.
“We did almost everything ourselves,” Jill Lonardo said. “We did all the countertops ourselves, put in the flooring and did the painting ourselves. We tried to bring nostalgia into it and brought in my grandmother’s china hutch, and a vintage coke cooler — just things that make the place feel more home-y. It’s definitely a family effort.”
So far, the most popular flavors include Chocoholic’s Dream, an extra dark cacao mixture with semisweet and white chocolate chips; Hawaiian Getaway, which incorporates white chocolate macadamia nut; and Ellen Dough-Generes, a vegan mix named in honor of the family’s favorite talk show host. A portion of proceeds from that selection will go to a revolving list of one of Ellen Degeneres’ favorite charities.
“We really wanted Out The Dough to be a place that was part of the community,” Jill Lonardo said. “We also try to partner with schools and nonprofits in the area.”
The store also offers cookie dough milkshakes and ice cream sandwiches. Of course, there are heaps of freshly-baked cookies to choose from, as well.
Out The Dough's full recipe is available online. Check the store out at 4666 Clayton Road in Concord.