A new dessert spot in downtown Burbank is a dream location for those who can’t wait for cookies to bake.
Cookie Dough Dreams, which opened late last month, is one of a handful of businesses in Southern California that sell safe-to-eat cookie dough by the scoopful.
The minute you step into the store, which is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, your nostrils are hit with the smell of sweet cookie dough, but you won’t see an oven or feel like you’re in a hot kitchen.
The heavily air-conditioned shop, located at 124 E. Magnolia Blvd. across the street from the Burbank Town Center, is an Instagrammer’s paradise. There’s a neon sign featuring the name of the business on a wall decorated with graphics of spoons filled with cookie dough.
Just to the side of that wall are custom-made sofa benches that look like ice cream sandwiches. Guests can peek through nearby circular windows to see how the dough is made.
What makes the dough safe to eat is the use of pasteurized eggs and heat-treated flour, which means there are no raw ingredients, said Cara Friedman, a Burbank native and owner of Cookie Dough Dreams.
The cookie dough parlor offers several flavors, including chocolate chip, sugar cookie, glazed cinnamon roll, brownie, birthday cake, S’mores, cheesecake and sugar lemon cookie.
There’s even smooth dough — cookie batter with no additional ingredients — for those who enjoy going down that route.
Friedman and her sister, Danielle, who helps with creating the products, both said they were surprised to see that many of the customers preferred eating batter without any chocolate chips or pieces of candy mixed in.
“We never thought that people would be into that,” Danielle Friedman said.
For those who want a more unique experience, customers are allowed and often encouraged to choose additional toppings from the store’s candy wall, where there are 30 different toppings — including semisweet chocolate, Reese’s Pieces, Oreos, rainbow sprinkles, oats and gummy bears.
People can also choose to have ice cream served alongside their scoops of cookie dough.
If a scoop of cookie dough isn’t enough, Danielle Friedman said the store also sells sugar waffle tacos filled with batter. She added they will soon be serving cookie dough “sushi” — batter rolled in a waffle.
The great thing about the dough, Cara Friedman said, is that if customers don’t finish it, they can pop it in the fridge and it should last for about five days. Or if they don’t want to finish it in its raw form, every batter served in the store can be baked into cookies.
What was most important to Cara Friedman, who has no formal baking training but is an avid cookie dough fan, was being able to have options for people with dietary restrictions.
It took her several months to perfect her recipes, but she was able to create vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free doughs she says don’t taste grainy or artificial. The candy wall also has toppings that fall within those same categories.
“That’s what we really pride ourselves on,” Danielle Friedman said. “Nobody gets turned down here, especially children.”
As a first-time business owner, Cara Friedman, who lives in Encino, said she never expected to come back to her hometown to open a food business.
She knew opening such a business would be a big risk, but her fears were assuaged during the grand opening, when a long line of people waited to try her products.
“It was something that I kept moving forward on, and I just knew that I had to do this,” Cara Friedman said. “This is what I wanted to do, so I made it happen.”