Snack Attack: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough at Little Donkey
Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette might have earned Boston’s respect with regionally inspired flavors at their tapas bar Toro and Italian-inspired Coppa, but at their latest, Little Donkey in Central Square, nothing is off the table. Matzo ball ramen, live Maine uni, and even Chinese pork-filled Parker House rolls are on the menu.
So, it only seems right that dessert shows the same fortitude, with curveballs like mango curd Ritz Cracker sandwiches, and an actual beater of cookie dough.
For Oringer, few foods evoke childhood memories the way a spoonful of raw cookie dough does, he says. Who among us disagrees? Garnering inspiration from pasty chef Kelly Fields at Willa Jean in New Orleans, the Little Donkey team brought that nostalgia front and center, with the classic treat served just the way mom used to make it.
“We wanted to play off the childhood memory that every kid loves to eat the cookie dough off the beater,” Oringer says.
The restaurant uses pasteurized egg yolks in its cookie dough, so there’s no risk involved in eating it raw. The loaded beater is plated with a mound of milk espuma and sea salt, to balance the dough’s sweetness, and it’s sprinkled with cocoa nibs for a brush of bitterness. It’s a simple dish; without a proper pastry team, Oringer told Bon Appétit the restaurant’s dessert options were either “raw cookie dough or an uncooked fruit dessert, and the latter seemed lame.”
“We don’t have a lot of room for pastry or baking in our kitchen at Little Donkey, so we put two-and-two together and it made a lot of sense to serve it this way,” Oringer says.
Since Oringer decided to sub baking powder and vanilla extract for baking soda in his cookie dough, he told Bon Appétit that he’s not sure how the dough would hold up as an actual baked cookie. Lucky for him, we’re not in a rush to find out.
$9, Little Donkey, 505 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge, 617-945-1008, littledonkeybos.com.