Anyone who tells you dessert isn’t important is plain wrong. Dessert is the best part of any meal. If suddenly the apocalypse were upon us, are you going to crave a bite of a kale salad or a bowl of ice cream? Exactly.
But beyond traditional ice cream counters and bakeries, ultra trendy (and Instagramable) concoctions of rolled iced cream, mile-high milkshakes, doughnut cones, and all unicorn everything have been popping up on menus across the country.
Last month, native Atlantan Julie Abes launched Batter Cookie Dough Counter inside Ponce City Market. Located in what’s quickly becoming PCM’s “Dessert District” with neighbors Honeysuckle Gelato, Collier Candy Company, and King of Pops, the kiosk serves up racquetball-sized scoops of dough with an optional selection of various sauces and candy toppings. Eggs are removed from the equation, so sugar-seeking guests won’t be playing Russian roulette with uncooked dough. (It’s okay, we all do it.) There are even a few flavors that do away with butter and all-purpose flour, providing vegan and gluten-free options as well.
While the “cookie dough parlor” concept has taken off in cities like New York and Los Angeles, Batter is Atlanta’s first. And the concept of mass-marketed, safe, edible cookie dough is still fairly new. Most of America first glimpsed the idea in 2014, courtesy of Portland’s Cookie Dough Café, on an episode of NBC’s Shark Tank. Now edible dough can purchased in stores, ordered online, or found in cafes like Batter.
Despite the nostalgic wholesomeness of the concept, some of the kinks remain unsolved. Cookie dough is rich, much more so than ice cream, and anything more than a few spoonfuls leaves one feeling slow and lethargic. Batter offers one to three scoops (priced $4.25, $8.00, and $11.50, respectively) and, trust us, one is plenty. In fact, while waiting in line, our server dissuaded a woman ahead of us from getting two scoops. “Try one, and if you still want more, come back and I’ll give it to you,” he offered. She did not come back.
Batter has all the flavors of dough you’d expect—chocolate chip, sugar, oatmeal, peanut butter—along with a few more unique and seasonal options. Once you order your dough, you can opt to top it off with chocolate chips, sprinkles, oreos, or other sauces and toppings for 50 cents each. We ordered two single scoop cups: salted caramel dough topped with white chocolate chips and caramel sauce, and s’mores dough topped with chocolate sauce and Reese’s Pieces.
What’s weird about this cookie dough is how much your brain is wired to think it’s served cold. Since the cup looks like ice cream, subconsciously you’re prepared for a possible brain freeze. Upon first bite, however, it tastes like what you’d expect from childhood: sweet, melt-in-your mouth creaminess, plus that bit of grainy texture that comprises all raw doughs. For a moment, it was magical, like licking the bowl as a kid. However, we quickly realized this fantasy was hollow. Something just felt off. That sweet flavor melted away into regret. One bite is wonderful. Two will leave you slow, yet satisfied. More than that is so rich it just got a tax break.
If you’re looking a capstone dessert for a date, Batter Cookie Dough Counter might have what you’re looking for. It’s fun, different, totally customizable, and trendy enough to impress your friends. Split a single scoop though. Neither of you will feel like death when you’re finished, and if you can agree on a concoction, that’s a good sign for things to come. Abes has brought a good concept to Atlanta. It’s just too much of a good thing.