Chefs share 8 ways to make store-bought cookie dough taste homemade

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Cookies that you make from a mix can taste homemade. Shutterstock

  • Insider asked three chefs to share how to take store-bought cookie dough to a whole new level.
  • They said rolling the dough in spices or a fun garnish can elevate your cookies .
  • The chefs also recommended adding salty mix-ins like pretzels, chips, or nuts to your dough.
  • Topping your baked cookies with citrus zest or drizzling them with chocolate can make them seem extra fancy.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Not everyone has the time or skill to bake fresh, homemade cookies. Fortunately, using premade dough doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality or flavour.

To help you step up your baking game, Insider asked three chefs to share their tips on how to make store-bought cookie dough taste homemade.

Here’s how you can improve premade cookie dough or dough from a mix.


Add spice to your dough.

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Cinnamon or nutmeg can punch up the flavours of your cookies. Shutterstock

You can upgrade your cookie dough by adding spices to it, said Tracy Wilk, lead chef at the Institute of Culinary Education. This can lead to a warm, spicy cookie.

To do so, combine ground cinnamon, ginger, and sugar, and then roll your balls of cookie dough in the mix before baking.

If you’re feeling extra bold, you can even spice up your cookies with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper, suggested Jackie Newgent, chef, culinary nutritionist, cooking coach, and author of “The Clean and Simple Diabetes Cookbook.”


Punch up the flavour of your cookies by adding extracts.

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An extract can add flavour to your dough. Shutterstock

To add depth to your cookies, add a few drops of a pure flavour extract to your dough, Newgent said.

This is a simple way to personalise the cookies to your liking or give them a unique twist each time you bake them.

Some extracts to try include peppermint, lemon, vanilla, coffee, almond, or coconut.


Before baking, roll the dough in a garnish of your choice.

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To make your cookies look extra cute, try rolling them in sprinkles. Shutterstock

Another way to add flavour or texture to your cookies is by rolling the balls of dough in your garnish of choice, Jennifer Hill Booker, chef, cookbook author, and culinary educator, told Insider.

To start, you can try using chopped nuts, sanding sugar, miniature chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or sprinkles.


Stir nuts right into the dough for an added crunch.

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Nuts can give your cookies a salty twist. Shutterstock

For added texture, you can stir nuts into your cookie dough, Newgent said.

You can use common nuts like pecans, walnuts, or macadamia nuts, she said, but for a homemade feel, you may want to use ones that aren’t commonly found in store-bought cookies, like pistachios.

These will add colour, crunch, and wholesomeness to your baked cookies, she explained.


Add in your favourite savoury snacks, like chips or pretzels.

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Chips and pretzels can add a crunch and a salty flavour to your cookies. Shutterstock

Mix-ins are another great way to make it seem like you spent a ton of time on your “homemade” cookies. Plus it will give them a really unique flavour.

“Plop in a surprise ingredient that you love, like crushed pretzels, potato chips, roasted chickpeas, or popped popcorn,” Newgent told Insider.


Top your cookies with flaked sea salt.

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Sea salt can make your cookies seem extra elegant. Shutterstock

To create a well-rounded flavour, top your cookies with flaked sea salt before putting them in the oven, Newgent suggested.

“Salt helps to balance sweetness, providing a more well-rounded taste and bonus deliciousness,” she told Insider.


Dip your cookies in chocolate or drizzle it on top.

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A chocolate drizzle can add sweetness to your cookies. Shutterstock

After your cookies have finished baking, use chocolate to give them a high-end look and homemade flavour, Wilk said.

“Once the cookies are baked and cooled, dip them into chocolate or drizzle them with it,” she said. “This will give a finished and fancy look without a lot of extra work.”


Add citrus zest to your cookies to give them a fresh taste.

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You can use lemon, lime, or orange zest on top of your cookies. Shutterstock

If you really want to impress, create intrigue by using freshly grated citrus zest as a cookie topper, Newgent said.

“It will make the cookies seem extra special and kind of fancy,” she told Insider.

Try, for instance, adding orange zest on chocolate cookies or lemon zest on vanilla cookies, she suggested.

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