There's Comic Con, and then there's Cookie Con. Hundreds of hungry cookie monsters ate their way into food comas during the third annual LA Cookie Con and Sweets Show that took place on Saturday and Sunday.
The West Coast's largest baking and pastry convention was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. From live demos and celebrity chef meet-and-greets to a sea of sweet samples and the latest in baking technology, the two-day event didn't seem to disappoint dessert lovers. Here are a few of the weekend's mouth-watering moments. Warning: hunger may occur.
Take everything your mother told you about the dangers of eating raw cookie dough and throw it out the window because Unbaked is your dough dreams.
Started by a former NFL Network sports journalist, Unbaked offers half-pint containers of 100 percent safe-to-eat customizable cookie dough. With a dozen varieties, including Brown Sugar, Cake Batter, Nutella and Snickerdoodle, plus toppings, it's love at first spoonful! If you're looking to take your cookie game to the next level, you can opt for one of Unbaked's Cookie Dough Sandwiches.
What began as a culinary arts school project has turned into a business venture for Stuffed founder Jennifer Malouf. Now over two years later, her cookies have sweet teeth wanting seconds.
"[The cookies] are all the same dough so I can just mix in whatever I want with them and get as crazy as possible," Malouf said.
She said the Recess is both her favorite cookie and an LA Cookie Con bestseller. The vanilla brown cookie is stuffed with peanut butter and topped with Lay's potato chips, pretzels, chocolate chips and sea salt.
"You can't really go wrong with cookies," Malouf said. "I love sweet and salty so any time I incorporate salty in there, it always works for me."
3. The Dirty Cookie
When two become one, something beautiful happens. We're not talking about the birds and the bees. We're talking about a milk and cookie experience unlike any other thanks to the masterminds behind The Dirty Cookie.
Customers select from a range of cookies shaped like shot glasses: chocolate chip, red velvet, cookies 'n cream, matcha green tea and churro. The cookies are then filled with a choice of whole milk, vanilla almond milk, coconut cold brew, vanilla cream, chocolate cream or toasted marshmallow. In this case, the hangover is well-worth it.
4. The Fookie
Hollywood is known for its name mash-ups of celebrity couples, and the dessert world has adopted the trend. Following in the footsteps of the cakepop, cronut and cruffin, the fookie is the latest dessert hybrid to tackle our taste buds.
The half fudge-half cookie creation is well on its way to becoming the "Kimye" among baking enthusiasts. What the fook?
Cake decorating has gone digital with 3D food printers. Inkedibles has reengineered ink jets to print directly to food.
The company, founded by USC alum Dimitris Constantinou, supplies bakeries and baking enthusiasts with equipment and supplies to digitally decorate everything from cakes, cookies and pizzas.
Constantinou also received his medical degree from USC, but he missed the creativity and entrepreneurial aspect of running his own business.
"It's why I left the medical profession," Constantinou said. "Because of the innovation, customer satisfaction and social, viral nature of people being excited and interested in what we do."
He intends to add custom-printed cookie, marshmallow or chocolate business cards to Inkedibles.
"Think about trade shows where everybody's giving out logos on their pens," Constantinou said. "It's kind of boring and everybody's done that. [With] custom-printed edibles, I think, the sky's the limit."
6. Rosie's Bus
One of this year's stand-out vendors blended deliciousness and diversity.
Rosie's Bus aims to shatter the derogatory symbol of the "short bus" through the form of a food truck, which happens to be a repurposed ADA accessible school bus. As part of the larger Rosie's Foundation based out of Culver City, Rosie's Bus offers frozen yogurt sandwiches and popsicles along with employment opportunities for people with disabilities, including adults with autism. Talk about a sweet gesture!
Reach reporter Betsy Carter here.