Cookie Monster Is Basically Eating Dog Treats

The cookies that Cookie Monster eats on 'Sesame Street' are real, and they're homemade.

I grew up watching Sesame Street, and one of Little Dennis' favorite things to watch was Cookie Monster housing a bunch of cookies. The chaotic muppet would chomp into them with reckless abandon, and they'd shatter into a million little bits and fly everywhere, a bit that I admit is still entertaining to watch to this very day.

Back then, I had the same questions that a lot of us former little ones probably did, like whether or not Cookie Monster actually ate those cookies, and if the cookies were even real. Thankfully, this illuminating feature from The New York Times tackles those very questions, and reveals just what those delicious-looking desserts are actually made of.

What are Cookie Monster’s cookies really made out of?

First off, the cookies aren't just a prop—they're made of actual food, though they probably wouldn't taste so good if you bit into one. They're handmade at the home of professional Sesame Street puppet wrangler Lara MacLean, who has worked on the show ever since she first came aboard as an intern in 1992.


The cookie recipe is not just designed to make the cookies look convincingly real on camera, but also to ensure that Cookie Monster looks as pristine and handsome as ever while he "eats" them. They're made of puffed rice, pancake mix, Grape-Nuts cereal, instant coffee, and water. And those chocolate chips? They're made from hot glue sticks, the only part of the cookie that isn't technically edible.

Notice that this cookie recipe skips over a few things you'd definitely want to include in a regular batch of cookie dough, like sugar or fat. That's because those ingredients would risk staining Cookie Monster or getting stuck in his fur, which would be a nightmare for any puppet stylist. MacLean likens the cookies to a dog treat.


Prior to MacLean taking over as Cookie Monster's personal chef, the Sesame Street crew had been using rice crackers and various configurations of foam to make the cookies, but the rice crackers were too crumbly and got stuck in Cookie Monster's fur. The foam, meanwhile, looked fake when Cookie's big bites cracked it open.

If you're wondering whether or not a human has ever sampled one of Cookie Monster's treats, comedian Adam Sandler has the distinction of having done so on camera. Once they stopped rolling, "He was like, 'Bleeeech,'" MacLean recounted to the Times. (He was instructed not to eat them, but given Cookie Monster's enthusiasm, who could resist?)

Does Cookie Monster actually eat the cookies?

Here's an interesting tidbit: Though the chunks of cookie end up basically everywhere except Cookie Monster's mouth, the Muppet is nevertheless capable of swallowing. There's a small gullet located inside his mouth that can absorb things like apples, bananas, and small hats. And according to the NYT, he's even capable of eating inanimate objects such as "small mailboxes." Is there anything Cookie Monster can't do?