When it is hot outside – a very common occurance here in So. Cal in the summer – my car starts to feel like an oven if it is parked out in the sun. It never really occurred to me to try and capitalize on this heat, since my kitchen’s oven works so well and so reliably, but after hearing about a woman who regularly bakes big batches of chocolate chip cookies on the dash of her RAV4, I will admit that my curiosity was peaked.
Lately, I’ve been seeing even more news stories about bored reporters/locals/etc. who have been trying to replicate the experiment themselves with varying degress of success. Everyone starts with premade cookie dough (the kind sold in tubes) and uses some kind of baking sheet. The more successful bakers have oven thermometers in their cars, or at least keep an eye on the cookies without opening the door to let heat out. And even unsuccessful batches will leave a delicious smell in the car.
I’m still hoping to try and replicate the experiment myself, but I’m going to have to wait for it to get a little bit hotter outside. In the meantime, I’m formulating some dough theories that will (hopefully) help my car cookies turn out well when I do have a chance to bake them. If you want to try your hand at it before then, here are a few tips that I’ve compiled from the various articles I’ve read on the subject:
Rules for baking cookies in a car:
- Park the car so that the dashboard gets full sun for an extended period.
- Place something under the cookie sheet to prevent damage to your dash board.
- Put an oven thermometer in the window so that you can monitor the temperature.
- Check on the cookies periodically (they will definitely take longer than normal cookies) to prevent overcooking.
- It must be at least 95F outside, preferably warmer.
- Don’t plan on driving the car for a while.
Update: I tried this technique myself. Find out how it works step-by-step and what recipe I used!