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Car-Baked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Car-Baked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

It is scorching hot here and to put that heat to good use (i.e. to give me a reason to go outside and leave the air conditioning), I decided to bake up another batch of cookies, using my car as a oven. Baking cookies in a car is very easy and has the added benefit that you don’t heat up your house at all, but still get to eat freshly-baked cookies. I’ve posted some tips on how to bake cookies in the car before, but the most important things you need to know are:

  • It should be about 100F outside and the car must be in direct sunlight
  • Put a potholder or something under the baking sheet so you don’t damage your dash
  • Cut cookies into an even thickness so they cook at the same time
  • And, ideally, use an oven thermometer to make sure that your car gets up to about 180F (which it will as long as the windows are up and it’s 100F or more outside)
  • I like to use slice-and-bake cookies to ensure I get an even thickness, and this batch was Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, instead of the regular chocolate chip I’ve used in the past. The cookies baked up very well in the 180F+ car “oven” and even retained a hint of chewiness. If you don’t use a car, these can be baked in an oven, too. Mini chocolate chips make slicing the log of dough easier, but I actually used a mixture of regular-sized white and semisweet chocolate chips for these. They took a while to bake through, but since my car smelled like cinnamon when they were done, it was well worth it.

    Car-Baked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, wide angle

    Car-Baked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
    1 cup all purpose flour
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 large egg
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
    2/3 cup chocolate chips, mini, semisweet and/or white

    In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
    In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla, followed by flour mixture. Once the flour has been incorporated, stir in oatmeal and chocolate chips.
    Place dough on a large sheet of wax paper and roll into a log approximately 11-inches long by 2.5-inches wide. Freeze for 2-3 hours, or overnight.
    When ready to bake, park your car in the sun on a 100F+ day. Slice cookies slices no more than 1/4-inch slices and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Place baking sheet on car dashboard (with protective towel underneath) and bake for 2 1/2-3 hours, until done.
    If you have a big dashboard (or a friend with another car), you can do two batches at once, otherwise you can save half of the dough for another day.
    Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

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    22 Comments
    • Paula
      July 19, 2009

      Can’t wait until summer to try these!

    • CaSaundra
      July 19, 2009

      I have never heard of baking cookies in the car!! Too bad the temps won’t cooperate here in MN. Cool idea though =)

    • JoVonn
      July 19, 2009

      Wow! I’ve never seen anyone do this before.

    • Sarah
      July 19, 2009

      never done this before…when i was a kid my dad would cook hot dogs on the engine while we were taking long car trips! wrap them in tin foil, stick them on the engine and in about an hour they’re cooked! this is probably safer.

    • Baking and Mistaking
      July 19, 2009

      That’s pretty crazy! Seems like a lot of work to avoid heating up your kitchen! Also a good way to get rid of that new car smell quickly.

      Pretty bizarre, but cute!

    • Hahaha I’ve alwayss wanted to try this!! Its a great way!

    • Krystle
      July 20, 2009

      Wow! I have never heard of baking in a car but how clever. I live in Houston and its so freaking hot here everyday, what a clever new way to take on the heat!

    • CookiePie
      July 20, 2009

      Wow – now THAT’s something different!

    • Elisa
      July 20, 2009

      Oh yeah – that reminds me! Last Friday I was listening to the radio here in San Diego and the DJ mentioned a news story about baking cookies in the car. I was too freaking excited when I heard, “Nicole, of the Baking Bites blog, says that the cookies come out chewy and her car smells like cookies…”
      Oh yes, they were talking about your blog on San Diego’s airwaves 😉

    • veggievixen
      July 20, 2009

      that’s ridiculously cool. cooking on the fly, right?

      i’m sure it’s sweltering in the car with the windows up though! i don’t know if i could endure no a/c in 100 degree weather. still a neat idea.

    • Chris
      July 20, 2009

      My kids would love to try this but in WI we don’t get the heat.

    • Nicole
      July 20, 2009

      Elisa – Wow, thanks for letting me know!!

    • Emmy
      July 21, 2009

      Man this is so cool, I totally want to try!

    • Alex
      July 26, 2009

      that’s the way – greetings from Australia:)

    • Joy
      July 29, 2009

      Temps reached 105 in Portland,OR today and this was a great treat after dealing with that oppressive heat all day. Thanks!

    • Aluminium bi fold doors
      August 1, 2009

      It is really an intellectual treat to read your views on the blog. Keep sharing.

    • Kimberly
      August 6, 2009

      I’m reading the entertainment insert in the Arizona Daily Star newspaper today (8/6/09) and there on pages 24 and 25 is a 2-page spread entitled, “When it’s scorching outside bake cookies in a car”. The introduction mentions a recipe for car-baked cookies featured on the NY Times’ “Wheels” blog a couple weeks ago and that, “The Times got its inspiration from the food blog BakingBites.com, which claims that cars can double as ovens as long as it’s at least 100 degrees outside.” I have been a regular Baking Sheet/Baking Bites reader for several years and was excited to see your blog mentioned in print. How cool!

    • Guitare SX
      April 29, 2010

      Cant wait for mine to finish in the oven!!!!

    • mjskit
      July 23, 2011

      Anyone who cooks cookies in a hot car is definitely a cookie monster! How inventive!

    • Pastry Diva
      July 17, 2012

      Seriously, I can not believe that someone would actually think that this is more work than using your oven.. and I really do not think that the cookies were intended to be baked while YOU are in the car… that would be nice.. cookie sheets sliding all over while you are driving…get serious …now,, I have tried this.. and they turned out scrumptious.. moist and chewy. As far as losing the “new car smell”.. I would rather smell fresh baked cookies than a factory smell when I am in my car.. but to each his or her own.

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