I like campfires a lot. I mean a LOT! So when my daughter wanted to make cookies, I was all in!! Little did she know, we were going to twist it up and have some fun outside! You can cook basically anything on a campfire. I mean ANYTHING!!! Hold on a second because we are about to go All-Out-Girl-Scout! When I was in the scouts, I learned how to bake a cake in a cardboard box. Similarly, this instructable will show you how to perfectly bake delicious cookies right in your fire pit! No need to heat up your kitchen this summer, just throw them over your fire! These are super fun while camping and make a great outdoor boy/girl scout training activity. Lets get baking!
a fire pit
a rack that fits over your pit OR stones to build a tray support
fire materials (match/lighter, leaves, sticks, and wood)
Step 1: Assemble the Rack
This step will vary depending on what type of pit your dealing with and whether or not you have a fire rack. My fire pit is REALLY wide so I had to build stone supports for my cookie sheet. I did this by taking old patio blocks and leaning them together perpendicularly against the walls of my pit to make a space just big enough for my rack.
Most camp sites have a relatively low and not-as wide pit and often come with a fire rack. If so, you will not require this extra step. Also, if your cookie sheet itself fits over your pit, you're good to go!
Note that you do not need a rack over your pit. A rack is only necessary if your pit is too wide for your cookie sheet and you do not have the means to build a support structure inside the pit. Even though I COULD have placed a rack over my patio blocks, I didn't because the cookie sheet fit perfectly and it was unnecessary.
**See step 4 regarding lowering/raising the rack/cookie sheet as necessary**
Step 2: Build a Fire
The first step in a successful fire is having all your starter materials ready before you begin: Tinder, Kindling, and Fuelwood. I made 5 piles of supplies:
- Leaves and tiny twigs (Tinder)
- Small twigs (Kindling)
- Medium twigs (Kindling)
- Large twigs (fulewood)
- Wood (Fulewood)
Take a pile of leaves and light the underside. Once it starts going, add your smallest twigs. You want enough to catch flames, but not too many to smother the fire. Here I usually dump a bunch that are lightly packed and give the leaves a good blow with my mouth. The extra O2 helps the fire grow and catches the twigs.
Once some of the small twigs have lit, immediately start adding medium twigs in the shape of a teepee over the flames. Do not worry if only a little part of it has caught, you can build on it. Add more sticks and blow as necessary.
Once the medium sticks have caught, start adding larger sticks and wood in the same fashion. At this point you should have a steady flame and do not need to blow anymore.
You may need to reposition your base fire to the center of the pit, or reposition sticks to allow the adding of larger wood. Make sure to leave space between the sticks and wood for your fire to "breathe." If it doesn't get enough O2, it will go out!
Now, sit back, relax, and enjoy your fire for a bit!
Step 3: Prepare the "Oven"
Take an OLD cookie sheet and line it with foil. Make sure it's an old one, or one you don't mind getting a little messy. Fires will tend to junk up your nice new cookie sheet! Spray the sheet with cooking spray and place your can in the center.
Now you need cookie dough. I cooked my cookies in my backyard so I just followed the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag and made dough from scratch. After all, that's usually the kid-fun part of making cookies. If you want a little more convenience or are going camping, you might want to consider pre-made refrigerated dough. I would not recommend using frozen dough unless you thaw it beforehand. Either dough will work so it's totally up to you.
Drop your cookie dough on the sheet making sure to leave room between the cookies, and around the can. Using 2 large sheets of foil, cover the top of the cookies and seal the sides. The can in the center will make a tent-like shape. This will allow air to properly circulate and cook your cookies just like a regular oven!
Step 4: Bake the Cookies
A burnt-out and flame-less fire is usually the worst part of making one because it means all the fun is over. However, that's where our fun begins! We want to cook with only super hot coals, not a pretty and flame-filled fire. Flames will unevenly heat the bottom of the pan and cause the cookie bottoms to burn. And well, nobody likes a burnt cookie!
When the fire is mostly flameless, evenly distribute the hot, glowing coals. Place your mini cookie oven on your rack or support system and let them bake for about 8 minutes. Remove the "oven" using pot holders and check for doneness. At this point assess your cookie situation and determine how much longer the cookies should cook (if at all), or if you need to raise/lower your cookie oven. You need to make a judgement call here because you really don't want to keep removing the oven and letting all the heat escape by continuously checking the cookies. My cookies were REALLY underdone at the 8 minute mark (picture above) so I cooked them for another 10 minutes. After checking a second time when the 10 minutes were up, I again found rather under-cooked cookies. I quickly substituted smaller patio blocks to lower my oven closer to the heat source to help the cookies really get coking. I also rotated the cookie sheet because one side was getting a lot more heat than the other.
If your cookies are browning on the bottom too quickly, you may need to raise you cookie sheet. Refer to the 1st step and rebuild/raise the rack with stones/blocks. You can also remove some coals to lower the heat level.
My cookies baked for about 28 minutes total, but it could have been a lot less if I had lowered the sheet at the 8 minute check in (live and learn I guess!) Total baking time will vary based on how many coals you have, how close the oven is to the coals, and what type of cookie your cooking.
Step 5: Cool and Enjoy
Like any cookie, you want to let it cool for a bit before removing them from the cookie sheet. I simply slid the foil off the cookie sheet heat and allowed them to completely cool right on the foil. Note how beautiful the bottoms of the cookies came out! If I had flames while cooking, they sure wouldn't look that nice!!
Once cool, ENJOY your cookies!! I sure did!! Surprisingly, even though I had a small amount of smoke throughout my entire baking process (which is normal), the cookies didn't taste like camp fire at all! They looked perfect and tasted perfect! I call that success! I had so much fun making these cookies, I can't wait to make them again!