How NOT to Bake Cookies in Your Car




Introduction: How NOT to Bake Cookies in Your Car

I have taught math for 30 plus years. I am one of the crazy ones who actually think math is fun....

Earlier this summer, we were experiencing record temperatures for multiple days in a row. After the bitter cold winter and the power going out for 4 days during sub-zero temperatures, I decided not to complain about the heat. Instead, I tried to celebrate it.

I say that I tried because it was a total failure 2 days in a row.

I decided to bake cookies in my car. All the websites promised me that if I left a tray of cookie dough on my dashboard, that I would end up with a great smelling car and cookies to much on during the drive home. It didn't work. The pans got plenty hot. I burnt my fingers picking them up. The cookies were not even close to baked.

I went back to the internet, did a whole bunch of research, and came to the conclusion that I just didn't start early enough. I just did not give them enough time.

The next day, I got the cookies ready by 8:30 in the morning. I did not check on them until 3:00 in the afternoon--and even then I was really quick so that I would not loose too much heat. They still were not done a 5:00.

To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I was frustrated, annoyed, and a bit hurt.

Step 1: Epiphany

It took 2 days of stewing it over to figure it out.

Look at the picture. Can you figure out what I did wrong?

I always bake cookies on a silicon mat. I have done this for so many years that I didn't really think much about it. It was just automatic.

Silicon is an insulator--and a pretty good one. Why else would they make hot pads and oven mits out of it?

I had to finish baking this in the oven. During an unbearable heat wave! It was awful.

Step 2: Wait for the Next Heat Wave

I missed the next heat wave--very busy.

But these were baked on an 80 degree day. Not even the 90+ temperatures that produce the epic failure. The neighbor kids were very willing to be my tasters. They loved them. They even took extras to show to their parents.

I recommend letting the sheet cool down before using a spatula to remove the cookies. These are a soft baked cookie and the cooling time helps a bit.

As for the egg issue. There were a number of people who were concerned about the eggs in the cookie dough. My research shows that the car temperature gets high enough to cook the egg--or else the cookie would remain a soft gooey blob of cookie dough. To be honest I have been eating raw cookie dough for 50 years. I have never gotten sick but I know there are people who worry.

If the egg issue bothers you there are some options.
1--use a recipe that has no eggs (a vegan recipe might work)
2--use an egg substitute (available commercially but I have never tried them)
3--make the cookies but feed them to someone else first. If they don't die, your cookies are probably safe.

I personally eat raw cookie dough (can't help some bad habits) and don't have an issue with being your taste tester.



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    8 Discussions

    I loved the idea I might try it next summer. In FL, it gets to 100+ in the summer sometimes! I could make cookies.

    1 reply

    I hope Irma didn't hit too hard. I have been watching the news. It looks terrible.

    Thank you SO much for sharing the entire project. I wonder if they've had any contests here specifically to show the process of problem solving like what you went through. What a terrific example of an "ah ha!" moment.

    "Fails" truly are one of the most important parts of invention. (Or, as in this case, recreating what others have successfully proven without knowing what detail you are missing.)

    Please continue making Instructables. This was not only educational, but entertaining.

    Oh, and there are recipes out there specifically for eating the dough raw, with no intention of actually baking any cookies. LOL There must be an awful lot of us. There is something about the texture, beyond the wonderful flavor. Perhaps it's because the sugar is not dissolved/melted? Soft and gooey with teensy crunches?

    1 reply

    I am glad you enjoyed the read. I will look up the raw dough recipes.

    PS If you've not seen it, I think you might get a grin from watching the show "The Great British Baking Show" as they show some interesting wins and fails, while not being cruel to the bakers.


    dUh! I do a lot of stuff by trial and error. Unfortunately, I have to give myself a backwards "swift-heel-kick" when the materials were sort of expensive!

    Best thing about learning that way is you never forget. Do have to pay great attention to ALL safety first rules.

    1 reply

    You are right. Learning by error means you remember it forever.

    raw cookie/cake dough is the best *drools*

    it's not a complete fail, at least you found what was wrong!