That sounds gross, right? Like being car sick?
It’s not, I promise!
Have you ever gotten into your car on a really hot day and thought to yourself, “it’s like an oven in here!” It basically is!
This week has been incredibly hot, and yesterday (Friday) it was up to about 100F in my area. The day before, I had seen several tweets from @snarkyvegan, depicting how she made cookies in her car that day. I thought that seemed pretty awesome, so I thought I would try. My results were not quite the same as hers, but that may be a difference in temperature or the recipe- I’m not sure which.
You can use any vegan cookie recipe to bake cookies in your car when it is hotter than 95F outside. Omnivores, if you’re reading this- it HAS to be a vegan cookie recipe. It will not get hot enough in the car to kill bacteria from salmonella, or other delightful little creatures, so do not use eggs. Dairy is not really a good idea, either, due to bacteria concerns.
I used the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I think that the problem I had is that this recipe uses oil, not margarine for the fat. The cookies were a bit oiler than usual. It worked, but you might get better results with a different recipe.
So here’s what I did! Of course, this was a work day, but I didn’t let that stop me!
Here they are, on my dashboard, just before 9AM. I flattened the dough out with my hands. Make sure to put something under your tray!
And again, at 11AM. I didn’t see much change. I was in a meeting until almost 1PM after this, so I didn’t see them again for a while.
I checked on them around 1PM, and they were starting to get hard, though they looked much like they had 2 hours earlier. At 2PM, I pulled one out! It tasted slightly underdone.
I left the cookies in the car for the rest of the day. At 4:30PM I left, and brought the cookies inside. Once they cooled, they firmed up. Notice how white they are?
I had some zucchini on hand, so I thought I’d try making that in the car, too! Here is is, being wrapped in foil, with some seasoning sprinkled on. You might have noticed the package on the dash next to the cookie tray in the above pictures.
So what did I learn?
- The temperature does make a difference. At 9AM, it was still only about 87F outside. By noon, it was 99F. That’s when they actually started to harden.
- Co-workers will find this experiment very amusing. Mine did anyway- your mileage may vary.
- I know why the cookies didn’t brown. Do you? Scroll to the bottom of the post to find out!
- I would consider this more of a science experiment than a way to seriously bake cookies. On the other hand, if I were doing this at home and started later in the day, my results may have been more like Snarky Vegan’s.
- They develop a really delicate flaky layer on top, like a pastry! This may have been a result of the oily recipe.
- Anything metal will get really hot. I brought a potholder with me- and I was glad that I did.
- I would definitely do the zucchini again, but I’d do a lot less. That was way too much to eat at lunch!
- A lot of water will precipitate out of the zucchini. Make sure you have something underneath both in the car and when you take it out!
- This would probably be really fun to do with kids. Just make sure you’re using a vegan recipe to reduce bacteria risk!
This was also really fun to share in real time with my Twitter and Facebook followers. It seemed like a lot of my friends were really interested in how this turned out! I work in a fairly laid-back setting, and it was a Friday, so there wasn’t a big issue with me doing this at work. Plus, my office is very close to the parking lot, making it easy to go and check periodically. It being a Friday didn’t hurt, either. I know that many of you may not be so fortunate at your jobs to be able to do this while you’re working, but if you get the opportunity on the weekend, try it out! I think it’s also an awesome way to cook veggies!
Answer: The cookies didn’t brown because the car does not get hot enough to caramelize the sugar. See, you learned something!