Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Fun Day 44 - Can We Bake Cookies in the Car?

During the recent heat wave sweeping the west, we saw a number of images of folks baking cookies on the dashboards of their cars.

The idea was usually to point out the dangers of leaving children, or pets inside parked vehicles on a hot day. Clearly, if it's hot enough to bake cookies, it's too hot for Fido.

I remembered our solar oven cookie failure however, noticed the lack of a final "baked cookie" shot in most of the stories, and wondered if people weren't exaggerating their success just a little, to make their point.

Naturally we had to give it a try ourselves.  The children prepared a few mini-cookies (about 1/2'' balls of dough) - we used frozen, fund-raiser cookie dough, not wanting to waste the real deal if it didn't work - on a baking sprayed, foil covered, cake pan lid.

Then, they popped a glass cake pan on, upside down, over the top...

...and placed the pan on the dashboard of their father's truck (the minivan gets parked in the shade).

At 91 degrees outside, the temperature in the truck was reading about 175 degrees Fahrenheit - too hot for people and pets, but maybe not quite hot enough for cookies.

After an hour, the cookies were showing some signs of baking...

...but after four hours, with the sun getting ready to slip behind the mountains, they were still too doughy to eat... it was into the oven and back to the drawing board.

Most folks seemed to be placing their cookies on open cookie sheets, right onto their dashboards.  It's possible our cake pan cover slowed the baking.  And, we didn't start things going until about three in the afternoon, next time we might try to get an earlier run at it, in order to catch the full intensity of the afternoon heat.

If it stays hot enough, we hope to get in some further experiments.

If nothing else, the look on the Man of the House's face, when I told him we'd have to take the van to the store, because we had cookies baking in his truck - is worth seeing again.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Ticia said...

I've heard........ You have to start earlier in the day to get the desired results.

I want to try it sometime and then try it again another day with the windows cracked to see if that actually makes a difference in temperature, my husband swears it doesn't, and I swear it does.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Hmm... We might try it out during the next heat wave. 175 degrees inside - EEK!

Phyllis said...

Too bad you didn't get a picture of his face when you told him that. Interesting experiment for sure.

Christy Killoran said...

Sounds like a fun experiment. I too wish you had a picture of your husband's face!