Here’s what happened when we baked cookies in a car while it was 108 degrees outside

When the scorching summer rolls around, many Texans like to joke that they could cook food in the heat. 

Well, on Monday, we actually did that. 

Forecasters predicted temperatures to rise to at least 107 degrees at the start of the work week. Monday’s high actually reached 110 degrees around rush hour, marking the hottest July day ever recorded in Austin. So, naturally, it seemed like a great day to bake some chocolate chip cookies in a car. 

Before the cookies even reached the “oven,” I had to research how to safely bake cookies in a car. A YouTube video by Howcast details how to go about the process and suggests using an eggless dough recipe to avoid any food issues that may come from cooking eggs at a low temperature. Another requirement: Make sure the temperature outside is at least 95 degrees.

Every pre-made cookie dough I looked at in the aisle of H-E-B contained eggs, so I went to Whole Foods and found a vegan dough by the brand Capello’s. This one came rolled up so you could make and shape as many cookies as you want.

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Once the dough was cut up, I placed each cookie on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and placed the pan on top of a towel on the dashboard of my car around 1 p.m. I parked it in a very sunny spot that would receive direct sun and no shade from nearby trees throughout the course of the experiment. I also brought a meat thermometer to hopefully gauge the temperature of the car and later test the cookies. The temperature had already reached 100 degrees when we put the cookies in the car. 

After just an hour, the cookies looked like they were nearly done. But to be safe, they remained in the car until the next check-in. 

At around 3:45 p.m., the cookies looked ready to go. 

So how did they taste? Admittedly, vegan, gluten-free, grain-free cookies won’t pack quite the same punch as traditional chocolate chip cookies. But they were crispy on the outside and just a little bit chewy on the inside. The cookie dough wrapper even says you can eat the dough raw, so I wasn’t too worried about a tiny gooey texture. 

Is this the most convenient way to bake cookies? Definitely not. But if it’s gonna be that hot outside, why not use the heat to an advantage? 

Watch the end result, streamed on Facebook Live:

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