It has been a hot summer; one of the hottest in history, in fact, with Atlanta reaching 106, the highest that’s ever been recorded. This forces us to both stay cool and stay indoors. We would love some treats though, but we don’t exactly want to turn on a hot oven inside, helping bake us along with whatever dish we’re cooking.
So, naturally, we have to cook outside… where it’s hot, and we don’t want to be.
There had been stories out there of people baking cookies in their car; the relatively low heat compared to an oven is balanced out by the extended period of time they’re in there. It’s a natural heat, one that doesn’t rack up the gas bill, and since you leave the car outside, it doesn’t heat up the house.
It was decided that biscuits would be an interesting diversion from cookies as well, and with cookies being called “biscuits” in other countries, a fun pun. We wanted to try out a silicone baking mat; compare that to the regular baking surface and see if there’s any difference than just cooking straight on a perforated sheet pan. With a quick run to the store for Hershey’s Mini Kisses (12 Big Deluxe Cookies in a Special Edition, which is just surprising that food can have a “Special Edition”) and Grands! Jr. Golden Layers Butter Tastin’ (10 Flaky Biscuits), we were ready… a week ago. We wanted to make sure we had a thermometer on hand, and that it was a hot enough day.
Our records for the event (we kept a thermometer in a cookie)
- 10:10 AM, 88°F in car (placing the cookies in the car)
- 10:20 AM, 75°F in cookie
- 11:05 AM, 130°F in cookie
- 12:00 PM, 131°F in cookie
- 12:30 PM, 145°F in cookie
- 1:00 PM, 156°F in cookie
- 2:00 PM, 126°F in cookie (overcast; at this point, clouds covered the sky)
- 3:00 PM, 120°F in cookie (still overcast)
- 4:00 PM, 101°F in cookie (still overcast)
At 4:00 PM, we brought the plates in, and placed them on a tray… or at least, we tried to. The items on the silicone mat came off quickly, but the items placed directly on the tray took a little more coercion; since it’s perforated, they had to be lifted out of the perforations. From having worked in bakeries, it’s a good idea to place SOME sort of protection between the tray (either paper or the aforementioned silicone mat), but for experiment’s sake, we wanted to compare the silicone mat versus direct metal.
The general response to the cookies and biscuits was that they’d be great… if nature didn’t change it’s mind. At the height of the day, 1PM, the cookies had hit 156 degrees; only a few degrees off from the minimum required internal temperature for food service. Around this point, the sky went overcast… and the temperature proceeded to drop drastically. By the end of the working day, the cooking sheet was pulled out; cookies were nice and soft, but easily fell apart. The biscuits were solid on the outside and easy to handle, but doughy in the center. Still, with a little bit of butter or jelly, they’d be no real problem… after another minute in a toaster.
While we can’t officially advocate eating raw dough, we’ve all eaten raw cookie dought at some point in our lives, and this day was no exception. I did make sure to make people verbally agree not to be angry if they got sick from them, though.
The silicon pad worked wonders! Nothing stuck to it… which includes gravity, as due to the slight incline of the dashboard and parking lot, the cookies began to streak down the top. The cookies that weren’t on the dash, but straight on the preferoated cookie sheet, decided to drip down… leaving residue on my dash.
If anything? my car smells AMAZING now.
Check out our images of the event, including the time-lapse of the cookies and biscuits cooking over the course of the day, in the gallery below.