Dashboard Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am having so much fun with my Baking Outside the Kitchen series! It gets my mind working, trying to think of the next treat I can bake outdoors, striving with each recipe to be more creative. I’m very excited, and even a little bit giddy, to share my third installment with you.

Chocolate Chip Cookies, baked on the dashboard of your car on a hot summer day.

I’ve seen this concept in a few places over the years and always wondered if it really worked. Last Sunday, when the temperature outside was near 100 degrees, I decided to find out.

I put an oven thermometer on the dash of my car and couldn’t believe how hot it got inside. I have a black car and I parked it in full sun. After only about thirty minutes it was almost 200 degrees inside.

Hot car

Next I prepared my cookie dough. I kept the mounds of dough on the small side and chilled them in the fridge some before taking them out to my car. Starting with cold dough keeps the cookies from spreading too much as they bake.

Cookie dough, ready for the dashboard

I placed the cookie sheet directly on my dashboard, propping them up with a towel to make sure they stayed in place. Then I closed the car door and waited. Cookies typically bake in a 375 degree oven and since it was much cooler than that in my car, I knew they would be baking much more slowly.

I checked on them about every 20 minutes. You can see that the sun dipped behind a tree, so about halfway through I moved my car so that it stayed in the sun.

Cookies baking

After an hour and a half I declared the cookies done. Without a hot oven, they didn’t turn that beautiful caramel color which typically indicates a properly baked cookie, but a few pokes established that they were firm and fully baked.

It worked!

Baked chocolate chip cookies

Of course, an hour and a half is a long time to wait for a batch of cookies. But here are a few reasons why you should try it yourself this summer:

1. While softer, and without the signature golden color, these cookies are just as delicious as ones baked in a traditional oven.

2. You can keep your kitchen cool by taking all of the hot baking outside.

3. Your car will have a lingering smell of chocolate chip cookies for days.

4. It’s fun!

Dashboard Chocolate Chip Cookies

Also from my Baking Outside the Kitchen Series:
Bread on a Stick
Easy Dutch Oven Cobbler

Dashboard Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approximately one and half dozen cookies
Print this recipe

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Park your car in full sun on a very hot day and place an oven thermometer on the dashboard. The temperature in your car should reach at least 150 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together on medium high speed until light and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix on low until just combined. Add the chocolate chips.

Roll into rounded tablespoons and place on prepared baking sheet. Chill for thirty minutes.

Place baking sheet inside your car on the dashboard, using towels or hot pads to prop it up and hold it in place. Close the car door and try to keep all doors closed as much as possible. Check on cookies every twenty minutes, when they look done, use your finger to test for doneness. Cookies should be firm on the edges and mostly firm in the middle.

Cool on a wire rack.

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26 Responses to Baking Outside the Kitchen: Dashboard Chocolate Chip Cookies

  1. What's Cookin Stacey?? says:

    I did dried apples in our car the other day. Scary how hot cars get!

  2. Holly says:

    That is awesome!!! my kids were pretty amazed by this:)

  3. Danielle says:

    This is soooo cool!!!

  4. NicoleD says:

    I saw the shot you shared on Instagram and I wasn't sure if you were serious! I would do this for the cookie smell in my car alone. Great idea!

  5. Pretty. Good. Food. says:

    This cracks me up, but I'm totally into it! Super fun idea 🙂

  6. kankana says:

    This is pretty amazing you know :)we can save so much energy right ?! 🙂

  7. A. Verzello says:

    You are so awesome. I was skeptical after seeing your Instagram, but your enthusiasm for the method has pushed me over the edge. I'm trying this.

  8. Sarah@AlpinePoppy says:

    I love this idea and I have always wondered…. Thanks for doing the work for me, I will definitely be doing this with my kids 🙂

  9. Cooking Creation says:

    Haha! This is awesome! I'm so trying this! 🙂

  10. We Are Not Martha says:

    How awesome!! I never even thought to do this, but why not, right?? And I can't even imagine how amazing your car smelled after this!


  11. Let's Eat It All Up says:

    This sounds like so much fun. It gets really hot out here, I'm excited to try this! What a great idea!

  12. The Hedges says:

    This would be great for dessert while camping! I always miss my oven in the great outdoors, but my car's there.

  13. Paula @ Dishing the Divine says:

    I love it!!! Such a fun idea! I don't think it's that hot here lately, but I'm sure the temps will ramp up soon!!!!

  14. averagebetty says:

    Now that's a new car smell I could get in to 😉

  15. Digital Printing says:

    A double dose of chocolate! My grandmother used to make these and what a favorite they are.You can add macadamia nuts or any other nuts for that!

  16. Di says:

    And THIS, my friends, is why you do not leave your dogs in the car on a hot summer day.. even with the windows cracked! 🙂 And also I love this – Best air freshener ever. 😉

  17. Maria says:

    I guess the only bonus about the hot days:) The cookies look great!

  18. megcjones says:

    haha i just love this. brilliant!

  19. Irene says:

    Hey there,

    new reader and I totally love this idea (and really like your blog). Doubt it will ever be hot enough here to try it (living in Germany), but if it does or if I am ever at a place where it is hot enough I will try it. Bet my kids would love the idea.

  20. janetha @ meals & moves says:

    That is amazing! I can't believe it's possible.. how cool!

  21. janetha @ meals & moves says:

    That is amazing! I can't believe it's possible.. how cool!

  22. janetha @ meals & moves says:

    That is amazing! I can't believe it's possible.. how cool!

  23. janetha @ meals & moves says:

    That is amazing! I can't believe it's possible.. how cool!

  24. Kelsey says:

    You are so cool. Period.

  25. Chelsea says:

    Pretty brilliant!

  26. Carrie says:

    This is too cool!

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