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It's So Hot in Arizona People Are Literally Baking Cookies In Their Cars

Fellow bakers were both amazed and horrified.

Many people have experimented with cracking raw eggs onto sidewalks on scorchingly hot days just to see if they would cook. But a baker in Arizona just one-upped all of them by making a popular dessert with the heat of the sun and absolutely no oven.

A Phoenix resident successfully baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies inside their car this past week amid a record-breaking heat wave in the area. The searing temperatures have topped 110 F every day for the past couple of weeks, spurring excessive heat warnings from the National Weather Service, reported.

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The baker, who documented the cookie-making process on the r/baking Reddit page, said they were inspired to try baking cookies in a car because of the persistent scorching heat.

"I'm from the Northeast and only moved here last year. Growing up I remember people joking about baking cookies in their car if it went above a hundred degrees, and sometimes TV stations would try it only to come out as half-baked goop," said the baker, who goes by u/8andahalfby11 on Reddit but declined to share their name. "After two weeks of temperatures like this, I began wondering if I could try it myself and started looking into how to get fully-baked cookies. It turned out to be easier than I expected, so I made a plan and carried it out."

The baker set up a cookie sheet under the rear window inside a car and left balls of cookie dough there to bake. More than four hours later, they had fully baked—albeit slightly pale—chocolate chip cookies. A meat thermometer showed that the temperature inside the car was 122.5F at the start of the baking process, while the tray itself measured 164F at the end, the baker said.

"They tasted like cookies. I'm used to oven-made cookies being a bit softer in the middle, but these had pretty similar consistency throughout," they wrote.

Some Redditors were concerned about the baker's health and safety after consuming cookies baked in such a nontraditional way. But u/8andahalfby11 tried to mitigate any health risks by using a premade Pillsbury cookie dough that's designed to be eaten raw. They shared an update after the original post to let other Redditors know they weren't experiencing any strange symptoms from the cookies.

"12 hours later, still fine, no fever, no digestive weirdness," they wrote.

While some Redditors still weren't sold on the safety of the experiment, there's no denying that they were still intrigued. The post received more than 130 comments from other Redditors who were both amazed and horrified at the success of the experiment amid the wild weather.

"I'm amazed and feel your pain at the same time. This is really crazy," one user commented.

"As a fellow Phoenix resident… I love the science but I hate that this is even possible. The parking lot at my job has no shade at all so I know exactly what these cookies feel," another wrote.

The baker was "pleasantly surprised" to see that so many people were fascinated by the cookie experiment.

"I knew that my immediate social circle found it fascinating, and I was delighted that the r/baking thread generated so much conversation. I also appreciated the concern some people posted about my safety," u/8andahalfby11 said.

The baker also stressed that they are not a licensed food scientist and a "certain amount of risk went into these cookies." They reiterated that the cookie dough they used was meant to be eaten raw, so attempting this with cookie dough that isn't safe to eat when raw may put people at risk of getting sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends following the package directions when baking raw dough in order to prevent food poisoning.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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