You’ve no doubt heard that it’s “hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk.” But who’d want to eat an egg peeled from the dirty pavement—fried or not—when you can bake cookies in the relative sterility of your car?
Nicki Swiderski, a clinical instructor and lecturer in Bellarmine’s nursing department, received an eHow e-mail with a tip about a fun activity for adults to do with their children or grandchildren. “Since yesterday was the hottest day of the year, I thought it would be a good day, and thought, ‘If this works, I’ll do this with my grandchildren.’” Swiderski bought some prepackaged cookie dough and decided to give it a whirl. She parked her Lincoln Continental out in the sun, set the dough out on the kind of reflective screen typically used to keep the heat out of cars and gave it an hour as the heat index outside ultimately climbed to 108°.
Alas, the cookies—chocolate chip and snickerdoodle—did not turn out as expected at first. Swiderski gave the still-soft snacks another hour, after which, she says, “they did flatten and kind of firm up. When you take cookies out of the oven, they’re still soft, so they firmed up a bit. They did flatten and look nice but they didn’t do it all the way. It still had a tacky consistency.” (For the record, the snickerdoodles fared better than the chocolate chip variety.)
Swiderski—who is an RN and MSN—is eager for another similarly hot day, if only to try it again, perhaps with a flat slice-and-bake cookie recipe. Also, she estimates that the oven itself was to blame for the not-quite-perfect results. “Maybe I have the wrong car. If I had a smaller car with a darker interior…” she muses. Still, with internal temperatures climbing as high as 150°, she notes that her experiment is proof that “if it’s hot enough to make cookies, it’s too hot to leave your child or dog inside.”
And yes, she did taste her handiwork. “I sampled a cookie and I didn’t get ill later.”
Photos: Courtesy Bellarmine University