Dashboard Cookies

{When the summer days get crazy hot, why not harness
the sun’s power and make cookies…in your car!
+ Read on for TIPS on dashboard-baking perfection!}

Dashboard cookies - baking cookies in a car www.crumbsandtales.com + tips

It’s inevitable. No sooner does the mercury start rising, do reporters and other curious folk venture outdoors to demonstrate that it’s hotter than a hen in a wool basket by frying eggs on side walks, crisping up bacon on metal park benches and even baking up pizza pies on asphalt. (Yes, that actually happened.)

And of course there are legions of people with raging sweet tooths who are baking up cookies on the dashboard of their cars…yes, their cars. I reckon someone came up with this rockin’ concept of harnessing the sun’s power, in a completely serendipitous way; just stumbled upon it one day when they weren’t paying attention and left their, erm, baking tray in the car while they were getting something from the trunk…?

Whomever is credited with this concept, yesterday, a socially conscious and awesome, Toronto Detective named Jeff Bangild of the Toronto Police Service, decided — in a plight to generate much needed awareness about the dangers of leaving pets or *gasp* kids in cars during the summer time (and, I imagine, to satisfy a yen for delicious baked cookies — donuts, move aside) — to bake up cookies in his car while he went about his day. Taking inspiration from Toronto’s finest, I’ve decided that I’d follow suit and bake up a batch today and hopefully, in turn, cajole all of you lovely readers into baking up a batch too! I imagine this is how MacGyver baked cookies and, well, I’m all for MacGyver-izing any food.

And so, I set off again today on another culinary misadventure adventure. Try it at home; this will completely give you rock-star status with your kids.

Make these. Now. If for no other reason than to leave your car smelling like the best bakery there ever was (actually THIS is the best bakery there ever was – www.facebook.com/frostcupcake – but whatever;) You’ll never need another air freshener for your car again!

You can even bring a hunk of cookie dough in a portable refrigerator or cooler on a camping or cottaging trip and bake these up in your car whilst you swim or hike or do whatever it is you like to do in warm weather. You’ll get freshly baked cookies and you won’t have to slave over a hot stove indoors while the family is enjoying the great outdoors.

When you’re serving this up to neighbours (and they WILL come ’round to hover by your car and wait for the cookies) you’re required by social law and civil courtesy ūüėČ to follow this moral imperative and remind them to never leave their pet or child in the car…even on a pleasantly warm day…even for a minute. And, remember, if¬†you see an animal or a child in a car on a hot day, always call the police. That caveat aside, you’re free to enjoy these cookies any way you choose.

Scroll down for my tested recipe and TIPS for making these Dashboard Cookies aaaamazing! Seriously, let’s make some productive use out of this stifling hot weather already.¬†

dashboard cookie - baking tips

Wouldn’t these dainty little cookies look awesome juxtaposed in front of a massive textured/mesh masculine car grill? Oh well, I had to do with what I had. These were just begging to be staged in front of a car grill with car keys in the background. They are ‘car cookies’ after all! ūüėČ

baking cookies in a car - dashboard baking

How cute do these look all stacked and wrapped up like a little gift. Just because they’re ‘car cookies’ doesn’t exclude them from being adorable!¬†

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So how did I know it was dashboard cookie-making weather? Because the thermometer told me so! My car reading was 95¬įF and my standard outdoor thermometer reading was around 30¬įC. Phew. It was a scorcher.

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So, my make shift oven for the day was none other than my car. How resourceful is that? It’s such a ‘green’ concept this ‘solar-baking’ so you can feel a teeny tiny bit better about spewing harmful emissions from your car into the environment as you drive around all day long. (Don’t judge me, you drive a car too.)

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Heroic Banana Bread

Have a question, comment, or suggestion about this recipe?
Have a general comment to make about my blog?
Post your comment¬†in the box below the full recipe and I’ll be sure to reply!

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Why has this seemingly innocuous baked good been designated as¬†“heroic”, ¬†you wonder? Because it saved my life.¬†Well, it didn’t really, but it was the first thing I ate after a near-death experience, so it qualifies as a life-saving confection.¬†A few years ago, my family and I did what families ’round here do: we went vacationing in the neighbouring town of Guelph. We spent most of our vacation kayaking and barbequing and tossing about frisbees. On the final day of our visit, my uncle had found a local gorge nestled within a small patch of population in Guelph, which offered water-tubing. If you’ve never been water-tubing before, it’s a pseudo-sport in which you ride on top of an inner tube (or donut)¬†on water. (The variation of this is being towed in said donut through the water by a watercraft, but I opted for the more docile version thinking, at the time, that it was a safer bet.)

The gorge we were to ride through was a¬†deep narrow passage in the earth’s surface that was worn by running water and had steep rocky sides. The river that ran through it (hehe, I love 90’s movie references) was to carry us on choppy waters, down to our final destination (20th century movie references aren’t bad either).¬†So I found myself situated in a town within a town — a sub-town if you will — getting suited up to ride a tube down a narrow, choppy river, purely for recreation. We suited up and then were asked to sign a liability waiver that was unusually long.¬†¬†I scanned the four-page document, squinting to read the fine print with my litigious mind racing with questions and heavy with doubt. I glanced over at my father who was standing nearby watching everyone get suited up. He had that all too familiar look on his face. You know the look that says, “I’m not going to tell you what to do but you know what I think you should do.” ¬†Despite his forewarning, I signed my life away and happily selected the fateful water tube which I would almost die ride on.

We walked for about 15 minutes down a steep and winding foot path to get down to the gorge. The waters were¬†choppy and wild and I was elated at the thought of riding the ‘wave’ down the river. I settled into my tube and managed to pass over the first rough patch of water. As I continued on my journey, the water began to pick up speed and crash against the rocks. I carelessly bounced about in my water tube, enjoying the ride until I was abruptly jolted forward out of the¬†tube. We were passing over an¬†inclement bit of¬†water rushing over a bed of rocks and my leg must have caught on a rock. I was catapulted forward, hitting the side of my head on a rock. The water was circling rapidly and I found myself underwater, flailing my arms about trying to reach the water’s surface. Each time I managed to push my head about the water’s surface, I was sucked back down by a watery vortex of sorts. Every time I reached the surface, I caught a glimpse of one of the family friends who was riding next to me earlier. She was further down, past the choppy waters yelling, “Oh my God, are you okay?!” I heard her voice a number of times before finally being sucked back into the water. I remained calm until the moment I realized I wouldn’t be able to emerge from the water from that area. I allowed myself to sink down into the river and be carried with the water to safer, less choppy waters. I was panicked the entire time thinking about the impact my head made with the rock, wondering if my head was really injured, and terrified that I might pass out before I was able to pull myself out of the water. The water carried me further down and then I fought again to get to the surface. Frustratingly, the water was still choppy as I tried to pull myself up. Now bear in mind, this all occurred within a few panic-stricken seconds. It may be important to note here that moments before my close encounter with the other side, a fellow water-tuber was quickly ushered back up the long winding footpath ¬†because she had dislocated her elbow on a jagged rock as she descended down the river — a cautionary tale which I clearly paid no heed to.

Finally, I was pulled out of the water by a group of burly (and heroic) Korean teenagers who were walking along the bank. I was literally pulled by my limbs across the very same jagged rocks on which the lady, who dislocated her elbow, met her fate. As a result of their rescue attempt, I was left with my¬†back bloodied and my skin shredded from the middle of my back down to my waist. I was thankful (but rattled) and shook¬†it off. I did what any normal person would do in that situation (note that “normal person” is defined in my world as an intrepid, type A, risk-taking, foolhardy individual)…I continued on my water-tubing journey; partly because I was in no shape to make the trek back up that steep footpath, and partly in an attempt to heal my bruised ego. I walked along the bank down to where the waters were less choppy and continued along the rest of the water trail, desperately holding on to my water tube with each bump. I made it to the end of the river and managed to walk up along the bank as small amounts of blood continued to pool and settle along my waistline. I couldn’t make it up the hill with the rest of the group without wincing with every step so, my cousins and I hopped onto the rear fender of the pick-up truck of a generous soul who was passing by and offered to give us a ride to the top of the hill.

When we reached the top, I was shaken and a little worse for wear but I shook off the injury like it was nothing worth writing home about, and we headed back to the hotel room. In my wearied state, I managed to shower and slather on about two tubes of Polysporin.

Anyway, let me reel it back in to banana bread. After we left the hotel, we went in search of a Dairy Queen restaurant to pick up an ice cream cake in honour of me cheating death (actually, it was for my mum’s birthday, but whatever). On our way there, we stopped off at a coffee shop to get a hit of caffeine. We had been in the water for hours so, naturally, I was famished, and nothing quite whets the appetite like the prospect of death. There was a display case full of various baked treats and fancy sweet goodies but my eyes fell to a large loaf of banana bread. I asked for a slice along with my coffee. In hindsight, I should have chosen something poetic and decadent to match the poignant circumstances of my ordeal, but instead, I chose a comforting slice of good ol’ banana bread. From that day on,¬†banana bread has forever been connected, in my mind, with that harrowing life experience.

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