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Extreme heat bakes cookies in van

arizona desert city national weather service chocolate chip cookie dough windshield

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#1 Hum

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 14:50

Frying an egg on the asphalt? That’s so last heat wave.

As triple-digit, oven-like temperatures hit Phoenix this weekend, forecasters with the National Weather Service baked cookies--in a van.  

“We were joking around that we should bake some cookies, because that sounds a lot better than frying an egg,” meteorologist Charlotte Dewey told the Los Angeles Times. “More tasty, anyway.”  

When temperatures hit 116 degrees in Phoenix on Friday, Dewey and a fellow forecaster hunted down cookie pans, tin foil and a roll of store-bought chocolate chip cookie dough. On Saturday the desert city hit 119, breaking an all-time record for the day.

They decided to put the cookies in the windshield of a white 2008 Dodge van, the weather service station’s government-issued vehicle, chosen for its non-tinted windows. A second cookie pan was placed outside the car on the ground.

The forecasters didn’t have a thermometer. But one local news station taking heat measurements recorded car temperatures of 200 degrees, Dewey said.  

A series of photos snapped every hour, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., showed the progression of the baking. At the end of four hours, nine crisp, well-done cookies were sitting in the windshield of the car.

The cookies were probably done after two hours, Dewey said, but she kept them in the van an extra two hours to make sure the dough was cooked all the way through. The cookies left on the ground, meanwhile, were still gooey.  

Though the Phoenix forecasters occasionally do small-scale experiments for school visits and science fairs, such as demonstrations on flash-flooding, this is believed to be the station’s first attempt to bake cookies in a car, Dewey said.

The big question is, how do car cookies taste?  

“They tasted good,” Dewey said, adding that she didn't necessarily recommend eating car-baked goods. “They really were comparable to coming out of an oven in the kitchen.”

A day later, the station van still smelled like cookies. :p

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