More Fun In The Sun: Peanut Butter Cookies

So I happened to have a ready to go bag of peanut butter cookie mix in my cupboard (not a common occurrence in my house) and thought it would be fun to having a baking day with my girls. So we set the SUN OVEN out in the sun for some preheating and then got to work in the kitchen.

{Note to self: Ready made cookie mixes are food storage friendly.} ๐Ÿ™‚

The girls had such fun adding in the ingredients (they love to crack the eggs… and then I get to pick out any shells from said eggs :)), mixing the dough, tasting… I mean testing… the dough to make sure it was just right, forming the balls (although I had to help with this part) and then smooshing the cookies to make the pretty (or not-so-pretty) crisscross pattern in the tops.

Then it was into the SUN OVEN for some cooking.

I wasn’t quite sure how long the cookies would need (the package said about 12 minutes) and after 15, I wasn’t thinking they were quite done yet. So I left them for a bit longer… lost a little track of time… and kinda sorta overcooked the first batch. Whoops. But the second batch was a much better success. I went ahead and took them out after 15 minutes regardless of the fact that they still looked a little soft and they set up nicely as they cooled. Perfect.

Can you tell which ones I overcooked? My bad. ๐Ÿ˜€


Cookin’ In The Sun: Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Well, the temperatures have been beyond pathetic here in southeast Texas. We are just melting! And with all this heat, I have not been feeling very inclined to cook/bake anything that would require me to turn on the oven. And then… I got my SUN OVEN! I have been so excited to start using this baby! The first thing I decided to make in my SUN OVEN was some delicious cinnamon swirl bread. Don’t ask me why… I’m not sure I’ve ever even made cinnamon swirl bread before. But that was what I wanted to make. I didn’t even have a recipe for it, so I just kinda made one up. Well, actually I converted my easy dinnerย roll recipe (which can be used for cinnamon rolls) into the bread for my cinnamon bread. After making the dough and letting it rise, I rolled it out, spread on some melted butter, sprinkled on some brown sugar and cinnamon, rolled it into a loaf shape, and into the pans they went. {Side note: I used the loaf pans that I had ordered with my oven, and they’re a little larger than the pyrex ones I’m used to, so I probably should have doubled, or at least one and a halved the recipe. But that’s just hindsight talkin’.} I let the bread rise a second time while in the pans, and while that was going on, I stuck the SUN OVEN out in the sun to ‘preheat’.

If memory serves correctly, the oven only got up to about 300ยบ F that day, but I stuck the bread in and let it bake for probably close to 1 hour. Bread doesn’t really “brown” in a solar oven, but it did actually turn slightly golden, so I went ahead and pulled it out.

It’s a little tricky (at least for me- since I’m a beginner) to tell when the bread is really done or not, but they looked good, so I let them cool a bit and then turned them out onto a wire cooling rack. And let me tell you… they smelled heavenly!

We went ahead and sliced a loaf up, slathered on a little butter, and oh. my. goodness. It was delicious. Hubby came home from work and had a slice and couldn’t believe that I had made that in the SUN OVEN. He was beyond impressed. (We’re feeling quite a bit more confident about how well we’d fare in an emergency without electricity!) ๐Ÿ˜€ I’d have to say that for my first experience using a solar oven, this was a definite win!! ๐Ÿ™‚ And I’m already thinking of what else I can cook up- without having to heat up my kitchen! ๐Ÿ˜‰
Hope you’re all stayin’ cool!