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earthquake cookies

earthquake cookies

These cookies are chewy and amazingly delicious. The granulated sugar absorbs moisture from the dough, which turns into syrup while baking, and creates fissures that look like faults, hence the name ‘earthquake’ cookies or chocolate crinkle cookies. A friend calls them the ‘chocogasm’ cookie. Whatever you call them, they will be gone really quickly.


  • 1 cup (5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s or Droste are recommended)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz) packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped (Hershey’s unsweetened baking bar is recommended)
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) powdered sugar


  1. Adjust over rack to middle position and heat oven to 325F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl. (I measure into a fine sieve then whisk it through the sifter.)
  3. Whisk eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla together in a large bowl.
  4. Combine chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with saran wrap, and microwave at 50% power for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until melted.
  5. Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture until combined.
  6. Fold in flour mixture until no dry streaks remain.
  7. Let dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  8. Place granulated sugar and powdered sugar in separate shallow dishes. Scoop dough with a 2 TBSP (#30) measuring scoop, dropping dough into granulated sugar. Coat the ball with granulated sugar, then move to powdered sugar and coat evenly. place on cookie sheet and space evenly. (11 balls will bit on one sheet.)
  9. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until puffed and cracked and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (they will look underdone/ raw in the cracks), approximately 12 minutes. Rotate sheets about halfway through baking. Let cool completely on sheet before serving.

Makes: 22 cookies.
Source: Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, Nov/Dec 2014 issue