Fair-Trade Chocolate Earthquake Cookies

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I made a version of these addictive chocolate cookies in culinary school. Rolling the dough in two kinds of sugar creates a crackled appearance when the cookies spread as they bake. Since chocolate is the main ingredient, they’re an ideal way to showcase an artisanal product like Fair Trade-Certified chocolate.

Fair-Trade Chocolate Earthquake Cookies


Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2 dozen

2 cookies

Fair-Trade Chocolate Earthquake Cookies

The higher the chocolate’s cacao content, the richer these will taste; use at least 70 percent.


  1. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 packed brown sugar
  6. 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  7. 6 ounces Fair Trade-certified dark chocolate, chopped and melted
  8. 3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee
  9. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. 1 large egg
  11. 1 large egg white
  12. Granulated sugar
  13. Powdered sugar


Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk.

Place brown sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in melted chocolate, coffee and vanilla. Gradually beat in egg and egg white. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Chill dough 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fill a small, shallow bowl with granulated sugar; fill a second shallow bowl with powdered sugar. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in granulated sugar, then in powdered sugar. Place 2 inches apart on 2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes. Rotate cookie sheets; bake 5 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool 2 minutes on pans. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely.


Need more Valentine’s Day inspiration? Check out these recipes from our friends at Food Bloggers Los Angeles:

FBLA Chocolate Party 2014 Recipe and Resource Links


Savory Dishes

Champagne/Sparkling Wine Recommendations

  • Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava ($7 “but tastes like $20+”) — Andrew Wilder of Eating Rules
  • NV Presto Prosecco Brut ($10-$12), a “price performer” — Alison Ashton of NOURISH Evolution
  • Brut Roederer Estate Mixed Vintage ($20) — Jennifer Daskevich of A Little Gourmet Everyday
  • Colbert Eco Brut (sugar-free organic sparkling wine; $25) — Caren Magill of The Fit Habit
  • Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée ($10.99). “When serving mimosas there is no need to buy expensive bubbly, but naturally you don’t want to serve your guests headache-inducing sparkling wines or champagne either. The Brut Cuvée is Barefoot’s most traditional bubbly and tastes of green apple and jasmine with hints of kiwi and peach flavors which bubble up for a crisp finish and, in my opinion, make a delightful Mimosa,” said Priscilla Willis of She’s Cookin’.


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  • Lillian

    Why no calorie/nutrition information with every recipe?

  • Great question, Lillian. I’m glad you asked! I found when I was developing recipes for magazines that, when nutrition info was included, people focused on those numbers more than they did the recipe as a whole–or, more importantly, the meal as a whole. With Nourish Network, I want to SHOW what healthy eating looks like–keeping the focus on food as food, rather than the numbers.

    The core of our recipes focuses on healthy fats, an abundance of whole grains and vegetables, healthy proteins and occasional indulgences.

  • Caren Magill-Myers

    delicious!! Loved them! Gorgeous site btw!

    • liahuber

      Thanks, Caren! Glad you liked the cookies. Alison’s so good at the sweet stuff.

  • valentina

    These were so delicious! I love how the “crinkle,” too. 🙂

  • Christina Conte

    Not just beautiful, but delicious! Thanks for bringing these, Aison!