Chocolate Earthquake Cookies

Do you have a favorite cookie recipe that you have made for years?  We have one at our house.  I remember clearly the first time that I made these cookies.  It was Sunday, January 16, 1994!  How's that for a memory?  I remember that weekend because on Saturday I had driven with friends the hundred miles over the mountain range to Pasadena to see Les Miserables.  It was in a wonderfully old playhouse and we had a marvelous time.

On Sunday the girls and I made Chocolate Earthquake Cookies for the first time.  They were chewy when warm and so rich that a glass of milk was necessary.  We laughed about the cookie's name and talked about the "chasms" that form when the cookie is baking.  I remember telling the girls about the Anchorage earthquake of 1964 and the landslides that gobbled up houses and cars.

That night a 6.7 magnitude earthquake, known as the Northridge quake, hit the Los Angeles area.  It was one of the most damaging quakes in US history, killing 54 people, collapsing buildings and partial collapse of freeways.  I was ever so happy that I was back home and not in the playhouse watching Les Miserables.

It gave a whole new meaning to our cookies! We always recall that earthquake and the damage it caused, when we make these cookies.  In 2001, when my youngest daughter decided to attend Cal State Northridge, they were just completing the construction of new dorms as the old ones were severely damaged in that quake.  Earthquakes was a topic of discussion as she was making her decision about the school.

Chocolate Earthquake Cookies

Yield:  6 dozen cookies.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup solid shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1  12 oz bag chocolate chips
1  12 oz bag peanut butter chips
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375°

Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and shortening for 30 seconds.  Add the sugars and beat until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.  Add the flour mixture, beating until well combined.  Stir in the chips.  Roll teaspoon-size balls of dough in a powdered sugar.  (I use a 1 1/4 inch scoop.)  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.


Today's post is linked to three blogs that are favorites of mine.  Stop by for a visit this weekend, you will love see the tasty dishes being prepared across the country and around the world!

Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm
On the Menu Monday at StoneGable


  1. I enjoyed reading this and your cookies are too die for---no earthquake pun intended. I make a similar cookie at Christmas time, Chocolate Crinkle Cookies; just don't have the PB chips, so I will add them next time. Pretty scary stuff with the earthquake and good that you were home. We deal with tornadoes and made it through the devastating one years ago in Louisville. We all will never forget experiences like these!

  2. Kathy, what a story!!! That's so bizarre you happaned to make earthquake cookies the same day as the earthquake, lol! Les Miz is my absolute favourite. I've seen it here in Toronto and was lucky enough to see it in London with my daughter 4 years ago. Earthquake or not, your cookies look rich and delicious!

  3. I'm going to have to try these they look good.
    Thank you for sharing.

  4. The cookies sound great, the earthquakes not so much:@)

  5. Maybe wear a hardhat when you make earthquake cookies. They look fabulous!

  6. Fantastic looking cookies! Mmmm Mmmmm good!

  7. This recipe has become tradition in your family with a story behind it.

  8. Wow - what a story to your favorite cookie!! they do look glorious - full of chocolate and goodies - delicious
    Mary x

  9. Kate...these look absolutely fabulous! At first I thought you were going to tell us you named them as such because you experienced an earthquake while making them. But looking at those wonderful nooks and crevices, I can see why! Love the combination of sugars and other bits of goodness! : )

  10. I do remember that earthquake, along with the Loma Prieta Earthquake. It's the risks we take, living in California, isn't it? Love these cookies. I really do need to make them more often, eat one or two...then give them away!

  11. i've never heard that name associated with these cookies, but it's appropriate. i've never experienced an earthquake (knock on wood), and i'm so glad!

  12. These look delicious and I like the memory associated with them as well. Glad you were safe!

  13. Yum Yum Yum!

    I'm going to start a monthly party at my blog and would love you to join. Check out my blogg from 1st of May for more info. And also maybe become a new happy follower?! :-)

  14. What a great story for your awesome cookies! Your recipe looks delicious. Hope you have a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  15. Oh my goodness, do those ever look GOOD!!! I love the story behind them, too. Have a good week!

  16. These look really good and have a great story to go with them. I'm going to give them a try as soon as I can :)



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