Mexican Chocolate Earthquake Cookies

I love these cookies – they’re rich, chocolaty, soft and scrumptious! I had a brief time before having children when I wanted to start a cookie business and back then these were some of my absolute favourites.

It does sometimes surprise me which recipes are most popular on my blog. Out of the 500+ recipes, it so often comes back to the same ones again and again. There are many winning recipes that don’t seem to get a second chance, maybe they’re just less known about and therefore less searched for? I first posted this recipe when I initially set up my blog in 2012, and I still absolutely love these cookies. Here I’ve added a variation using aquafaba, so you have a choice of aquafaba or flaxseeds as the binder. Do eat these cookies quickly, they’re best eaten warm for the oven. Or reheat for a couple of minutes before eating to enjoy the crisp exterior and soft cakey centre.

Mexican Chocolate Earthquake Cookies

 (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian, vegan)

makes about 24

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup melted dairy-free margarine

2 tbsps golden syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

use either:

1/3 cup oat milk and 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds

or use; 1/4 cup dairy-free milk and 3tbsp Aquafaba

100g melted dairy-free chocolate

250g plain flour

2 tbsps cocoa powder

3/4 tsp baking powder

large pinch of salt

1 cup of icing sugar to roll dough in

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Sift the icing sugar onto a plate and set aside
  2. In a bowl mix the sugar, dairy-free margarine, syrup, vanilla, oat milk, flax seeds (or aquafaba) and melted chocolate
  3. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. It should produce a soft dough
  4. Take tablespoons of mix and roll in the icing sugar. Place on a lined baking sheet and press down slightly
  5. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
  6. Best eaten straight away, or next day will do (invite people over or send into school/work!)

Chocolate Easter Biscuits

So, with the lack of actual Easter Eggs in this house I decided to make some chocolate biscuits in the shape of eggs. I didn’t have a relevant cookie cutter so made do with cutting round a cardboard cutout, hence the rough outline. They’re more or less a basic chocolate biscuit some sprayed with edible gold spray and some decorated with a hard, glossy orange icing. I reckon this would be a great standby chocolate biscuit that suits any cookie cutter shape you want for any occasion. This recipe is inspired by Vegan Cookies Invade the Cookie Jar but with a fair few tweaks.

Chocolate Easter Biscuits (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes about 18-20 biscuits

  • 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup oat milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsps plain flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

– Vigorously mix together the sugar, oil, vanilla and oat milk.

– Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, cornflour, baking powder and salt.

– Mix well to make a firm dough. Wrap in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade

– Unwrap the dough and roll out to between 1/2 and 1 cm thickness. Cut out with a cookie cutter and transfer to a lined baking sheet.

– Cook for 8 minutes. Cool briefly on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.

– Serve as is, or ice with orange/peppermint icing.

Orange Icing

easily enough for all these cookies

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tbsps oat milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange essence

– Sift the icing sugar into a bowl

– Add the oat milk and essences. Mix well to form a smooth, thickish paste.

– Ice the biscuits and decorate if wished. This icing will set hard.

Coconut Straws

This is a cobbled together recipe, using store cupboard ingredients, and it worked an absolute treat – I’ve already been asked for the recipe by my helpful tasters!! If you like coconut definitely give this a go… they’re reminiscent of cheese straws but sweet coconut instead (sounds weird, right?). I reckon they’d go brilliantly with a chocolate mousse (that recipe will appear soon!) but also work extremely well as a stand alone cookie.

Coconut Straws (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian, vegan)

makes about 24

  • 90g dairy-free spread (I used Pure)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2-3 tbsps oat milk

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– Cream together the dairy-free spread, sugar and salt until well mixed.

– Stir in the coconut and vanilla.

– Stir in the flour and add the oat milk, bring together with your hands. It will seem dry and crumbly but should come together.

– Turn onto a large sheet of foil. Fold the foil over the top of the dough and roll out to about 1 cm thick. Chill.

– Cut into straw shapes and place on a lined baking sheet.

– Bake for 14 minutes until lightly golden at the edges, turning the baking sheet half-way through.

– Cool on the baking sheet briefly before moving to a wire rack.

– Best eaten fresh, but will keep in an airtight container for a few days.

Hearty Chocolate Chip Cookies

Here’s a chocolate chip cookie recipe that robust, soft, cakey and a little more substantial than your delicate cookie. They travel brilliantly so are much more suited to a picnic/journey than your usual version, and keep for much longer. I think they make a great, never-fail speedy recipe should you have kids coming over to play. (This recipe comes from Vegan Cookies Invade the Cookie Jar). It’s the school holidays and we’ve got a jam-packed week of play-dates coming up, so I thought it best to get prepared in advance!

Hearty Chocolate Chip Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes about 20

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted dairy-free spread (or use oil)
  • 1/2 cup oat milk
  • 2 tbsps cornflour
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g dairy-free chocolate, chopped

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– Whisk together the sugars, melted dairy-free spread, oat milk, vanilla and cornflour.

– Sift in the flour, bicarb and salt. Mix well.

– Gently stir in the chocolate.

– Drop tbsp amounts on a lined baking sheet, and flatten slightly

– Bake for 12 minutes.

– Cool on the baking sheet before moving to a wire rack.

Vanilla Thins

For a dairy-free cookie these are remarkably ‘buttery’ and are perfect for cutting into any shape and even icing. I made them for little S to take into school in a flower shape as it’s spring… they went down very well. I reckon these could take any flavour instead of the vanilla – just substitute half the vanilla essence for another extract. This recipe is from Vegan Cookies Invade The Cookie Jar

Vanilla Thins (dairy-free, egg-free, soya-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan)

makes lots, at least 28!

  • 2 1/3 cups of plain flour
  • 2 tbsps cornflour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable fat (I used Trex)
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free spread (Pure)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsps vanilla paste (or use one and one of another extract)
  • 1/4 cup oat milk (Oatly)

– Sift together the flour, cornflour, salt and baking powder.

– In another bowl whisk together the fat, spread and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the extracts and oat milk and whisk again.

– Add the flour mix and carefully combine

– Roll out and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake at 180 degrees for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden round the edges

– Cool on the sheet before moving to a wire rack.

Chocolate Marble Cake

I seem to be on a bit of a chocolate theme at the moment….. maybe it’s the approach of Easter? Anyway, I needed a quick cake to take over to the girls’ Grandmother (who had their beloved cousin staying) and this was perfect to cobble together at the last minute. It’s not too sweet, light and easily portable. I eventually iced the top with a water icing, but there is no need.

Chocolate Marble Cake (dairy-free, egg-free, soya-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan)

Makes one loaf

  • 180g self-raising flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 150ml oat milk
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.

– Line the loaf tin

– Mix together the oil, oat milk, bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice and set aside.

– Sift 100g of the flour into a bowl and stir in 50g caster sugar

– In another bowl, sift in the rest of the flour and the cocoa powder. Stir in the remaining sugar.

– Add half the wet ingredients to each bowl and mix to form a smooth dough

– Put the white cake mixture into the tin first. Pour the chocolate mixture over the top. With the end of a spoon swirl the mixtures together to get the marbled effect.

– Bake for 30 minutes, until a knife comes out clean

– Completely cool in the tin.

– Ice with a mixture of water and icing sugar, if desired

Lucky Clover Cookies

It may still be March, but the weather today looks perfect for a trip to the beach. As I’ve mentioned before, picnics are very hard if you are egg/dairy/nut-free. It’ll be sandwiches, crisps, vegetable sticks, fruit and these cookies I made last night. They’re chocolate and orange and hopefully will stand up to the journey…. I’ll post the recipe later, got to make the picnic now!

I wonder if we’ll be able to get an ice lolly? Obviously ice creams are out of the question, but last year good old Calippo ice lollies you can get nearly everywhere started to contain traces of nuts – that risk may be ok at home, but certainly not in the middle of nowhere on a day out. It’s rather gutting for a child to not be able to even have an ice lolly when everyone else is tucking in on a hot day…

UPDATE: Here’s the recipe, inspired by Vegan Cookies Invade the Cookie Jar. Apparently they’re like Pepperidge farm Milanos – I’m from the UK so that means nothing to me!

Choc n Orange Lucky Clover Cookies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

Makes about 18 cookies

  • 1/3 cup oat milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 tsps vanilla paste (2 of essence)
  • 1 tsp orange essence
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tbsps cornflour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 45g dairy-free ‘milk’ chocolate, chopped

– Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– Whisk together the oat milk, sugar, oil, vanilla, orange juice and orange essence

Sift in the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Stir in the chopped chocolate.

– Using floured hands form large marble sized balls of dough and place on a lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly. (I then stamped mine with a clover template)

– bake for about 15 minutes

– Cool slightly, then move to a wire rack to cool.

(These were great for a picnic, but I reckon they’d be even better half coated in dark chocolate when cool)

Rocky Brownies

What a morning! We’re looking after our neighbour’s cat Rocky while they’re away on holiday. He’s old and spends a lot of time outside…. but this morning he has been savaged by a dog. The poor thing has now dragged himself into a very small gap between two houses and there is no way we can reach him. So far, the local vet has been useless (apparently we’ve got to take him in, despite the fact we can’t reach him), the RSPCA and the Fire Brigade have said they’ll call back. Meanwhile, the poor injured moggy is losing blood and we can’t help him :-(.

UPDATE: The RSPCA have now called and are on their way but it’ll take half an hour at least. Please hang in there Rocky…

So to while away the waiting time I’m going to make some brownies in his honour (hence the name) – I’ve never had much success with egg-free brownies before, so we’ll see, but this recipe is inspired by Vegan Cookies Invade your Cookie Jar, so I bet they’re lovely….

LATEST UPDATE: the fire service safely got him out. Poor little moggy was in a bad way. We got him to the vet, but sadly they couldn’t save him…. so we’re a pretty sad household now :-(. My youngest (little s) will be devastated, she even asked only yesterday  if we could come and visit Rocky when we eventually move out of our rental house…..

Hopefully, the brownies that are in the oven may cheer them up a bit.

RIP Rocky, these are in memory of you – dark with a few white flecks and a little bit craggy

Rocky Brownies (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegetarian, vegan)

makes about 9

  • 90g dark dairy-free chocolate (Kinnerton is great)
  • 75g dairy-free spread
  • 2/3rds cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of oat milk
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsps drinking chocolate
  • 2 tbsps cocoa powder
  • 1 pack of white chocolate buttons (Humdinger do dairy free ones)
  • pinch of salt

– Line a square baking pan with foil and oil

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– Melt the dairy-free spread and chocolate together, stir until smooth

– Add the sugar and stir until dissolved

– Whisk together the oat milk, vanilla and cornflour. Add to the chocolate mix and stir

– Sift in the flour, baking powder and drinking chocolate. Gently fold in to combine. Fold in the white chocolate buttons

– Pour into the baking pan and level off

– Bake for 25 minutes until just set in the centre (they will be very fudgy)

– Let cool in the pan, then cut into portions.

– Serve with dairy-free ice cream – yum!

Almond Scones

Have you ever been to Food for Thought? This vegetarian restaurant, based in London’s Covent Garden, has been there forever and everyday has a long queue out the door with hungry diners keen to get their plates of goodness. While it can by no means be classed a fine dining restaurant (the vibe is far more veggie cafe) they do serve some knockout dishes, packed full of flavour. This scone recipe is a real winner, in fact you’d never guess that they’re dairy-free/vegan, and makes a fantastic after-school snack. While we may be a peanut free household, almonds are ok for us (and great for the dairy avoider as they’re full of calcium) so this is our preferred variation. Next time I may try the chocolate version….

Almond Scones (dairy-free, egg-free, vegetarian, vegan, soya-free)

makes about 10 (sorry about the not very good photo!)

  • 450g plain flour
  • 3 level tsps baking powder
  • 75g dairy-free spread
  • 50g sugar
  • 60g ground almonds (or use cocoa powder)
  • 300ml oat milk
  • more oat milk to brush
  • demerara sugar to sprinkle

– Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade

– Oil and flour a baking sheet

– Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl

– With your fingertips, rub the dairy-free spread into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

– Stir in the sugar and ground almonds (cocoa powder)

– Stir in the oat milk and bring together to form a soft dough

– Turn out onto a floured surface and lightly knead to form a soft ball.

– With your fingers, press out until 2-3cm thick

– Cut out with a floured cookie cutter

– Place on the baking sheet.

– Brush the tops with oat milk and sprinkle with the demerara sugar

– Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown on top

– Serve hot or cold, with dairy-free spread, jam or honey.

– Oh, and they freeze brilliantly

Dairy-free dauphinoise

Mmmm, potato dauphinoise is one truly delightful potato dish. While this is by no means as creamy, unctuous and rich as the dairy version (I like Hugh Fearnley Wittingstall’s) it’s a good substitute if you’re dairy-free. The oat milk cream gives a soft, ‘creamy’ richness and it certainly fills the spot of a dinner party-worthy dairy-free potato dish. To make a divine supper serve with ratatouille – yum!

Dairy-free Dauphinoise (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, vegetarian, vegan)

Alter the quantities for however many you are serving, this was for a ramekin sized portion to serve one after-school hungry 8 year old!

  • 1 small – medium potato, very finely sliced
  • dairy-free spread, to smear over ramekin
  • oat cream
  • 1 clove of garlic (more if you like!)

– Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade

– Rub the inside of the dish with a cut garlic clove (can also layer some if you like)

– Smear the inside of the dish with dairy-free spread

– In a separate bowl, combine the sliced potatoes with enough oat milk to cover and mix well.

– Layer the sliced in the dish.

– Cook for 45 minutes – 1 hour until golden on top and soft all the way through.

– Serve!