Scories De Vulcan or Lava Stones Cookies

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These fun little cookies – Scories De Vulcans or Lava Stone Cookies, named for Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, have a cracked, rocky surface and crackle like a volcano as they cool.

Scories De Vulcans or Lava Stone Cookies

In addition, one letter change to (Volcan) explains away the Volcano/Lava connection. (Volcan translates to Volcano).

Scories De Vulcan or  Lava StonesCookies don’t look like volcano’s but the cracking sound they make reminds you of them anyway.

When my son came home about a month ago and announced that once again he was going to have to bring in a French food item made from home for class, I cringed a little.

I don’t mind making French food, and I love it – but we had to do this last year and we wound up with enough batter (he didn’t read the recipe correctly) to bring in… {drum roll please} 10 dozen madeleines.

Do you know how long we were in that kitchen? Yeah.

Scories De Vulcans or Lava Stone Cookies

So this year, I sought the recipe for him and this year it had to be more challenging.

It either needed to have more than 8 steps (besides stirring or adding something) or it had to have an exotic (read: hard to find) or expensive ingredient in it.

Since I didn’t picture bringing Lobster to school, I contacted his teacher and inquired on if using Baker’s Ammonia in a recipe would mean it was “exotic” enough for her.

She said she had never heard of Baker’s Ammonia so it worked. Yes! Score for me that the French teacher doesn’t bake so had never heard of it! haha

These cookies are ridiculously easy, really pretty cool to make and appeal to a teenage boys need for interesting things (the crackling captured his attention every time we removed them from the oven. So cool.

I chose to bring these to my blog because they are unique, delicious and I want to share them. Plus, we’d already made them, so that was cool too.

Note: Do not use a substitution for Baker’s Ammonia in this recipe. It will change every aspect of it, despite what you think.

The blurb from the book The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan.

These lively little cookies, named for Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, have a cracked, rocky surface and crackle like a volcano as they cool. They are made in the central region of France, famous for its lava-dotted landscape. The batter is crunchy with hazelnuts and flavored with cocoa, and it must stand for at least three hours before baking.

In compensation, the “stones” will keep for weeks in an airtight container. To ensure crispness, the batter uses baker’s ammonia (sold in baking supply stores and on the Internet), the same curious ingredient used in Croquets de Sancerre (page 338). Like ammonia, it stings your nose and must be used in a tiny quantity. For Coffee Stones, substitute 1½ tablespoons instant espresso powder for the cocoa.

Notes to help with making these Scories De Vulcan or Lava Stones Cookies

First, make sure you follow the directions to a tee.

Second, we may have mixed too much the first time. So don’t over mix.

Our first batch was much different than our second batch. The 2nd batch we barely mixed — only pulsed and they came out thin, crispy and crackling up a storm.

The first batch were much thicker, didn’t have much of a cracked surface and while they did crackle and pop as they were cooling, they were much quieter about it.

This Week, we have a special host who knows all about Cookies.  

Janet Keeler, Food & Travel Editor for the Tampa Bay Times and Author of Cookielicious will be joining us with tips on baking for the Ultimate Cookie Exchange and to answer any of your baking questions.   

Favorite Cookie Exchange Cookies:

For more amazing cookies recipes like Snowball Surprise Cookies, check out  Cookielicious by Food Editor Janet K. Keeler from The Tampa Bay Times.

Recipe for Scories De Vulcan or Lava Stones Cookies

Scories De Vulcan | Lava Stones Cookies
These fun little cookies – Scories De Vulcans or Lava Stone Cookies, named for Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, have a cracked, rocky surface and crackle like a volcano as they cool.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Cookies-Bars-Brownies
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Dozen


  • 2 cups/280 g hazelnuts preferably peeled
  • ½ cup/100 g sugar
  • tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon/7 g flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baker’s ammonia
  • 3 egg whites


  • Heat the oven to 375°F. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them until golden, 8 to 12 minutes. If the hazelnuts were not peeled, rub them while still hot with a rough cloth to remove the skins.
  • Let them cool completely, then grind them very coarsely in a food processor with half of the sugar—crunchy texture is important.
  • Pulse to work in the cocoa powder, flour, and baker’s ammonia.
  • Set aside 2 tablespoons of the remaining sugar. Whisk 1 egg white with the remaining sugar until foamy, add it to the nut mixture in the processor, and work for a few seconds until mixed.
  • Whisk the remaining egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form.
  • Gradually add the reserved 2 tablespoons sugar to the whites and continue beating until a very stiff meringue forms, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the nut mixture to the meringue and fold them together.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
  • When ready to bake, heat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using 2 teaspoons, set rough balls the size of a small walnut on the paper. Bake until puffed and lightly browned, 14 to 17 minutes. Let cool slightly on the paper—they will crackle like a volcano!
  • Transfer to a rack to cool completely. When cool, the cookies will be light and crisp and have a cracked, rocky surface. They may be stored in an airtight container for a month or more.
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  1. I’ve been waiting to see this recipe ever since you posted the title in the Sunday Supper forum. It was so worth the wait and I am now on the hunt for bakers ammonia. These sound as much fun to make as they sound delish!

  2. These sound interesting. I’ve never even heard of baker’s ammonia and when I saw that on the list I thought I was seeing things. I’ll have to look for it so I can try these gems.

  3. Ugh. Teachers annoy me! What about the poor kids who can’t afford exotic ingredients? Found you at The Lovely Pantry.

  4. You must have spent a very, very long time in the kitchen to make those Madeline’s – oh, my! Like Erin I also have not heard of baker’s ammonia before…these look amazing, and they are dairyfree. Yay! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  5. lol, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who first thought of Star Trek when I read the word “vulcan” (see Jen’s comment above). And as an obsessive baker, I’ve never heard of baker’s ammonia before! See, you learn something new everyday. These look delicious, thanks for sharing this unique recipe!

  6. Noisy cookies, huh? Sounds interesting! Ha. And although I’ve heard of baker’s ammonia, I’ve never used it.

    And I’m glad you opted for cookies instead of lobster.

  7. 10 dozen madalines!? Wow that must have taken ages. Glad you found an easier one for this attempt for the French food assignment

  8. These look tasty, would love to have some with a hot cup of coffee or a big glass of milk by the fireplace. Thanks for the post.

  9. Hello, I’m a fan of your work and whenever I can I’m here reading each new post. Congratulations on the great work you have been doing on the blog. Kisses

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