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Vandal Spirited Lava Cookies

Not your momma’s chocolate cookies! These brave and bold Idaho gold holiday goodies will surprise you with their thoughtful combination of Vandal spirited ingredients. With a soft yet crisp outer layer and an ooey-gooey melted center, you will impress all of your guests if you let them in on the secret ingredient: mashed potatoes. Giving a nod to Idaho’s famous potatoes while embodying the Vandal colors, we chose to incorporate dark chocolate for Vandal Black and gold potatoes for Idaho Gold. This unparalleled flavor combination will unite all the things you love about the holidays into one, small, delectable cookie.

From the Kitchen of Morgan Pearson and Dana Kujala

  • Servings: 25-35 (depending on cookie size)
  • Serving Size: 1 cookie


  • 2/3 cup mashed potatoes (chilled)*
  • 2 tablespoons brewed coffee
  • 1 stick unsalted butter or margarine 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate Hershey cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons coffee grounds
  • 1 large bag dark chocolate Hershey kisses
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar

*If you do not already have mashed potatoes made, see ingredients and directions below.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a medium sized bowl, combine mashed potatoes, brewed coffee, butter or margarine, vanilla, eggs and egg whites all together either manually or with a hand mixer. This batter will appear slightly chunky.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, light brown sugar, dark brown sugar, dark chocolate cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and coffee grounds. Stir by hand until well combined. 
  4. Slowly pour wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, mixing as you go. Batter will appear very dry. Keep mixing by hand by folding the batter with a rubber spatula. This may take a few minutes, and the batter will appear dark colored and sticky when finished. 
  5. Scoop out batter by hand using a one or two tablespoon sized scoop, depending on how large you wish your cookies to be. 
  6. Grab one piece of Hershey’s dark chocolate, wrap one scoop of batter evenly around the kiss, and roll into a ball, covering completely. 
  7. Roll cookie dough ball in powdered sugar, covering exterior entirely in powder. 
  8. Place cookies on a greased baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes. Be aware that since these are lava cookies, the centers will be melted, giving them the appearance of being undercooked. Do not bake for longer than instructed. 
  9. Let cookies cool for a minimum of five minutes before consuming. 
  10. Cookies can be reheated if needed to melt the centers again by placing in microwave for 15-20 seconds, depending on microwave strength. 

Nutrition Data (per cookie)

  • Calories: 168 calories
  • Fat: 5.2 grams
  • Saturated fat: 3.1 grams
  • Trans fat: 0.13 grams
  • Sodium: 131 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 30.6 grams
  • Protein: 2.4 grams

*Quick and Easy Mashed Potato Recipe


  • ½ pound Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 tablespoon 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  1. With skin on, pierce whole potato several times with a fork. Leaving skin on prevents potato from drying out while in the microwave. 
  2. Wrap potato in a damp paper towel and place in microwave. Cook for five minutes, turning once halfway through. If potato is not soft to the touch when finished, heat for two more minutes. 
  3. Let potato sit until cool, then gently remove skin with a knife.
  4. In a food processor, combine potato with milk and unsalted butter. Mix until smooth.
  5. Store mashed potatoes in refrigerator until needed.
Vandal Spirited Lava Cookies (2017)
Vandal Spirited Lava Cookies (2017)
Dana Kujala and Morgan Pearson
Dana Kujala and Morgan Pearson

Contact Us

Advancement Services

Physical Address:

1150 Blake House
University of Idaho
Moscow, ID 83844-3302

Mailing Address:

875 Perimeter Dr MS 3302
Moscow, ID 83844-3302

Phone: 208-885-2072