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Thursday, April 10, 2014

World Peace Cookies

double chocolate shortbread sable cookies
World Peace Cookies
My favorite chocolate chip cookie comes from Dorie Greenspan, who originally got the recipe from Pierre Hermé.  Supposedly the cookie's name arose from Dorie's neighbor who commented that a daily dose of these cookies would be enough to ensure world peace.  The name stuck since then and I can attest that these cookies have brought much joy (and peace offerings) to those around me.
 
This cookie doesn't have the texture of your typical chewy or crunchy chocolate chip cookie.  It's actually almost like a shortbread, but kind of sandy as it crumbles and melts in your mouth with each bite.  It's important to know this as I've had a few friends wonder if they followed the recipe wrong when their cookies fell apart more than they expected.  It's also quite a buttery cookie but don't be scared off by the buttery footprints on your cookie sheet - it's totally worth it.

double chocolate chunk sable shortbread cookies
Look at all those chocolate chunks!
Reasons why I love this recipe:



  • Intense chocolate flavor.  Make sure to use a cocoa and chocolate that you enjoy - I've been using Penzey's cocoa powder and Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Pound Plus bar.
  • Sea salt or fleur de sel.  The salt highlights the chocolate flavor and provides a nice contrast. 
  • Slice and bake form factor.  I love making this ahead of time and having it on hand in the freezer. Then I can bake only a few at a time instead of eating an entire batch in one sitting, something quite possible between my husband and I.  On a negative note, it requires 3 hours of chill time so plan ahead and be patient!   
sandy crumbly double chocolate chip cookies
Sandy and crumbly in texture, each bite melts in your mouth.
When we were in New York City, I went in search of Dorie's cookie shop, Beurre & Sel, specifically to try out this cookie and see how mine compared to the famed original.  Sadly, we found their LES shop shuttered and closed.  I'll just have to assume that my cookies accurately represent her recipe since they are so darn delicious.  This is probably the only cookie recipe my husband requests by name!

World Peace Cookies
makes 2 dozen

1 1/4 cup (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick plus 3 Tbsp or 11 Tbsp (150 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cups (120 grams) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1/2 tsp fleur del sel or 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 oz (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
  1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda together.
  2. Working with a stand mixer, preferably with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.
  3. Turn off the mixer. Pour in the dry ingredients, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek - if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of times more; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough.  For the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don't be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. 
  5. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  6. Using a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. The rounds may crack as you're cutting them - don't worry, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.  Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.
  7. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes.  They won't look done, nor will they be firm, but that's just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature.
Note:  The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you don't need to defrost it before baking but it may be difficult to slice straight out of the freezer. Let the dough rest on the counter for 5 minutes before slicing and then bake for 1-2 minutes longer than usual.

3 comments:

  1. YUM those look good!! i was just thinking about making cookies today. world peace cookies. it's happening.

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  2. oooh i'll have to give these a try!

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  3. These sound delicious and look how beautiful your photographs are. Thank you for sharing, Rocquie

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