Wednesday, November 14, 2007

World Peace Cookies

I love my Dorie Greenspan baking book. It is full of great recipes and very little makes me happier than to flip through it and find a new recipe to try. Even though I post quite a few of her recipes on this blog, I would highly encourage everyone to purchase this book for themselves since I don't include a lot of the variations and pointers that go along with the recipes. And of course, there are so many recipes in here that it will take me a long time to get through them all.

I have had this particular recipe on my short list for a while now. It is clearly one of Dorie's favorite cookies, which I take as a very good sign, and of course the name of the recipe is pretty lofty -- so these must be something special... right?

I have to say I wasn't all that impressed. According to Dorie what makes them extra special is the salty flavor of the cookies, but the Salted Oatmeal Cookies I make left far more of an impression on me. The World Peace Cookies have a great chocolate flavor, but they didn't stand out to me as a "the best cookie ever." Maybe they will improve tomorrow since they are a short bread base and those almost always taste better after a day (the cranberry pistachio cookies were much better the next day), but I don't really know for sure.

There was also no peace in the house when I started cutting the cookie dough into slices and had every one start to crumble apart on me. I was pretty reassured though when I read the section of the recipe and it was clear that crumbly was expected. I started cutting the cookies much more carefully which made a huge difference, but I still had to press several of them back together. Plus, they don't photograph very well, so please excuse the less than great photo. :)


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temp
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted 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, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.

Turn off the mixer. Pour in the dry ingredients and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. (it might make the flour fly depending on the size of the bowl.) If there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of times more, if not, continue 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 until incorporated.

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 (the dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you've frozen the dough, you needn't defrost it before baking -- just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)

Getting Ready to Bake:

Preheat the oven to 325. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Using a sharp then knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (They are likely to crack as you're cutting them -- don't be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.

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 temp.

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