World Peace Cookies

Before heading out on our eight-day road trip to San Diego, I thought I’d share a recipe I’ve made three times this past week, a Dorie Greenspan recipe for a cookie created by pastry chef Pierre Hermé. For the past year, a neighbor of mine has been on the quest for a good double-chocolate cookie recipe, and when I read the description for these “world peace” cookies on Smitten Kitchen, I had to try them myself.

And the first batch I made looked and tasted just as described: midnight-dark in color, buttery-rich in taste, sandy-textured, chocolaty, salty … delicious! When I made them a second and third time, however, the cookies came out completely differently — thin and crisp without that sandy, grown-up character of the first batch. Still delectable, just different. Very strange. I can’t explain the difference.

I have made some notes: For the first batch, I used a stand mixer; for the following two, I used a hand-held mixer. For the first batch I used parchment paper; for the following two I used a Silpat. For the first batch I used mini chocolate chips; for the second two, I used chopped bittersweet chocolate. Using Dutch process cocoa versus unsweetened cocoa powder doesn’t seem to make a difference — I used Dutch process for the second batch and unsweetened for the third, and the two cookies came out nearly identical. Having the oven temperature at 325ºF, as described, seems to be important: The third batch of cookies spread less than the second batch of cookies, which baked at a higher temperature.

So, I’m a little perplexed, but nonetheless believe the recipe to be a good one. Incidentally, in her book Baking From My Home To Yours (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006), Dorie Greenspan explains why she calls these chocolaty delights “world peace” cookies: A neighbor of hers, Richard Gold, believes a daily dose of these cookies is all that is needed to ensure planetary peace and happiness.

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for Korova Cookies
Also known as “World Peace” cookies
Yield = 18

1¼ C. all-purpose flour

1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder

½ tsp. baking soda

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 C. (packed) light brown sugar

¼ C. sugar

1 tsp. kosher salt or ½ tsp. fleur de sel or ¼ tsp. fine sea salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous ¾ C. store-bought mini chocolate chips

Whisk the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

Working with a stand mixer 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 flour, and mix 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.

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 1½ 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 in 1-ounce portions for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking — just bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325º F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Working with a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are ½-inch thick or that weigh exactly 1 ounce. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange six rounds on a baking sheets, leaving about one inch between each round.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes — they won’t look done, nor will they be firm. 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.

Serve with milk after dinner or with morning coffee.

Comments

  1. kookie in london says

    Just made your choc chip cookies from your other website. Chewy and chocolatey and just perfect. Thanks so much for posting this recipe – your instructions are clear and very helpful. Somehow better than my batch of Leite consummate cookies even!!!

  2. Gaby says

    I had a very similar experience with a similar recipe (chocolate w/ PB chips from the back of the reese’s bp chip bag) I made them for years and they were nice and fluffy, then something happened and now they are always flat and crispy – not nearly as attractive, and I’ve never been a crispy cookie kind of gal. I would love to know if you ever discover what is making the difference. I did’t even think about the silpat, I started using mine a few years back, the timing would probably coincide. It didn’t even dawn on me that it could make a difference, and it seems strange that it would. I’m excited to try these – sans silpat.

  3. legastronaut says

    good god, these are fantastic. both of my batches turned out mostly as first described- i’m committed to my stand mixer and parchment paper, both. for the second batch i used a concoction called ‘Mayan Cocoa’ from my fave local spice shop, World Spice Merchants. Next time you’re in Seattle you HAVE to check them out… walking in the door and inhaling is experience enough, never mind actually USING their incredible and fresh spices, all of the blends made there in-house and kept whole, ground to order… but i digress. Mayan Cocoa has some chile, cinnamon, and almond in with the barest hint of raw sugar and velvety Valrhona cocoa powder. I removed a tablespoon from the sugar called for in the recipe, and used the MC in place of all the cocoa. they were divine! world spice does internet ordering if you just can’t wait to try… http://www.worldspice.com/blends/mayan-cocoa. thanks alexandra!

  4. Roxana P says

    Hello ! First, I wanna tell you how wonderful are your pics and site! It’s like I wanna eat everything just by watching them ! Secondly, I wanna ask you if you can tell me how much is a cup for you in grams and in ml ? It’s a bit unclear because the quantities differ on each site I’ve found. Thank you very much and congrats on your job !

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