For a birthday, World Peace…Cookies.
Hi there. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a new post up. Where did September go? Our life for the past month or so has been so focused on house-building events, baby-expecting activities, and family visits that all of a sudden, I find it’s the end of September and whoosh! We’re into fall. And I’ve been cooking — many things for the great work crew and volunteers we have helping us build the house, other things for B and I — but the issue lately has been that I get so darn tired by the time evening rolls around (that’s what the third trimester does to you, I hear!) that I can’t squeak out enough coherent thoughts to write much of a post. I do have some good things to tell you about, and thought I’d start with a cookie very close to my heart…Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies.
These cookies have made the rounds on the blogosphere, and you may have seen them before. They fall into the sable category of cookie: a traditional French kind of butter cookie, crumbly and soft and delicate and very, very easy to make (just slice and bake.) Actually, I wouldn’t say this version is particularly crumbly — the intense chocolate flavor, chunks of chocolate strewn throughout, and brown sugar make them rich and with a very slight chew in the middle. Oh, and they have a little fleur de sel in the dough…I adore them.
Besides how mind-blowingly good these cookies are to eat, another reason I love them is that I can make a double batch, roll the portions into logs, wrap them tightly and store them in the freezer, where they remain ready to slice and bake whenever I get a craving (actually, I’ve found it’s easier to let the logs defrost in the fridge before slicing them — slicing them frozen causes a bit too many crumbles.)
Oh, and one more plus: I can eat the raw dough. I normally throw caution to the wind and sneak a bit of raw cookie dough anyway, but now that I’m pregnant I know I shouldn’t because of the raw eggs…but this dough? No eggs! So I tell myself “go ahead, Amy, indulge.” And baby seems to agree.
The story Dorie tells about these cookies in BFMHTY involves how she developed them with Pierre Herme and called them ‘Korova Cookies,’ but her neighbor loved them so much he told her that he was “convinced that a daily dose of the cookies is all that’s needed to ensure planetary peace and happiness.” Right on!
And world peace does sound like a nice thing to aspire to, especially through cookies. (If only!) Peacemaking abilities aside, they remain one of my favorite cookies, and ones that I’ll be enjoying this afternoon with a cup of (decaf) coffee because…it’s my birthday! World Peace for Everyone!
World Peace Cookies (Korova Cookies)
from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
1 1/4 cups AP flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I prefer Dutch cocoa powder)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 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
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and cocoa.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until it’s soft and creamy. Add the sugars, salt and vanilla extract and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
Turn off the mixer, add the dry ingredients, and pulse the mixer on low speed to mix the dry ingredients in. Start by pulsing about 5 times, a second or two each time, and then check to see if there’s still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough. If so, pulse a few more times. Continuing at low speed, mix for 30 more seconds, just until the flour disappears into the dough. Try to work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t worry if it looks crumbly. Toss in the chocolate chunks and mix just to incorporate.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide in two. Shape each half into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (you can refrigerate the dough for up to 3 days at this point, or freeze for up to 2 months. If you do freeze them, I find it easiest to defrost them in the fridge prior to slicing and baking – I found the dough cracked and crumbled too much when I sliced it frozen.)
When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Use a sharp knife to slice the logs into 1/2-inch rounds; if they crack a little when you slice them, just press them back together. Place the rounds on the baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
Bake one sheet at a time for 12 minutes. They won’t look done, or be totally firm, but that’s okay. Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan, and remove them to a cooling rack when they’re just warm.
Makes about 36 cookies.