Monday, February 4, 2013
World Peace Cookies
Dorie Greenspan, cookbook author, cookie maven and proprietor of the newly famous NYC cookie boutique Buerre & Sel popularized this recipe from the French pastry chef Pierre Herme. Previously known as Karova cookies, Dorrie renamed them World Peace Cookies after her neighbor declared that a daily dose of this little gem is all that is needed to "ensure planetary peace and happiness." Such lofty aspirations for an ugly little cookie, don't you think? But there might be something to them. Dorie claims there is a group in California known as "Grandmothers for Peace" who bake these cookies every Friday and hand them out on a street corner to passersby who agree to bake their own cookies and pass them on to others.
These aren't the cookies you give the kids. Don't expect the same goo and chew as a classic chocolate chip cookie. These are French sable cookies, meant to be sandy and a bit crumbly but made a tad bit chewy by the addition of some brown sugar. And chocolate. No, not chocolate. CHOCOLATE. Perfectly dark, not-too-sweet, don't-you-dare-use-Baker's-chocolate, #CHOCOLATE.
Sigh. I feel so utterly peaceful just describing these cookies.
World Peace Cookies
by Dorie Greenspan via Smitten Kitchen
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (160 grams)
1/3 cup dutch process cocoa powder (30 grams)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
11 tablespoons unsalted butter (156 grams) softened to room temperature
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar (180 grams)
1/4 cup sugar (50 grams)
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel (small flake kosher will work) or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces of bitter or semi-sweet chocolate (150 grams) chopped into small chunks (3/4 cup mini chips will work)
fleur de sel for sprinkling on cookies
Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda together and set aside.
Cream the butter until soft and creamy, either with a hand mixer or a large stand mixer. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla and continue to beat until mixture is light and fully, about two minutes more, stopping to scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl as needed.
Add the flour mixture and slowly mix to incorporate. Stop just as soon as the mixture is homogeneous. The mixture might look crumbly but it will be okay. Add the chopped chocolate and mix again.
Turn the dough out onto work surface and divide into two equal pieces. Shape each half into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. If the dough is too crumbly to form a cohesive log compress it with your warm hands. Wrap each log with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze for several hours. When you are ready to promote world peace, preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your sharpest knife, cut dough into 1/2 inch thick slices and place about an inch apart on lined sheet. Sprinkle each cookie with a tiny bit of fleur de sel. Bake for 12 minutes. The cookies will not be firm and will look underdone. Let rest on cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to cooling rack.
Best served at room temperature but also amazing when the chocolate chunks are still warm and gooey.
Notes on the recipe:
-Please use really good chocolate and cocoa powder. World peace is not achieved with cheap chocolate. If you can find E. Guittard Cocoa Rouge Cocoa Powder you will not be disappointed. According to Ms. Greenspan, some people reported to her that natural cocoa powder (vs. dutch process) produced a more crumbly dough.
-The dough is difficult to slice, especially if it is frozen. Don't worry if some pieces crumble off - just smash them back where they belong. This isn't a beauty pageant cookie, it's a world peace cookie. Please forgive its imperfections.