Remember the part in “Groundhog Day” when Phil talks Rita into having a drink with him, and she says, “I always drink to world peace”? We snacked to world peace this week with Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies. And a whole lotta milk.
These cookies, originally created by Pierre Hermés and known as Korova Cookies, are intense. There’s no pesky milk or eggs to get in the way of your chocolate experience. No, no, no. The raw material is all cocoa powder and chocolate chips held together by butter, two sugars, flour and magic. The magic comes from a good pinch of fine sea salt, which helps these cookies transcend the ranks of your typical, cloyingly sweet, chocolate-chocolate chip cookies to become sandy, crumbly, sablés – dark-as-midnight chocolate cookies with a salty kick. Even better, they’re as easy to make as any slice-and-bake cookie. The ease of Pillsbury with the sophistication of Hermés. Oui.
Of course, we lowered the sophistication level of our batch with Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips. As Coco Chanel always said, “An ounce of pretension is worth a pound of manure.”
So, about that name. In “Baking: From My Home to Yours”, Dorie writes that she started calling these World Peace Cookies after a neighbor said that a daily dose of them “is all that is needed to ensure planetary peace and happiness.” I’m thinking this neighbor must have lived alone, because the power of the cookie is strong. If you live with any other living creature, you must be ready to claim, hide and defend your fair share.
World peace? Trick, please.
World Peace Cookies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”
Makes about 36 cookies
- 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 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 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, 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, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer, and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times. (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. 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 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
- Working with a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds 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.