Two ways to world peace
I love this cookie recipe. Like, cookie monster style love it. It is so simple and elegant and universally delicious that I really, really wish I had invented it. But I didn’t. Pierre Herme did. And then Dorie Greenspan re-christened the recipe with its current namesake. For that, they both may very well deserve a Nobel Peace Prize. Or at least a nomination.
This cookie is effectively a chocolate sable. It is buttery, crumbly and very, very chocolatey. The best part? You can make up few batches, store them in the freezer and then bake them off at will.
The recipe starts with cocoa. My weapon of choice when it comes to cocoa is this valrhona cocoa powder I buy by the pound at Surfas in Culver City, CA.
At the end we’ll add some chopped chocolate (or in my case, teeny tiny chocolate chips).
So where were we? Oh yes, the middle. Butter and sugar are creamed in the usual way. And then the secret ingredient is added: Fleur de sel. French sea salt. If you don’t have any in your pantry, it is well worth the small investment I promise! Following this, the remaining dry ingredients are added and mixed in either a standing mixer or by hand until just combined.
Then, it’s time to get brawny. A few more folds by hand until the flour disappears (but really, just barely).
Add in the chocolate (chips, chunks, or nuggets).
Roll into a log and then into the fridge (or freezer if you don’t plan to bake them in the immediate).
When ready to bake, slice the log and place dough disks on baking sheets.
And in about ten minutes, you’ve got nirvana.
These are truly perfect as-is. Really. But then I started thinking. If willing to compromise the sandy texture just slightly, I bet they’d make fantastic sandwich cookies.
So, once I got to the part where the dough should have been rolled into a log, I just rolled it into a ball and chilled the dough. Out of the fridge, I rolled-out the dough (between two pieces of parchment–you do not want to add extra flour) and punched out circles. Working the dough in this way does make them less crumbly and more cookie-like.
And that’s why I added some chocolate-nutella frosting in the middle.
World peace: two ways.
World Peace Cookies
This recipe has appeared in a variety of venues. Dorie Greenspan/Pierre Herme
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (I’ve used kosher with equal success)
- 5 ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate chopped into small pieces (or tiny chocolate chips)
Sift together flour, cocoa and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a standing mixer or using an electric hand-held mixer, beat butter until smooth but not fluffy. Beat in both sugars, vanilla and salt until fluffy; about 2 minutes. With beater speed on low, add flour mixture and mix until dough just starts to form. Switch to a spatula and fold dough a few more times until all flour is integrated. Fold in chocolate. Roll dough into a log (or two if you want smaller cookies). Wrap in plastic and chill until firms, at least 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 235 degrees.
Line baking sheets with parchment. Using a sharp knife, cut logs crosswise into 1/2 inch-thick rounds. Space 1-inch apart on baking sheets and bake until cookies appear dry (11-12 minutes). Let cool.
If making sandwich cookies (a TMH variation)
Follow steps through forming a log with the dough. Instead, form dough into a flattened ball and chill for at least 3 hours. Once firm, roll-out dough 1/4 at a time (it will be tough to work with at first). The chocolate bits will work as a thickness guide. Punch-out cookies with a circular cookie cutter. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 9-10 minutes (less than the original because they will be cooler).
You can fill these with anything. I just added about 4 TBS of nutella to a cup of this ganache in the pictures above (I happened to already have the ganache in the fridge).
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