Each holiday season, I like to bake up several goodies and then package them as holiday gifts for my coworkers. This year, I'm making some tried and true recipes from last year, as well as some new recipes I've had my eye on... so this post will be the first installment of many, over the next two weeks, featuring sweet treats that are perfect for holiday gift giving.
I've seen mention of Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies here and there on various blogs but never noticed that they were chocolate cookies. I always wondered why they were called World Peace Cookies... it was not until I read the recipe that I saw that Dorie's neighbor actually gave them this name. He believes that a daily dose of these cookies is all it takes to bring peace and happiness to the world.
That's a big name to live up to, and I have to say that after trying these, I'm not sure if I would call them that. You see, these are just about the best chocolate cookies I've ever tasted (with the chocolate malted whopper drops coming in a close second), and I don't really like chocolate cookies. I think those who have had them will agree with me in saying that folks are likely to fight over these cookies. So I don't see how they could bring about world peace ;)
These cookies are actually the brainchild of pastry chef Pierre Hermé, but Dorie is kind enough to share the recipe with us in her book. They are rich, buttery, sandy, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cookies studded with chocolate chunks (or in my case, mini chocolate chips).
The recipe is simple and straightforward. Like all slice-and-bake cookies, you'll need to plan ahead when making these, as they require 3 hours of refrigeration before baking. My only complaint with these is that there weren't enough to go around! I'm likely to whip up another batch of these cookies real soon, and stick it in the freezer so that the next time I have a craving for a chocolate, these heavenly cookies will only be a few minutes away...
I'm submitting these cookies to "Eat Christmas Cookies, Season 2," hosted by Susan of Food Blogga. Click on the logo below to find out more about this event and click here to see the round-up of all the other wonderful cookies being submitted!
World Peace Cookies
from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
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 (I used the semi-sweet mini chocolate chips)
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably 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, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. (I simply used my KitchenAid pouring shield - it really wasn't very messy.) 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 — 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 1 1/2 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 for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking — just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)
GETTING READY TO BAKE:
Center a rack in the oven and 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, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature.
The cookies can be eaten when they are warm or at room temperature — I prefer them at room temperature, when the textural difference between the crumbly cookie and the chocolate bits is greatest — and are best suited to cold milk or hot coffee.
Packed airtight, cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Yield: About 36 cookies
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