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Thursday, March 11, 2010

World Peace Cookies

I wish I could come up with a more clever title, but if you've ready a cookie/cooking blog in the last year, then you'd know that all the clever, pun-tastic titles for Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookie have already been taken.

I also wish that the sun wouldn't set before I get home from work so I could take some natural-light photos, but alas, we'll have to settle for adjusted, low-light photography (because I refuse to use the flash).

After reading blog post after blog post and drooling over foodgawker photos, I was actually a little reluctant. I mean, can a cookie this talked-up really deliver?

Well, for someone who thinks cookies should be chewy, soft, and gooey, this little sandy chocolate nugget was rather addictive.

They definitely needed a day to rest. The one(s) I tried right out of the oven crumbled at the first bite, but the next day, these had firmed up delightfully leaving a chocolate-y pleasant (not overpowering) cookie. Well done bloggers, well done.

(from Dorie Greenspan but I actually used the recipe from Smitten Kitchen to make the cookies - I'm assuming they're the same)

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


1. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

2. Beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.

3. Turn off 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. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. Getting ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

7. 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 one inch between them.

8. 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.

For me, the dough was really crumbly and I was sure I did something wrong. But I just kept pushing it together (when making the log and cutting them into discs) and everything turned out just fine!

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