Saturday, November 1, 2008

World Peace Cookies


It is a truth universally acknowledged that cookies make people happy (sorry, Jane Austen, I just had to crib that line). It's so true, though -- have you ever been unhappy while eating a cookie? No, I think not, my friends. Cookies are like a shot of tequila, only without the headache. I have a friend whose grandmother told me that every time she travels, she bakes cookies. She says that it immediately breaks the ice and makes people smile -- especially harried, stressed out people who only expect complaints and demands from passengers. I love that sentiment and I do find that food is the greatest communal experience through which we bond with others (ok, maybe not *the* greatest, but you know what I mean!). These cookies hit the spot completely. They are as intensely chocolate as they look, and the bit of salt gives it a grown up, sophisticated flavor. All I can say is, bake them, share them, enjoy the smiles.


World Peace Cookies

(Dorie Greenspan - makes 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 pure 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. 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.

3. Turn off the mixer. Pour in the dry ingredients, 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. 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.

4. 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:

5. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

6. Using 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.

7. 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.

9 comments:

Patsyk said...

Those cookies do look wonderful. I love what you said about sharing cookies,and it's true that no one can be unhappy while eating a cookie.

Eileen said...

I have made these cookies before and they do make people smile. There is something about fleur de sel and chocolate that is just heavenly.

Eileen

onesilentwinter said...

i do feel peace...and hungry :)

Helene said...

Beautiful! Thanks for the recipe.

veron said...

Love these cookies! They are for true chocolate lovers!

Vera said...

These are the fabulous, fabulous cookies! I baked them before and LOVED them!

The Cookie Blog said...

I will be trying this recipe this weekend. What a great cookie to take to a Thanksgiving dinner! You can be thankful AND full of peace all in on meal. What a great dinner!

cindy* said...

these cookies! they are so good and chocolaty and just perfection with that kiss of salt. lovely job.

Brentwood Kitchen Shopper said...

Oh yum, how come I didn't notice these before? They look delicious, especially combined with a cup of hot tea.