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.


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.


onesilentwinter said...

i do feel peace...and hungry :)

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Beautiful! Thanks for the recipe.

Anonymous 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!

Anonymous 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.

SYD said...

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