Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies

World Peace Cookies-1Does anyone else feel like we need a little dose of world peace? Or maybe just some peace between the two parties of our own government? I surely do. And while milk and cookies may seem like a childish answer to this whole debacle, I happen to think cookies - and sitting around a table all together - could be a big step in the right direction.

Fortunately, the super talented and even more lovely Dorie Greenspan has just the cure: her delectable and famous World Peace Cookies. Through my job in New York City, I was lucky enough to cross paths with Dorie at numerous events and I was always a better person for being in her company. If we could all learn from Dorie's sweet and caring nature and combine it with handfuls of these cookies, I'm certain the world would be a much more peaceful and delicious place.

Note: If you are short on time (or are in need of a great gift idea), you can order these cookies (and many more flavors) by the sleeve from Dorie's gourmet cookie shop: Beurre & Sel.  

Yield: 36 cookies
Barely adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Besides being a delicious cookie, I also love that you can freeze the dough for up to two months. When Mike and I moved to Durham this summer, I kept several logs of this dough in the freezer for last minute parties and guests. If you've frozen the dough, you don't have to defrost it before baking - just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies one minute longer.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
11 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel (such as Maldon)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks

In a stand mixer 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, salt, and vanilla extract; beat for two minutes more.

Turn off the mixer. Add dry ingredients, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. If there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a few more times; 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 chunks and mix just until incorporated.

Turn 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 three days or frozen for up to two months.

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

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 prepared baking sheets, leaving about one inch between them.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time (keep the other baking sheet in the refrigerator until ready to bake) for 12 minutes - they won't look done and will not 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 just warm.
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