Can A Cookie Change the World?

Dorie Greenspan’s neighbour, Richard Gold, thought so. When he tasted Korova Cookies, a Pierre Hermé’s recipe which appeared in Greenspan’s cookbook, Paris Sweets, he renamed them World Peace Cookies, convinced that a daily dose of these is all that is required to ensure planetary peace and happiness. World Peace Cookies became a culinary and Internet sensation (57,400,000 results when you search Google).

And so, a week in advance of chocolate’s big day—Saint Valentine’s Day—here is a confection capable of inspiring, if not world peace, then surely love, this February 14.

I know you are already thinking about the hearts-and-flowers holiday. There’s the menu, the flowers, the dress. Red lip or pink? Champagne or Rosé? And what form should chocolate take this year? Cake, cookies, tart, cupcakes, truffles?

I’ll help you make one decision: just bake up a batch of these cookies. The recipe is right here. They are a decidedly adult dessert with a hint of fleur de sel; and decidedly French with a chocolate, sablé-like dough; and decidedly decadent with chunks of bittersweet chocolate interspersed throughout.

So, there; dessert is settled. The rest, my dear, is up to you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder  (Greenspan uses Valrhona)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2  cup plus 3 tablespoons (150 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 5 ounces (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 85% cacao), chopped unevenly (some micro, some small, some large pieces–but not bigger  than 1/3 inch

Sift flour, cocoa, and baking soda into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth but not fluffy. Add both sugars, vanilla, and sea salt; beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; beat just until blended (mixture may be crumbly). Add chopped chocolate; mix just to distribute (if dough doesn’t come together, knead lightly in bowl to form ball). Divide dough in half. Place each half on sheet of plastic wrap. Form each into 1 1/2-inch-diameter log. Wrap each in plastic; chill until firm, about 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using thin sharp knife, cut logs crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Space 1 inch apart on prepared sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 12 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE. 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.

Dorie Greenspan: Paris Sweets (Amazon); Website (here).

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