Friday, December 19, 2008

peace for you

Dorie Greenspan called these cookies the brainchild of French chef Pierre Herme, declaring it to be as important a culinary breakthrough as Tollhouse cookies. They are chocolate sables, dark with cocoa and flecked with bittersweet chocolate. The surprising and lingering aftertaste as the flavor travels to the back of the tongue is that of salt. Pierre Herme uses fleur de sel, a moist delicate French sea salt. Have you noticed that salt makes sweets taste sweeter and chocolate chocolatier?

When the recipe was published in her first cookbook, it was called Korova cookies. In her new book it is presented under a new name. Her neighbor, upon trying them, was convinced that a daily dose of these cookies is all that is needed to bring lasting planetary peace and happiness. So they were dubbed World Peace Cookies.

World Peace Cookies
Makes about 36 cookies

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tbsp (11 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp fleur de sel or 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into little chips

Sift flour, cocoa, and baking soda together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer and a large bowl, beat butter until soft and creamy. Add in brown and white sugar, salt and vanilla, and beat for 2 minutes more, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Pour in the dry ingredients and cover bowl with a towel. Pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. If there's still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a few times more; if not, remove the towel. Mix at low speed for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough. It is important to work the dough as little as possible. Toss in the chocolate bits and mix until just combined. (The dough will seem very dry at first, but keep incorporating the dry ingredients into the butter mixture - I did this part by hand with a spatula - and it will eventually come together)

Turn the dough out on a work surface, gather it together and divide in half. Working with one half at a time, shape dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick (I found this to be too thick, I cut mine 1/3 inch thick). If the dough crack when you cut them, just press the pieces back together on the baking sheet. Arrange the rounds on the baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between each.

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes. They wouldn't look done nor will they look firm, but as they cool they'll harden a bit. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and allow them to rest until just warm. They're best served at this point or at room temperature.


Bkcpisme said...

you're hired. when can you start?

Bkcpisme said...
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Patricia Scarpin said...

I have made these and they are wonderful! Yours look so good I feel like baking this recipe again!