I'm not sure why we haven't tried baking cookies as foreign policy yet, but these are apparently the ones to bake if we ever do try.
I made these cookies when I wanted to make an easy, no-fuss dessert and when I didn't want to have to shop for a lot of special ingredients, and these were perfect. I had heard and read great things about them from a friend and other food bloggers who are big fans of Dorie Greenspan. I've had the Baking: From My Home To Yours cookbook for several years, and am slowly working my way through the recipes, and this is one you'll be able to come back to and make for numerous occasions. The cookies are a chocolate sablé, so they're pretty intensely flavored and have a crumbly texture. The chocolate chips make for a nice, smooth element in the midst of the rest of the cookie. They're a nice change up from the "normal" cookies, and I loved them. Oh, and the cookie dough before it was baked? Fugeddabouit. Delectable.
One weird thing I noticed that I can't explain is that the first time I made these, I made them in my mother-in-law's oven, which is a convection oven. The cookies came out small; they didn't spread. They were still good, but you didn't feel like you were getting much. They were polite, "oh I'll just have a bite" cookies. The second time I made them in my conventional, heating element on the bottom oven, they spread out and were probably 2-3" in diameter. Moral? If you have a convection oven and know how to use it, hopefully you'll be fine, but your cookies might stay small. I did also bake the second batch from a frozen log of dough, though usually that inhibits rather than encourages spreading.
World Peace Cookies
from Dorie Greenspan
Makes about 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 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 vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.
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.
Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour mixture, 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.
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: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Working with 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 one inch between them.
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.
Serving: The cookies can be eaten when they are warm or at room temperature — I prefer them at room temperature, when the textural difference between the crumbly cookie and the chocolate bits is greatest — and are best suited to cold milk or hot coffee.
Do ahead: Packed airtight, cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months. They can also be frozen in log form for months, and can be sliced and baked directly from the freezer, adding a couple minutes to the baking time.
- A bread knife works well for the slicing of the cookies since it is serrated and usually thin.