Monday, December 28, 2009

World Peace Cookies

These were my favorite cookies that we made for our Holiday Cookie Extravaganza. The texture reminded me of a shortbread cookie- crumbly and buttery. The fine sea salt made all the difference. Why are these called "World Peace" cookies, you say? In her book, Dorie explains that a daily dose of these cookies is all that would be needed to bring worldly peace and happiness- thus dubbed them "World Peace Cookies". Ahh, if it could only be that simple. Even if world peace isn't in the near future, I assure you that your mouth will be in blissful peace with each bite of this cookie.

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick plus 3 Tbsp(11 Tbsp total) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp fleur de sel or 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
5-oz 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.
3. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.
4. Turn off the mixer.
5. Pour in the flour, 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.
6. 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.

7. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

8. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half.

9. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1-1/2 inches in diameter.

10. 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.)
11. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
12. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
13. 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.)

14. Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about one inch between them. (They hardly spread.)

15. 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.
16. 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.

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.

Yield: 36 cookies

Source: Originally from Dorie Greenspan, as found on Smitten Kitchen


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