Sunday, February 01, 2009

Baking: From My Home to Yours: World Peace Cookies

After seeing so much hype for these cookies, I figured it was about time to try them for myself. I mean, I didn't want to miss the cookie train, did I?  Especially when the cookies are the supposed brain child of Pierre Hermé.  Unfortunately, these are not cookies for the impatient.  Since they needed to chill for at least three hours, I made the dough last night and tried to stop thinking about them. I honestly wasn't sure they weren't going to turn out at all since the "dough" was so incredibly crumbly, it was more like a crumb topping than a cookie dough. The final outcome? The cookies are good, kinda sandy, not too sweet. But bringers of world peace? I still vote for the traditional chocolate chip cookie, warm out of the oven.

World Peace Cookies
From Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup (1 stick) plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous ¾ 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 dry ingredients, 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 1½ 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.)

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

Using a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are ½-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 1 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.

Makes 36 cookies

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