I came quite close to breaking out in a hippy Kumbaya solo, but thankfully for the ears nearby, these cookies were still in my mouth masticating.
As I munched away, a simple solution dawned on me for how we could make peace and not war. If everyone turned on their ovens and whipped up a batch of these ultra mature and decadent dark chocolate sables ( c/o Dorie Greenspan), then we’d all be dancing around the maypole in a euphoric, utopian trance right about now.
But, consider for a moment the struggles of this cookie’s creation and subsequent development into a peace evolved status. Similar to a fledgling nation in a fragile state, these cookies’ natural tendency is to be quite unpredictable; their nature is crumbly and difficult to manage; the dough must be handled with care. However, with some tender love, rest & recovery, strong bonds will be achieved…
With a new day on the horizon, all elements will have cooperated with one another and be easier to manage. As with all difficult lessons in the kitchen and especially those in life, the most important thing is to learn from them– and roll with the punches. Mistakes will always be made, but being at peace with them is what makes all the difference. It will keep you sane and prevent a domino effect of misery that can easily be absorbed by one person and passed on to the next. Not holding grudges or sweating the small stuff are the keys to attaining peace folks!..AND making some rocking cookies! I have always believed that your mood will transfer into the food you work with…so, Be Happy; make peace, love, and not war– and your cookies will be as bright as you.
OK, Philosopher’s Stone Philosophy aside, we can start by baking up a batch of these rich babies and put some smiles on people’s faces as you place a cookie in each of their hands.
For these to be World Peace worthy, I highly recommend using the finest dark chocolate, cocoa, and butter you can get your hands on– because –you can taste the difference in quality. Working with these ingredients will also promote the flow of happy, calm vibes throughout your body and mind.
My suggestions are in italics. Peace Out. Thanks to Smitten Kitchen for her rendition of this recipe and helpful tidbits.
World Peace Cookies
1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (used an all natural cocoa: Valrohna)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp (11 tbsp or 150 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (120 grams) (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp fleur de sel or 1/4 tsp fine sea salt (I went for the former)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 oz (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips (I went the bittersweet route and used a fine dark chocolate bar with 85% cocoa solids)
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, 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. (I did all this by hand, especially considering the delicate nature of this dough. Overworking or overmixing will result in tough cookies)
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.) (I refrigerated mine for 1 day, and whatever dough I didn’t bake, I froze in air-tight freezer bags)
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
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 (I found them to be dry and too crumbly by day 2, so I recommend eating them the day you bake them. If you end up with leftovers that turn stale, you can always pulverize them in the food processor and turn them into cookie crumbs for a cheesecake or bar cookie). Unbaked dough can be frozen for up to 2 months. Freeze them in log form.They can be sliced and baked directly from the freezer, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.
Yield: About 36 cookies.