I will admit: I was a little hesitant to post these cookies so soon after the other cookies, but then I figured there can never be too many cookies. I loved the Dorie Greenspan cake I made for last month’s Daring Bakers challenge, so when I needed to bake some chocolate-y cookies I went to Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies. The title of these cookies also did a little persuading for me also.
So my sister, who is much more religious than I, decided to throw a “pray for world peace” get together at her house. Her husband is Iraqi, and I suppose this was a way for them to feel as though they were doing something about all the mayhem and death taking place over there. I don’t know how I feel about praying to achieve a goal though. Don’t get me wrong, despite my secular beliefs about society and government, I like prayer. I believe in a sort of personal connection one can make to God and the warm and fuzzy kind of dialogue that can take place when you do (think Marjane Satrapi’s conversations with God in the beginning of Persepolis). Recently especially, I have been particularly skeptical about using prayer to achieve tangible, life-or-death goals.
Although, I have heard stories about miraculous things happening when people put their collective energies into willing something to be true, and I suppose I do believe them, so I’m not a complete cynic. Finally, I decided to show up, partially because I figured it can’t hurt, and partially because my sister was sick so I wanted to help her with baking the goods for people to eat post-prayer.
I’m not really one for group prayer because I tend to think of prayer as a sort of personal thing, so I won’t talk about the experience of being there. Instead, allow me to focus on the cookies. I decided to make them because I thought it was rather fitting to make World Peace Cookies for a Pray-for-World-Peace event. Also, so many people have posted these cookies that I had to give them a try for myself and see how they turned out.
Boy, were they delicious! I loved the kind of kick of chocolate goodness that they pack in every bite. The chunks of chocolate gives them a more dynamic cookie, with more varied texture. My only complaints were that the mixture was so thick and crumbly that several cookies fell apart as I attempted to cut them from the refridgerated log (In fact, now that I think about it, that whole cutting process was rather annoying…). Also, the cookies were left out on the table for people to take at their will and I found they were much drier later in the night. Perhaps this is because I only had time to refrigerate them for an hour, before baking. Either way, they sure did taste good, and I was glad to try out a recipe so many bloggers have posted about.
World Peace Cookies
from Dorie Greenspan
Makes 12 big cookies
175g all-purpose flour
30g unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
155g unsalted butter, at room temperature
145g light brown sugar
50g caster sugar
½ teaspoon fleur de sel or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt – I used salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
140g bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous ¾ cup mini chocolate chips – I used semisweet but will bake them again using bittersweet
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together. Beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix just until combined - 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 – I weighed the dough to make sure the parts would be even. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 4cm in diameter. Wrap them 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 making- bake for 1 minute longer.
Preheat oven to 160˚C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1 cm 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 3cm between them.
Bake the cookies on 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. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet until they’re cold – that’s when they’ll be firm. Serve them warm or at room temperature.