Friday, April 03, 2009

Recipe: World Peace Cookies

Rounding up Christmas? It's almost Easter! That's what you might think but I just wanted to show one more good looking cream picture of caramelized pumpkin pie and then I'm done for this year, I swear. The highlight of the Christmas lunch had to be that M, our fashionable, I-don't-cook M, made a roast lamb.

This was my piece de resistance and now that we're three months into the year, I'm craving a piece of pumpkin pie! The graham cookie, the thick swirl of cream, this is not the season of indulgence I know but oh, I'm missing the snow, the Christmas carols and the happy getogethers. No prizes for guessing my favourite holiday.

There, in all it's juicy pink glory. I'm just impressed that she went to buy a piece of meat. See what love can do?

One more picture of my little cupcakes, just because D's Christmas ornaments were so very cute. I miss gingerbread houses and charming Christmas ornaments of wood and felt!

And now Dorie Greenspan's famous World Peace dark chocolate cookies, so-named by Pierre Herme because if the world could have them, there would be peace in the land. (Which is a perfect sentiment for Christmas, I must say). I have her cookbook but it was in D's kitchen that she unrolled the dark chocolate dough with its meltingly good chocolate pieces. The guys were picking them like hot potatoes off the baking tray! This cookie recipe is an absolute winner! Remember to use the best quality dark chocolate and sea salt that you can find.

World Peace/Korova Cookies
Paris Sweets, Dorie Greenspan

Makes about 36 cookies

1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons or 150 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (120 grams) (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 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. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.

3. Pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour.

4. 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.

5. Shape the dough into lumps straight on your baking tray or into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter, wrap them in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours. If you mound the dough, you wind up with higher, lumpier cookies. If you refrigerate and then slice the dough, you will have thinner but round cookies

6. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C) and 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.

7. Serving: The cookies can be eaten when they are warm or at room temperature. I prefer them warm and melty! Packed airtight, cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days and can be frozen for up to 2 months. They can also be frozen in log form for months, then sliced and baked when guest arrive unannounced!

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