Monday, October 11, 2010


Someone once tried to help me diet by giving me this tip: Treat cookies and desserts as if they’re the devil’s cocaine and you’ll drop the pounds! Obviously this friend had never tried Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies because if she had, she’d know that no will can fight the deliciousness that is the World Peace Cookie.

Here’s a little background on the origins of such a divine treat: Pierre Hermes developed the recipe and called his creation the Korova Cookie. After a neighbor tried Dorie’s attempt at the Korova the neighbor exclaimed, "a daily dose of Pierre's cookies is all that is needed to ensure planetary peace and happiness." Hence, Dorie renamed the Korova the World Peace Cookies in her latest book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.

Diet be damned because world peace takes priority over thin thighs.

When I saw a floor mate at work hobbling down the hallway on crutches, the baker in me screamed, "make him some cookies!!" Nick is recovering from hip surgery so I had to bake something above and beyond the typical “get-well-soon” cookie. I pulled out my two binders of recipes and searched for those that I had put a sticky on. I only have a few recipes that are worthy of a sticky. Given that Dorie's cookies had one, I knew this would be a real treat for Nick.

I didn't have much success the first time I made these. The cookies were crumbly and wouldn't hold their shape. These structure issues are the main reasons why I don't like to make "slice and bake" cookies. However, the cookies were so amazingly tasty that I couldn't help but give the recipe another attempt.

My second try produced cookies that turned out exactly the way I wanted them to. Given that there are no eggs to bind the ingredients together, allowing the butter to completely come to room temperature is the key to producing cookie dough that will hold its shape when baked.

The World Peace Cookie throws everything at you; all at once it's salty, sweet, buttery, sandy, rich, and delicate. My favorite treats are those that are both sweet and salty. When done well, there is nothing more satisfying to eat than something that hits both taste buds.

In true beauty pageant style, I hope that the devil’s cocaine (….I mean these cookies) will miraculously nurse Nick back to health at breakneck speed and bring the world peace.

World Peace/Korova Cookies
Smitten Kitchen via 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, or a generous 3/4 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 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. 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 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.)

Getting ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

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 (Deb note: not a chance); 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 coupld minutes to the baking time.


  1. They look delicious! can't wait to try the recipe!

  2. Just tried the recipe. Ben and I loved them! The cookies are fabulous, thanks for sharing.