When these cookies started going around the blogosphere again, I decided to give them a try. I’ve been thinking about a good chocolate shortbread-type cookie to use as part of a plated dessert at the cafe, so when I made them I made the rolls of dough less than an inch wide.
They turned out perfect for what I intended – they are crisp, intensely chocolately, and have a little salty hint to them that just accentuates the chocolate. Absolutely delicious, and as small as they came out, perfect bite-size. I’ve suggested to the cafe owner that she give one out with every drink (they’ll go with either tea or wine, I imagine), and I think she’s going to do it. As small as I’ve made them, I can get almost eighty out of one batch of dough. Not too shabby!
Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies
Baking: From My Home to Yours, Dorie Greenspan
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour [I used White Lily]
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt [I used 1/4 tsp of generic ‘fine sea salt’]
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips [I happened to have mini chips on hand, so I used those]
Makes about 36 cookies. [or a lot, lot more if you make them tiny! :) ]
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. [or smaller] 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 degrees F. 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 1 inch between them.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes [I used 10 for the little ones]— 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.
STORING: Packed airtight, cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months. I can also attest from (ahem) personal experience that they’re still plenty tasty after 4 or 5 days, when kept in an airtight tin.