Wednesday, August 31, 2011

World Peace Cookies

Planning is part of my daily routine. I make lists and organize my thoughts all day long. It must be a coping mechanism for having a bad memory. I find that if something is planned well, I anticipate and enjoy the event even more.

For the past few days, I have been preparing for my sister to visit us here in Denver. I have lists on what I am cooking and baking, lists for what we will take camping, and a list for options of things to do here in Denver during her visit. We are looking forward to shopping, camping, eating and talking the whole visit. Our puppies will play and we will laugh until we cry. Each moment will become a treasure for when we are apart the rest of the year.

The other day, along with changing the sheets and cleaning the guest bathroom, I made World Peace cookies to take with us camping. They will be the perfect snack around the fire or after a hike. This recipe is a must-try for all chocolate lovers!

World Peace Cookies 
Source: Baking from my home to yours ~ by Dorie Greenspan
Makes: 36 cookies

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½    teaspoon baking soda
11   tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature  
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
½    teaspoon fleur de sel or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt 
1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5  ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous ¾ cup mini chocolate chips 

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

Beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes.

Pour in the dry ingredients, drape a kitchen towel over the mixer to protect yourself and the 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 on 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 is 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 1½ 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 for frozen for up to 2 months. If you've frozen the dough, you needn't defrost it before baking - just slice and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. Using a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are ½ 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 sheet, leaving about 1 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 the 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. 

Harmony's Thoughts
Although I love chocolate, I find that 5 ounces of chopped chocolate is too much for my liking. I scale the measurement down to about 3 ounces of finely chopped Valrhona chocolate.
Please use the best chocolate you can afford. It makes a difference!
Measure the thickness of the rounds as you slice them...a half inch is a thick slice.
I sprinkle the cookie with fleur de sel right before it goes into the oven as well...I little extra salt just does it for me.

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