Sunday, August 28, 2011

World Peace Cookies

Might be the stupidest name for cookies EVER.

Fortunately they are also known as sablés.  Which is still fairly pretentious. But these cookies are good enough to stand up to any name in any language. That must be why about a million other food bloggers have already written about them.

I checked out a book from the library a few months ago that looked as though it might have a few good recipes. I had never heard of the author. Her name is Dorie Greenspan. I know. Anyway. She devoted a page in the book to telling the story of how her recipe for these cookies was served to her at a swanky party, only the host had no idea it was Greenspan's recipe. Even though it is really some French guy named Pierre Hermés I also hadn't heard of's recipe (again, I know). But up until this point in the story they are still called by their pretentious name, and then some other guy told Greenspan that a daily helping of these cookies could ensure world peace, and now they are Stupidest Name Ever cookies. 

I googled the recipe after I'd returned the book to the library and forgotten to photocopy the recipe (copy pages out of a book? who does that?), and discovered that not only had every food blogger and her grandmother written about them-- and I'm slightly dismayed to discover just how many food bloggers there are in the world-- but there exists this exclusive food blogger club of sorts that picks a different recipe each week from that same cookbook of Greenspan's. Then they all make the recipe. Then on Tuesdays, they all write about it on their blogs. It's called Tuesdays with Dorie. Kind of like Tuesdays with Morrie. Except nobody dies. 

Even though I don't get to join the club (membership for this book is closed; I'll scurry to join when her next book comes out) or put that cute little button on my site which demonstrates affiliation with the club (I am SO envious), I am going to blog blog blog about these cookies anyway. Since discovering the recipe, I haven't made any other cookie. Nor do I want to. Ever. They are ridiculously easy to make. The batter can be frozen and popped into the oven whenever unexpected guests arrive, which of course happens to me all the time. The frozen ones are equally as delicious as the not-frozen ones. When does that happen?

The crazy thing about them is, they're basically chocolate salt cookies. The recipe calls for fleur de sel, which I do not own, but since I have Fancy Pink Himalayan Rock Salt which really isn't that fancy, I just use that. I have even started sprinkling a bit extra on top of the cookies just before I pop them in the oven, despite the half-teaspoon of Fancy Salt that goes into the batter. Which probably means that the real name of these should be High Blood Pressure Cookies.

U-Name-'Em Cookies
adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours, who took it from Pierre Hermés

1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
11 TBSP butter, at room temperature
2/3 C brown sugar
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Set aside. 
3. Beat butter until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add sugars, vanilla, and salt. Beat for another minute or two. 
3. Add sifted flour mix to butter mix, being careful not to make a mess (Greenspan advises using a towel to cover the stand mixer bowl when you first add the flour, but I haven't had to do this). Mix until just incorporated. Add chocolate chunks and stir to combine. 
4. Shape dough into two round logs. Wrap in parchment or waxed paper and refrigerate for 3 hours. (At this point you can freeze one of the logs for future baking, if you wish.)
NOW you can preheat the oven to 325 degrees!
5. Slice into thin cookies (approximately 1/4" thick) and lay flat on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. They will look nearly the same as when you put them in the oven, but they are done. 
6. Cool a minute or two on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will become crisp but should not be brittle. 

Batter will seem a little dry and crumbly.

These aren't exactly 1/4" thick. I got a little carried away. Oh and also, the perfectness of the shape of your cookies will depend on the perfectness of the shape of your log. Rectangular cookies are just not that cute.


  1. Patti Setze SullivanSeptember 6, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Mia, you've finally done it. Compelled the WSG to put the books aside and tackle a bigger issue, that of World Peace. Dare I say, these cookies come just as close to solving the problem as any of our attempts: treaties, resolutions, Weapons of Mass Destruction. They are simply delicious and oh so easy. Armed with my meager knowledge, I used Hershey's Cocoa, light brown sugar (because you said they were kind of dark) Tollhouse semi-sweet chunks, and butter with salt. Anything I should have done differently? I did not put additional salt on the top, because I forgot, but think that would make them even more delicious. Plus I gave a big shot to the Palatine tax base with the purchase of a $15 bottle of "Fleur de sel." Finally, I was able to break in the Kitchen Aid Mixer after staring at each other for the past 22 months. Yummy! Also, and this is being nit-picky, but since you have to refrigerate them for 3 hours, step one of the recipe probably does not need to be "Preheat the oven to 325." I have to confess, I followed your instructions blindly, and would have kept the oven on until the cookies were ready, but the WSG jr. pointed it out almost instantly. She IS the product of all those reading and comprehension strategies!

  2. YOU BAKED?!? I'm so honored that my blog inspired that!

    I used bittersweet chocolate in mine, but the recipe says you can use either one. This is really a matter of personal taste, I think. If you liked the cookies with semi-sweet, then use semi-sweet, by all means! Normally, unsalted butter is used for baking, but since I didn't specify, I can see why you chose salted: salty cookies call for salty butter. If you didn't think the cookies came out overly salty, then no worries. I, too, forget sometimes to add the extra salt on top. I have taken to sticking a post-it to the wrapped logs in the fridge to remind myself.

    I'll have to find you more fleur de sel recipes to get your fifteen dollars' worth. So are you going to contribute to Eagle Scout bake sales and whatnot now?

    Duly noted, WSG Jr! I have edited the recipe to be more precise. ;)