If it weren’t for the fact that the recipe for these cookies was already plastered all over the internet I would probably refuse to post it and never tell a soul how they are made. Things of high value are meant to be protected and kept scarce.
Alas, they come from Dorrie Greenspan and she has already published them under two different names in her baking books. Personally I prefer their first name, “Korova”, to their rechristened name “World Peace Cookies” so I will call them by their former name when asked. No matter what you call them, they are quite simply the best chocolate cookie I have ever tasted. I proudly walked around the office last week handing these out — call me the cookie fairy (ha!) — and by the time I had circled back to the kitchen my coworkers were fighting each other for the few remaining cookies left in the box. So much for world peace. Here is a link to Dorrie herself discussing the cookie on her own blog. (She mentions the blog group Tuesdays with Dorrie that is making its way through her book. I don’t have the discipline for that sort of thing though it is fun to follow them.)
The secret to these cookies is the fluer de sel. Their slightly salty essence kicks the chocolate up a notch and contributes to their addicting nature. Think french fries. These aren’t your children’s chocolate cookies. Salt and chocolate is quite trendy right now and for good reason. I was recently in NYC and all the fancy schmantzy haute chocolate places are featuring sea salt chocolates and it got me to thinking about applying the concept to baking. (Dorrie, of course, already had that base covered.)
Don’t skimp when making these. Use the finest cocoa powder you can get your hands on and try to get semi sweet chocolate with at least 65% cacao. Break up some of those fancy bars they sell at chocolate boutiques. I found some chi-chi dark chocolate chunks at Whole Foods. You can use mini-chips if you want but I think that its the details that matter and even the shape of the partially melted chunks added to the flair of this particular cookie.
Korova Cookies (or “World Peace”)
from Baking: From My Home to Yours , by Dorie Greenspan
This is what you will need:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 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
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chunks from Whole Foods)
This is how you make it:
- 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 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 — 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.
- STORING: Packed airtight, cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months.