Cookie of the Month: Seeking peace, via chocolate

In a year like the last, in a month like the last, what is (still)  really needed is some kind of peace. Something to settle us, even momentarily, into a state of calm and content, lifting our worries and maybe even providing a bit of hopeful bliss.

Enter Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies, a seemingly humble chocolate slice-and-bake sable’ with a tall claim in its title that just happens to be pretty much true. You can find peace in a cookie that is really just that good.

The cookie recipe is featured in a few of the baking maven’s cookbooks, most recently “Dorie’s Cookies” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 2016). The name was given to the cookies by a neighbor of Dorie’s who, obviously, thought quite highly of them.

For those who believe chocolate can solve the world’s problems (or at least help us cope with them), this may be the cookie for you. Cocoa (make sure it’s a good one with the deepest, richest flavor) gives the cookies their dark, velvety base flavor. 

More chocolate, in the form of chopped chocolate or mini chips, studs the cookie with melting semisweet depth.

The cookies can be whipped up quickly (an added bonus) by creaming brown sugar and a little granulated sugar with softened butter, vanilla and salt.

The dough comes together with the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa and baking soda) blended in.

All that extra chocolate is then added…I used large, dark chocolate “melting” chips that I chopped into smaller chunks with a serrated knife.

Greenspan advises in her book that sometimes the dough can be more crumbly than others, but the right amount of kneading and smoothing brings it together so that it can be divided in half and formed into two logs of 1-1/2-inches in diameter. The recipe instructs that you could also roll out and cut the dough into circles, but I opted for log method.

The logs are refrigerated (and can be frozen). I am such a fan of slice-and-bake cookies, that I feel peaceful just having a log of cookie dough in my fridge!

The cookie logs are easily cut into 1/2-inch slices for baking. I just love the convenience and efficiency of the slice-and-bake cookie. While my slices were not uniform (like most of the things I make), I still drew great satisfaction slicing and placing these chocolatey little gems on my parchment lined sheets.

In about 12 minutes the cookies came out of the oven. They had spread and puffed just slightly, looking quite inviting.

And they lived up to their looks and their name. Deliciously tender and slightly chewy (I think the brown sugar promoted this), deeply chocolate in just the right ways. I also loved their salty edge, between the soda (which I also think helped the tender texture) and the salt within. And a little meltiness from the chopped chocolate. The tin of 24 cookies dwindled so rapidly, too rapidly. And the call for more cookies — and more peace — continues.

You will find the recipe for World Peace Cookies here: https://www.splendidtable.org/story/2016/11/23/world-peace-cookies

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