Pierre Hermé & Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies

By • December 10, 2013 • 73 Comments

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Author Notes: Of all the cookies you will bake and eat during the holidays (and beyond), this is the one people will remember. They're fine and sandy like a sablé, but with a friendly, soft chew, a bit like American chocolate chip. They're made up of well-salted, well-buttered cocoa dough, with generous pockets and wisps of chocolate feeding through. "I've seen World Peace Cookies made with peanut-butter chips, with cinnamon, with icing, and with gluten-free flours. I've seen them huge and small," Greenspan said. "I don't think you can do much to make them better and happily, there's little you can do to ruin them. Except overbake them." If in doubt, pull them out early -- they'll firm up as they cool. Adapted slightly from Baking: From My Home to Yours (Houghton Mifflin, 2006).Genius Recipes

Makes about 36 cookies

  • 1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour (see note)
  • 1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (150 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (120 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur del sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips (no pieces larger than 1/3 inch), or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
  1. Note: If measuring by volume, it's important to measure the flour and cocoa lightly, as follows: stir flour briefly in the container or bag, spoon into the measuring cup until it's heaped above the rim, then level it with a straight-edged knife or spatula. If you dip the measuring cup into the container, you'll have more flour and cocoa and a drier, crumblier, more difficult dough.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.
  3. 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.
  4. Turn off the mixer. Pour in the dry ingredients, 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 °F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  7. Using 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.
  8. 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.
Jump to Comments (73)

Topics: Cookies

Comments (73) Questions (1)

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8 days ago Robin

Help!! I must have mixed my dough too it was to moist and sticky. Is that what I did wrong. I managed somehow to get it into a sticky mess of a log and they are in the fridge so hoping they will bake okay. I bake a lot so j really don't know what I did wrong. Any suggestions or comments I would appreciate.

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12 days ago evalunta

These cookies are fabulous. Ice been wanting to make these for awhile but was kind of annoyed by the preciousness of the recipe instructions. I mean, the thing with the towel and 5 pulses? But I followed all the rules and the turned out great. And then I made them again without all the extra fancy steps and you know what? They turned out great again. I even used chocolate chips that I gave a rough chop, not fancy dark chocolate. They were still fantastic. As my husband says, they're a keeper.

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about 1 month ago Salvegging

Maybe I'm weird but I liked these best baked 14 min! Delicious.

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2 months ago EmilyC

I'm kicking myself for having waited so long to try these. They're perfect!

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3 months ago Danielle

These were fantastic! I made them for Christmas exactly as described above, without a kitchen scale-- however I did accidentally throw in an extra T of butter, but I think it ended up helping and making the dough more workable!

I loved them so much that I decided to make a second batch with a variation. I kept my extra T of butter, added 1/2 tsp of cayenne to the sifted dry ingredients, and topped each cookie with a piece of Falksalt's smoked flake salt before baking. The end result was amazing-- multiple guests at my Christmas party asked if they could take some home. Highly recommend this version if you like heat!! The smoked salt was fantastic, but I think any flake salt would do.

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3 months ago betty888

Update: I made these again for my family, this time gluten free. I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, and they turned out surprisingly well - very similar to the real deal. I just replaced the flour with the GF four.

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3 months ago FoodIsLove

I just finished making my second batch of these. They are awesome. I did make mine larger...rolled the dough to 2" size and baked them for 15 minutes to compensate for the larger cookie. They are wonderful. I know others are having problems with these being crumbly, I did not experience that. What I always do when I make logs of dough is to form them into a rough shape and then slam them on the counter a few times to compact the dough, then do the final forming. It does seem to help.

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3 months ago Sara Perelli-Minetti

I made these yesterday and let me tell you, they are fantastic. I baked mine for 13 minutes, not 12 (my oven can be wonky), and was very careful when measuring my dry ingredients. I also decided to see what would happen if I added a little vanilla fleur du sel as a finisher and let me tell you, it's amazing!! You can make vanilla fleur du sel by just adding a vanilla bean to your salt. Overall, really fantastic cookie with rich chocolate flavor and lovely texture.

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4 months ago betty888

I will start by saying that I am not a huge chocolate-lover. I know, shoot me. I do enjoy it now and again, but when I have a sugar craving, I would grab a blondie over a brownie. That said, I was looking for a cookie that didn't contain nuts, made it tonight. Holy moley - it is delicious. I followed the recipe to the letter, except I chilled the dough for 2 hours instead of 3. I didn't have any issues with crumbling dough, and I kept an eagle eye on them after I put them in the oven. No problems at all. They are seriously good - something about the sandiness that reminds me of fudge. Just wonderful.

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4 months ago CarlaCooks

I made these as part of my Food52 Secret Santa gift. I added 1 crushed candy cane and replaced the vanilla extract with mint extract. After making the dough, I froze half of it in a log and kept the 2nd log in the fridge. After 2 days I baked the 2nd log. After 8 minutes in the oven I rotated the pan, then took them out at 12 minutes. They are perfect!

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4 months ago Ann-Marie D. Nguyen-Shavurova

I made this recipe when I saw it somewhere else (different name, same recipe by Dorie and Pierre Hermes), and just made it again this morning. People die when they try them, literally so good. Am going to make it for a (late) Thanksgiving dessert table! Highly recommend!

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6 months ago Lilismom

I'v made them several times as directed. Yes, it's crumbly but if you put the dough onto Saran Wrap or the like and roll it sushi style it's easier to roll the log. The cookies are divine.

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8 months ago evl

I found the dough too crumbly to work with the first time I made these. The next time, I let the dough sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before slicing and the problem was solved.

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10 months ago Andre Alves

AN OBSERVATION to this remarkable recipe:

The first I made these cookies, I didn't believe they were done because they were really not firm at all. So I left them for a little longer in the oven, and they got slightly toasted below.

I just made them again now, paying more attention. Maybe because of reason inherent to my oven, the cookies are indeed not done after 12 min. And since they do not look ready when they are done, I was left without a parameter to know when to take them out of the oven. The method I adopted was, then, the following:

While still in the oven, spike them with a fork to check. Sometime they will get to a point when they are beginning to feel sandy. Note the feeling of this texture, then wait a little (just a little), take them out and observe. Even if they are not firm inside the oven (and they should not be firm indeed), they should crystallize and by firm after just a few minutes at room temperature. If they remain soft after a few minutes, put them back in the oven and bake for a while longer. Repeat the process above, now knowing that the point of the texture should be firmer then before, when you check with the fork.

I did this after leaving a batch for quite a long time out of the oven before realizing the cookies were indeed raw. I baked them again, and they are perfect.

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11 months ago Hernan Cortes

I have never ever changed or questioned any recipe from dorie - follow instructions and all is well- never problems or surprises- she explains it all very well

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11 months ago Wendy Darling

Why "world peace"?

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about 1 year ago cschaefer

Perfect. Mine came out exactly as you described with a sandy, soft chew. Cookie perfection in it's entirety and now an added favorite in my cookie repertoire. Thank you for sharing!

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about 1 year ago lisa mitchell

I made these gluten free - used 1 cup rice flour based gluten free flour blend, 1/4 cup teff flour, 1/2 tsp. xantham gum. They turned out great! I did forger the baking soda though - the cookies spread quite, but were delicate and just a little crisp. Perfect with a drizzle of milk chocolate swirled on top - I think they would make lovely ice cream sandwich cookies this way too. So my "world peace" cookies ended up being renamed "happy accident" cookies!

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about 1 year ago Wendy

This is by far the most frustratingly crumbly cookie dough I've ever worked with. That being said, the dough produces some of the most delicious cookies I've ever tasted! I discovered that it helps if I shape the dough into patties and place them directly onto the cookie sheet, then cover, and THEN refrigerate for the required time. That makes it much easier than having to deal with trying to slice a crumbly log of dough after refrigeration. Hope that tip helps other people, because the finished product is certainly worth the work!

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about 1 year ago Annie

Hi Wendy! I was very worried about how crumbly these cookies were going to be from reading other comments so I added 2 tablespoons of canola oil to my dough and it was not very crumbly. I hope that helps!!

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about 1 year ago Wendy

Hi Annie,
Did adding the oil affect the shortbread-like texture of the cookies at all? That's one of the things I like about them - I love the idea of making the dough easier to work with, but would prefer them not to be greasier as a result. Thank you for the tip!

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about 1 year ago Annie

Hi Wendy! I've actually never made them without the oil. :-/ However, they have not turned out too greasy! I think even just 1 tablespoons of canola oil would help. Also, whenever I have made them all the kiddos, husband, and neighbors gobble them up instantly (I'm constantly saying, "Just WAIT for them to cool!!!") so I do not know how texture has been affected. Sorry about that!!! I hope the next time you bake these you have more fun in the process of making them, but you are right - they turn out delicious!!!

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about 1 year ago Barbara

Loved the cookies. I printed the recipe when it was first posted and it was missing the white sugar in the printed version. I wondered when making them why it said, add both sugars. Before baking I came back to the digital version and added the sugar (after everything was blended). They turned out perfectly and are my favorite chocolate cookie ever. Thanks.