Pierre Hermé & Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies

By • December 10, 2013 • 57 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 cup (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 cups (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.

Comments (57) Questions (0)

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about 1 month 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 month 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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2 months 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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2 months 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 month 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 month 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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3 months 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.

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3 months ago Crystal Adele

Great recipe! My new favorite cookie for grown-ups. I imagine it would be great while sipping a some small batch bourbon. My two-year-old didn't enjoy it as much, more for mom!. I used a salted caramel chocolate bar chopped into bits and only half the salt.

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3 months ago Mary Susan

No egg in this recipe? Perhaps that is why cookies are crumbly. Has anyone tried adding an egg?

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4 months ago Kaydee

I just made these cookies. They tasted delicious, but they did not look like that at all. I'm not sure what happened to it, but my dough was super creamy and sticky. And after putting them in the oven, they turned out to be flat, crispy pancakes. I don't know how I manage to mess up a super easy recipe. help?

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2 months ago TriSarahTops

I had the same thing happen the first time I made these (using volume measurements). The second time I made them I used the weight measurements and they turned out perfectly. I highly recommend using the weight measurements.

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4 months ago CookOak

So sad...what a big disappointment! I followed your measuring instructions with the flour and cocoa (lightly packed) and my cookies came out thin, crunchy, and very oily. Looks like too much butter to flour/cocoa to me. The flavor was good but no delicious crumbly, sandy consistency. On the positive side, they hardly crumbled and sliced very easily (maybe that should have been my first clue?). Also, I baked the second sheet for only 11 minutes so they definitely weren't over-baked.

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4 months ago Erica

Wow wow wow!! I froze a double batch of batter (4 logs) a week ago just prior to leaving town for the holidays. I literally just returned from my trip - and the first thing I did was bake these cookies (they've been on my mind all week). Oh my goodness - these are AMAZING!! I just baked one batch - I added a minute to the cooking time. They came out great. I still have 3 frozen logs and I'm already making plans to bake and send my next fresh batch to my cookie-loving sister in Philly. I'm pretty sure I'll be keeping a ready-to bake batch in the freezer at all times. SO Easy. SO Good. !!

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4 months ago CurioCook

Just made these for Christmas Eve (I'm in NZ so it's already the Eve here!) - freezing the dough over night helped a lot with the crumbling - there was a bit of crumbling but minimal. Definitely wouldn't get 36 cookies at 1/2" cut, but perhaps my log was too big? I got 24 big, delicious cookies though.

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4 months ago Joy Belamarich

I followed the directions carefully, took all your suggestions about measuring (thanks, K!), and played some festive music. These came together seamlessly and without issue- what a genius recipe. Shipping these off to Grandma, who's always been an advocate of World Peace.

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4 months ago Lynn Maxon

Crumbly problem solved! I made my first batch, and they were sad. Consolation: the crumbs will be delicious over ice cream (or in coffee). A mini-muffin pan solves all problems. Those that slice nicely, great! The crumblies have a mold to smoosh them into. Bake for the same 12 minutes, cool and pop out.

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4 months ago Kristy

These are divine! A few changes I made based on everyone's dough experiences: the use of dark brown sugar instead of light and 3 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil in place of the 3 tablespoons of butter. My dough stayed together just fine after mixing. Refrigerated overnight.
My dough cut very well and was easily smooshable; cutting cleanly through mini chips isn't easy!
This is my new favorite chocolate cookie:)

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4 months ago georgina

Ugh, a total waste of ingredients! The "dough" did not come together even after tightly wrapping in plastic wrap AND tin foil, and refrigerating overnight. What a disappointing recipe :(

Miglore

4 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

Georgina, I'm sorry to hear this. I've updated the recipe with clearer volume measuring instructions and metric weight measurements too, so hopefully results will be more consistent, if you want to try again.

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4 months ago Rhonda

Hi Kristen, I was asking about the granulated sugar measurement because one of the posts said 1/2 cup. Thanks for your help. Rhonda

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4 months ago chiefkief

Hi Kristen! You mention making a "slight adaption" from the original recipe. May I ask what that is? Thanks!

Miglore

4 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

Chiefkief, good question -- that's the default credit that I give, because I often add tips/clarifications from my own experience. But in this case, Dorie's instructions are so thorough, I added nothing (except the gram measurements from an earlier version of this recipe).

Miglore

4 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

Now I've updated even more in the recipe to help clarify the measurements, just for the record!

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4 months ago Nancy Henderson

ok, best cookies of the season (yet!). these are wonderful - turned out exactly as described. Made the 'logs' a little smaller and so cookies are small (so can eat more, of course). Taking to a friend's house tonight. Keeper recipe. Thanks for posting!

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4 months ago Rhonda

I googled the 50 gram conversion of the granulated sugar so just about 1/4 cup. Should have done this before asking the question. Can't wait to try!
Happy Cooking! Rhonda

Miglore

4 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Senior Editor of Food52

Thanks Rhonda, and no worries -- it should say 1/4 cup above, to the left of the 50 gram measurement. Does it not show up for you?

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4 months ago Louise

Have just made these for our neighborhood cookie exchange party tonight and will have to make another batch as theyve already been demolished by the family! I made the dough yesterday, rolled it and popped in the fridge. The first one i took off the baking tray fell apart but i just left them to cool for a few minutes as the recipe stated (read that bit after!) and they slid off perfectly. Thesse will be my go too chocolate cookie now! Honestly didnt use any fancy ingredients, cocoa powder from trader joes and everything else from the local grocery store and a 50 year old stove and they are perfect - thanks for sharing the recipe! and about to go start batch number 2 and hope they last until this evening!!

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4 months ago Rhonda

Does the recipe call for 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup of sugar?
Thanks,
Rhonda