Pierre Hermé & Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies

By • December 10, 2013 • 62 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.
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Comments (62) Questions (0)

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Stringio

11 days 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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3 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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5 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.

Stringio

6 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

Stringio

6 months ago Wendy Darling

Why "world peace"?

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8 months 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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8 months 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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8 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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8 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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8 months 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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8 months 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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10 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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10 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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10 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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10 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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8 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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10 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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10 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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10 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.

Afterlight

10 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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10 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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10 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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10 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

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive 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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10 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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10 months ago chiefkief

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

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive 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

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive 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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10 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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10 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

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive 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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10 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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10 months ago Rhonda

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

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10 months ago Polly Vraneza

How many cookies does the recipe make? Going to try them on my family for Christmas Eve dessert.

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

It should make about 36 cookies -- hope you like them.

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10 months ago MsJoanie

I followed the directions and rolled mine to 1 1/2" diameter and cut at 1/2" intervals and didn't get nearly 36 cookies. I only got 24. Not that I'm complaining. They're wonderful (I froze my dough overnight to avoid the crumbling issues people mentioned), but people shouldn't expect 36 cookies at those measurements...

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10 months ago Stephanie.a

There's something wrong with this recipe! I made two batches of these, and both fell apart. The second time I even tried to use warmer butter and refrigerate longer, but the result was the same--the dough just collapsed into pieces at the touch of the knife. I managed to salvage the cookies by smashing all the crumbs into mounds, and once they baked and cooled they stayed together. But they looked crumby, in every way. One small change I made to the recipe that I liked: I used half chocolate chips and half Andes peppermint chips. The peppermint made the cookies look and taste a bit more festive. Still, I probably won't make these again.

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Stephanie, I'm sorry to hear about the trouble. See my responses below about tips for next time, if you do try them again.

Tarte_tatin

10 months ago durun99

Haven't tried them yet but have read the comments and a little research turned up a later comment by Dorie Greenspan that she's had issues with crumbling on occasion, too, and that using Dutch-processed cocoa may help. http://doriegreenspan.com...
On the issue of weights vs. volume, I never understand why a baker wouldn't provide both. Having too much or too little flour based on measuring method could well explain the crumbling issues as well.

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Thank you for mentioning this durun99 -- we used natural cocoa powder each time we tested this, but it would be worth experimenting. I just found the measurements in grams from Paris Sweets and added those to the recipe.

Tarte_tatin

10 months ago durun99

Thanks for tracking down the gram weights, so much easier than measuring. I actually made these before I saw that you had added the weights and used just about the same amounts (a little less flour and brown sugar) and had no problems whatsoever with crumbling. I refrigerated for 24 hours and used a serrated knife to cut them. I also used full-fat, Dutch-processed Valrhona cocoa. The cookies were amazing, rave reviews from everyone in the family. Thanks for finding these.

Tarte_tatin

10 months ago durun99

The recipe in Paris Sweets actually calls for 120 grams of brown sugar: http://www.epicurious.com...

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Thanks for this -- good to know. I was pulling from here: http://doriegreenspan.com... Guess I'll need to try both soon. Let us know about your results if you do try them.

Tarte_tatin

10 months ago durun99

I made them yesterday figuring 2/3 cup times 200 grams for a cup of brown sugar, which came to 133 grams (much closer to 120 than 180), and they were sensational. The post you pulled from also cites to Paris Sweets, but you can look at the book itself using "search inside" on Amazon and it definitely says 120 grams. I'm sure they'd be good with more sugar, too, but we loved them with the amount I used.

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Thanks so much for your help -- I just tested them again with the 120 gram brown sugar measurement and they worked great, so I've updated the recipe.

Tarte_tatin

10 months ago durun99

Hmmm, I need an excuse to do some more "testing" myself these cookies are so good.

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10 months ago Edda

I love anything chocolate and chocolate cookies is my biggest weakness. I followed the recipe word by word except that I allowed my log to refrigerate overnite. The cookies turned out thin and crunchy. Far from chewy. As a matter a fact, the cookie crumbles at first bite. Can't figure out what when wrong. Any suggestions?

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

It sounds like you might have overbaked them -- they should still be fairly pudgy and soft when you take them out, and they'll firm up as they cool.

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11 months ago Cristina

Can you provide the ingredients list by weight? I seem to better with weights vs. volume. Thanks in advance!

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I just found weight measurements from Paris Sweets -- let us know if you try it!

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11 months ago Meags

Just made an attempt at these and the dough is hardly doughy! The roll wont keep its form even after refrigerating and it just crumbles apart. Am I missing something or did I just manage to make the antithesis to World Peace Cookies? :(

Miglore

11 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Oh no! Ours was also crumbly, but here are a few tips: twisting the ends of the plastic wrap to tighten the log, refrigerating for the full time in a cold part of the fridge, and slicing with a serrated knife all helped. Can you smoosh it back together?

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10 months ago i. cristina

Mine did the exact same thing. I tried two batches and the dough looks like crumbs. So, in the spirit of world peace, I'm going to sprinkle this cookie dough on top of brownie batter and hope for the best.

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10 months ago Margaret Ochs

I would guess the water content in both the sugars and the butter could be different and result in a "too crumbly" dough if dry. a few sprinkles of water with the vanilla before rolling up might be worth a try.

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10 months ago Lauren Wohl-Sanchez

I followed the advice to tightly twist the ends of the plastic wrap, which seemed to help, but also mistakenly added an extra tablespoon of butter. Didn't seem to change the texture and could have helped a bit with the crumbling. I also refrigerated overnight.

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I'm so sorry to hear this -- I dug up weight measurements in grams from Paris Sweets and added those to the recipe, so hopefully those will help. Check out durun9's comment above about trying with Dutch process cocoa -- although we used natural without issue.

One more flour-measuring trick that might help -- we use this method: 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 a drier dough.

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11 months ago Rumbum

Sorry K, didn't see your reply! (I'm getting old...)

Miglore

10 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

No worries -- sorry I didn't see yours till now too!

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11 months ago Rumbum

The original recipe as it appears in Paris Sweets has 1/4 C sugar as an ingredient

Miglore

11 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

It does here too!

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11 months ago Loo

The recipe only has brown sugar listed but in the method it says to combine BOTH sugars. I think that you're missing something!

Miglore

11 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Thank you! 1/4 cup granulated sugar -- it should be there now.