Pierre Hermé & Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies

December 10, 2013


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
Prep time: 3 hrs 25 min
Cook time: 24 min

Ingredients

  • 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
In This Recipe

Directions

  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 — let it warm just enough so that you can slice the log into rounds 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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Reviews (118) Questions (1)

118 Reviews

Catherine R. February 9, 2018
I really liked this recipe in general, particularly since the dough freezes well, but, like some commenters on here, I also felt like they were a tad sweet. So, I made the following changes: subbed the 3 tablespoons butter with 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, used bittersweet chocolate chips (72% cacao) in lieu of the chopped semisweet chocolate, and topped the cookies with Maldon flaked sea salt before popping them in the oven. Very pleased with the results - they are rich and slightly fruity from the olive oil and darker chocolate and definitely not as sweet as the original recipe. I really do appreciate that this recipe is versatile and encourage everyone making it to play around with it. I imagine this would also be lovely with some grated orange zest or pomegranate seeds in the dough.
 
Funwithme December 20, 2017
Just made these, way too sweet for my taste!!
 
jakestavis December 15, 2017
had the same problem as a lot of others, weighed my ingredients and dough was still extremely crumbly. they kind of look like clumps of dirt. taste much better though.
 
Nancy M. December 9, 2017
These are amazing. I have made them several times and they are always a hit. I am commenting here only to mention the aroma. If you put a few of these on a plate the people around the table will be drawn to them like bees to a flower.
 
Jazzy B. November 3, 2017
They were extremely delicious! Thank you for a great recipe :)
 
Sheila L. February 12, 2017
I have to say that I've tried this recipe two times unsuccessfully. They melted in the oven and turned into a crepe.<br />I'm crazy about cookies and I knew something was missing in the recipe and that I could fix it. Comparing with other perfect recipe that I use for years, I added 1/4 more of flour and 1 medium egg. Voila!! They came out perfectly after 13 min at 325 F in the oven. Soft and chewy in the middle and the borders crunchy! And the best: you don't need to freeze the dough for 24, 48 hours or a week... Just 1 hour in your fridge and they will be perfect.
 
Sheila L. February 12, 2017
1/4 cup more.
 
Liz L. December 9, 2017
Thank you!
 
Renee B. December 15, 2017
I wish I'd added these. Mine cooked up fine and held their shape but lack substance when you bite into them. It's almost as though they aren't cooked enough (they were and our oven temp is dead on). They're also a bit too sweet for me. I so wanted to love them as cookies. That said, they are fantastic broken over vanilla ice cream or frozen custard.
 
karencooks January 2, 2017
After having this cookie on my "to bake list" for years, I finally made them this Christmas. Why did I wait so long? They are easy, very delicious and freeze well! They are now one of my husband's favorites (and mine).
 
Catherine December 29, 2016
How are these "World Peace " cookies. They don't even call for fair trade chocolate.
 
allison969 December 17, 2016
This has become my "go to" cookie for almost every occasion. My initial attempt, the dough was like sand -- barely held together, as I see others also experienced. I made the following slight tweaks and they've come out great every time since. Also, weighing, rather than measuring ingredients has given me much more consistent results.<br />170 grams flour, 30 grams cocoa (I use dutch processed), 155 grams of butter, 130 grams brown sugar, 1-1/4 tsp vanilla extract<br /><br />
 
Anny99 December 18, 2016
Allison, thanks for the measurements. I have also had some mixed results, although these cookies are definitely a favorite. Did I miss the tweaks you've figured out? I don't see them in your note. Thanks!
 
Therese December 8, 2016
Absolutely delicious but my dough was crumbly when I cut it. I was able to pinch the dough together but the cookies were lop sided. However, they were fantastic!
 
k November 27, 2016
I am making 6 dozen of these for a cookie exchange in a few weeks. I have a question: I have a new gas range with convection; has anyone used convection to bake these cookies, and if so, what was your experience?
 
Bea November 13, 2018
There's no difference that I can tell , I baked them the exact same. Most people say bake at a lower temp but I don't . They were done in about the same time, actually 11 minutes for mine.
 
Raquel November 16, 2016
Good god, these cookies are perfect.
 
Anny99 November 10, 2016
I've been making these cookies for years -- ever since getting Dorie's amazing cookbook, Baking. Absolute family favorite.
 
Terri S. November 2, 2016
Delicious cookies. I followed exactly, except the part about putting a towel over the mixer...I just mixed by hand until dry ingredients were just incorporated. No problem with being too sticky, etc. I rolled them into logs after dropping the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and using the plastic wrap to help roll the logs. No problem there either. Sliced perfectly, no crumbling. 12 minutes was perfect. I am going to try these GF and possibly slice a tad bit thicker next time. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
 
suziqcu October 8, 2016
Measured by weight, sifted dry ingredients just because, and had to use about one fourth vegan "butter" as I was low on Irish butter I had. The cookies were fantastic! I am freezing some of the dough for later.
 
Idalu February 12, 2016
Lovely cookies though just a bit too buttery. I didn't have any problems with the dough crumbling. I used a good Danish brand butter (Lurpak) and some good quality latin american dark chocolate (70%) that I chopped. Instead of draping the bowl in a towel after adding the dry ingredient, i mixed slowly with a spatula and then pulsed a few times on low speed. Freezed the dough for 24 hrs and baked for 12 mins. They are good and I'll make them again.
 
JOEY January 24, 2016
Measured all ingredients by weight; baked on parchment-lined cookie sheets for exactly 12 minutes; let cool as directed. These are the best chocolate cookies ever!!
 
DAVID December 27, 2015
These were great. Everybody loved them. Thank you for sharing.
 
Michelle December 25, 2015
This is great, not too sweet! And someone even called it "the best chocolate cookie I've ever had". For anyone who had trouble with this recipe, make sure to carefully measure all ingredients. Including the butter, according to the package each stick of my butter should have weighed 113.4g but it actually weighed 126g. You won't regret making this!
 
Lindsay F. December 19, 2015
I'm a pretty experienced cook and I carefully weighed all the dry ingredients using my old, but trusty food scale, but my "dough" was beyond dry and crumbly - in fact it was impossible to form it into anything! I finally added a bunch of melted butter, rolled the logs and they're in the fridge now to be baked tomorrow. I mean chocolate and butter - how bad can they be, but I'd like to try these again - following the recipe. The ratio of dry ingredients to the butter seems to err heavily on the dry side? Anyone else run into the same issue??
 
CarlaCooks December 19, 2015
I just made this using the weighted ingredients and I had no problem with them. Did you weight out your butter as well as the dry ingredients? Sorry to hear they didn't work... these really are tasty cookies.
 
Lindsay F. December 19, 2015
I didn't weigh the butter but according to the weight on each stick, 11 tablespoons should have weighed exactly 150 grams. Clearly I messed up the dry ingredient weights somehow.
 
Janet December 23, 2015
I weighed everything and had the same experience. I thought the dough was dry but went ahead anyway. What a disaster. Too sweet, and the density of the chocolate was overpowering. I have half the logs in the freezer and I guess they can't be salvaged at this point. An expensive disappointment.
 
Tracy September 4, 2016
I had the same problem and I weighed all of the ingredients. I will bake them later today.