Make Ahead

Pierre Hermé & Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies

June 22, 2021
4.6 Stars
Photo by James Ransom
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).

Helpful tools for this recipe:
- Five Two Ultimate Baking Tool Set
- Five Two Silicone Spoon Set
- Five Two Silicone Baking Mat

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Pierre Hermé & Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies
  • Prep time 3 hours 25 minutes
  • Cook time 24 minutes
  • Makes about 36 cookies
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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • patb
    patb
  • Trishington
    Trishington
  • Nicole Hurley
    Nicole Hurley
  • Dave Adams
    Dave Adams
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

163 Reviews

Erin C. March 17, 2022
Not that this recipe needs any more reviews, but I’m adding mine anyway ;)

I had a tin of Trader Joe’s peppermint bark leftover from Christmas that was sitting there, mocking me. The final 5ish ounces ended up chopped fine and subbed for the chocolate chips. A teaspoon of peppermint extract added with the vanilla echoed the delightful mint flavors in the bark.

My gluten free flour mix:
2 1/2 oz cassava flour
1 5/8 oz oat flour
1 1/4 oz arrowroot or tapioca starch
Rounded 1/8 tsp xanthum gum

Sprinkled with flakey grey sea salt and they were pure perfection!
 
Nancy March 15, 2022
I made World Peace Cookies - it seemed like a good time in history to make them. 🇺🇦 They are absolutely delicious! It was a huge help to see DORIE make them in her video, especially how to use the parchment paper and a dough scraper to form that perfect roll - and using a ruler and knife to make perfectly consistent sized cookies! They turned out perfect!
 
arcane54 January 1, 2022
I know there’s now a WP Cookie 2.0 and I know that freeze-dried raspberry powder would probably make these over-the-moon delicious. But how can you improve on perfection? I’ll keep making these WP Cookies 1.0, measuring my dry ingredients by weight as suggested, and enjoying their chocolatey goodness.
 
patb December 21, 2021
Amazeballs! Easy, except for the sandy texture of the dough, but that's no biggie when you get results like these. No fancy ingredients means they're always a possibility and especially when you can store a log of dough in the fridge or freezer.
 
Michelle December 15, 2021
I made these to share at work and they were loved. Make sure to follow the instructions regarding taking them out while still soft even though they might not look done yet. Delicious!
 
MsJoanie December 13, 2021
I love this recipe and have made it successfully for many years running, but I have to say I NEVER get as many cookies as the recipe states. Clearly, my idea of a 1.5-inch roll is different from the actual measurement because I consistently get between 19-21 cookies per recipe. I've doubled the recipe with success as well and still got only 38 cookies when cut at 1/2 increments. My cookies look like the same diameter when finished as those in the video but maybe that's a trick of the camera? Anyway, just leaving this info for anyone else not getting 36 cookies per batch, or anyone preparing to make a large batch to give away.
 
Rita November 19, 2021
Love these cookies! It is easy to mix up a double batch so I have frozen logs at the ready as a treat fir my household or for a friend. They are consistently good. I first had them at an author event at my local library. Besides the pleasure of hearing Dorie in person, thanks to a generous committee, we all got to taste a few of the offerings from her Cookie cookbook. Delicious!
 
Wendy5998 November 18, 2021
Wow. wow. wow. These are wonderful cookies especially if you love chocolate.
 
Stacey November 17, 2021
Not only are they absolutely chocolatey, delicious and easy to put together, I totally love the idea of making the dough ahead of time and into turning it into 2 logs. Then I can take one out of the refrigerator and bake a batch right away and freeze the other log till a later time, which I have done. Thank you Dorie and Pierre!
 
Trishington September 30, 2021
I made these recently and they worked out splendidly. They not only looked exactly like the photos in Dorie's book and here online, but they tasted AMAZING!! I'm now about to attempt a gluten-free version. Wish me luck! As for those who've had a less-than fabulous outcome making these cookies, I believe that a major key to success is weighing your ingredients. I once read a product review article on Cooks Illustrated once that compared various brands of measuring cups (both dry and liquid volume) and was shocked to learn that a lot of top brands are way off! A kitchen scale is a baker's best friend. In fact, I won't buy a cookbook that doesn't include weight equivalents in the ingredient lists.
 
glorior September 29, 2021
I made an account just to leave this review.

These cookies are superb! I made a few modifications for my family's palette (less sugar - 90g brown sugar and 20g granulated sugar, mix of chocolate chips - 100g dark choc, 50g semi-sweet) and I baked them at 180deg for 12 mins. They turned out REALLY YUMMY. They're the soft type and a little bit between a cake and a cookie. Mind blown. Definitely making this again and again. Thanks for a great and easy to follow recipe!
 
Kevin S. June 22, 2021
These cookies are spectacular! I weighed all ingredients and had no trouble with the recipe. I did the second mix by hand (when adding dry ingredients to butter/sugar) instead of pulsing with the mixer and there was no dust...
 
tomny67 December 27, 2020
I think Dorie said these were her favorite cookies. I just made them for the first time and I concur. They are absolutely delicious. They’re extra-chocolatey and the texture is lovely. I followed Dorie’s instructions, sifting and measuring ingredients by weight... which I never do. I unintentionally left out the granulated sugar and I don’t regret my error. I honestly don’t think they need the extra sugar. This recipe is a keeper.
 
Rebecca December 20, 2020
These are the best cookies ever. Those of you who are having problems with too-crumbly dough are probably putting in too much flour. Weigh it out instead of scooping it, and you will likely have better results. I have been making these for years and the only problem is that they disappear to quickly!
 
Randie R. December 18, 2020
I’ve only made them once, but I had no trouble with the dough being crumbly. I don’t know that I did right, but I hope I can do it again next time. The only thing I can think of that might have helped me, is that I softened the butter in the microwave, because I decided to make the dough around 11 last night.
 
Nicole H. December 13, 2020
So, I’ve made this cookie with equal parts success and (near) failures. I say “near” because it’s delicious (and SAVABLE) even when the dough resembles the dry sands of the Sharan desert. I found that my dough benefited from browning the butter ahead of time and letting it cool. The downside of this method is that there is some moisture lost in doing so. You may need to add a tablespoon of oil and/or alcohol (to NOT activate gluten) and to get the dough to hold together. I didn’t know that when I first tweaked the butter but was determined to salvage my crumbling mess. The answer is a biscuit cutter. Simply lay the cutter on your cookie sheet, fill with chocolate crumbles and press them down firmly with your fingers or the bottom of a glass. Carefully lift the cutter off and you’ll have perfect, solid shortbread cookies -THAT HOLD TOGETHER. Resist the urge to eat them straight out of the oven or they will fall apart. They absolutely must cool completely before you eat them. Hope that helps! Carry on, brave bakers!
 
plevee November 7, 2020
I have followed this recipe exactly, weighing and measuring everything. I used Gold medal regular AP flour and sifted it with the cocoa. I can barely get the flour to mix with the butter and sugar - it's not just crumbly - it's powdery I can't see this coming together. Is there anything I can add to make this work?
 
TeaForMe November 7, 2020
Try adding a bit of olive oil (a mild or buttery one). A mild olive oil will play well with the chocolate flavor and might help keep the dough to a manageable level of crumbly.
 
TashaLee August 30, 2020
I followed the recipe exactly and these came out very well. The dough is quite short and crumbly, which is the expected nature of this kind of dough. I found a sharp knife, and confident, careful slicing helped minimise crumbling slices. As some people have struggled with it: if you find that the crumbly dough log is too hard to work with, try shaping it into a disc before chilling and slicing it into wedges like a traditional shortbread.
 
Dawn A. August 22, 2020
I made them just as the recipe described and they turned out fantastic! I didn't have a bit of trouble with the dough. I used Ghirardelli cocoa powder, maybe that makes a difference?
 
tomny67 December 27, 2020
I used basic cocoa powder from Aldi and they came out perfectly. The key to success is to follow Dorie’s tips. Watch the video, read the recipe, and follow her directions. No need to brown the butter or add olive oil (as others have suggested). Listen to the pro and you’ll get the best results.
 
Dave A. July 15, 2020
There's a cleaner journey to this cookie! I've made this cookie a million times--my friends and family love it--but every time the "genius" trick of draping a towel over the stand mixer to cut down on mess still leaves me with coco and flour all over the underbelly of my mixer and dusting the countertop.

Ignore the towel trick and do this for no mess: pour in the dry ingredients, and before turning the machine back on, remove the flat beater and use it to manually cut the flour and coco into the creamed butter and sugars, like you're cutting butter into biscuits. I do this until there are no more big swaths of dry ingredients waiting to create a dust-up. Put the flat beater back on, and now you only need a couple quick pulses (without a towel draped over, you can see what's happening!) until the dough gets uniform and chunky.

Hope this helps anyone else who loves this cookie but can't stand an unnecessary mess!