Pierre Hermé & Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies

December 10, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

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 (127) Questions (3)

127 Reviews

Gina B. January 15, 2019
These were divine. Texture was perfect and not too crumbly to roll up. I read the various comments about sweetness and cut the sugar by 50%, which was not sweet enough for my taste. Will remake with 1/2 c of brown sugar/2 Tb white. These are simple and delicious.
 
jessicam December 19, 2018
This is a bad cookie dough recipe. I rarely write reviews but I want to save others the frustration of making these. The dough is so dry that even after chilling for 24 hours (and following the directions to the tee) I was unable to cut the dough. It just fell apart. I had to add a whole egg as a binder and was able to form rough cookies. <br /><br />The taste is good, however. It is kind of a sandy brownie cookie. But overall I do NOT recommend this recipe.
 
jlriddell December 13, 2018
I have been making these for 3 years running. For some reason, this time, the dough was super crumbly, to the point they were not holding together when slicing. Squishing the dough back together really doesn’t work since it does not make a nice-looking cookie. Maybe butter was too cold? I see someone else here is substituting some olive oil, which I will try. Re: sweetness, I routinely cut sugar in cookie recipes by 1/3 or sometimes more and have always been happy with the result! <br />
 
Lisa November 27, 2018
I LOVE this cookie. I sub coconut sugar for the brown sugar and use a 80-88% dark chocolate bar so they are never too sweet. I make several several batches at a time to keep on hand and slice/bake right from the freezer. A holiday favorite, for sure! Thanks for the recipe.
 
FoodIsLove November 28, 2018
Curious if the coconut sugar changes the texture? I love the idea that they would be a little less sweet. <br />
 
Lisa November 28, 2018
I don't notice any difference. I still add the granulated sugar (organic) and cream everything very well. Coconut sugar seems a little harder to blend
 
Elyse M. December 3, 2018
Just made these, they are delicious. I also subbed for coconut sugar and they turned out great. Thanks for the tip!
 
Elaine J. November 17, 2018
Way too crumbly!! I have them wrapped in plastic wrap. I used Valrhona cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate so my dough is delicious and not too sweet. I do think the batter needs more butter or olive oil and/or an egg!
 
Kristen M. November 19, 2018
Elaine, the dough can be crumbly sometimes, but that's probably okay! When you slice it, don't hesitate to squish any crumbly bits that fall off back onto the slices. If it's still not holding together at all, you could try beating in a little more liquid in the form of softened butter, beaten egg, or even water briefly, just until it holds together, but I'd recommend trying to bake a few off first to see if you like them as-is. Good luck!
 
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.