Chocolate Cookies Sweet

World Peace Cookies, the Newest Version from Dorie’s Cookies: Sneak Peek

The World Peace Cookie lives up to its name: If everyone had it, peace would reign o’er the planet. I’m convinced of this.

The cookie has a long history, starting sometime before the turn of the millennium, when Pierre Hermé, recently named the Best Pastry Chef in the World (something I knew decades earlier), created it for Korova, a then-new, now gone restaurant in Paris.

Revolutionary when it was born and beloved ever since, the cookie is a chocolate sablé, a French shortbread cookie, but because Pierre was inspired by the all-American chocolate-chipper, it has brown sugar and so it’s chewier. It also has a generous amount of chopped bittersweet chocolate and an immediately discernible amount of fleur de sel, moist, French sea salt. While we take salt in a cookie for granted now, sprinkling cookie-tops with flake salt and adding more than a pinch of salt to just about every cookie, it was startling then and still so appealing.

I published the recipe as the original Korova in Paris Sweets in 2002. And then, when my New York neighbor renamed them World Peace Cookies, I republished them in Baking From My Home to Yours.

Ever since I first tasted them, I’ve been baking them. And so have millions of other people – just Google the name!

When my son, Joshua, and I started our cookie boutique, Beurre & Sel – actually, even before, when we were doing pop-ups under the name CookieBar – we made World Peace Cookies. Of course. But somewhere along the way, I stopped making them as slice-and-bake cookies – which was how they were made originally and how Pierre Hermé still makes them – and started rolling them out and baking them in rings. (You can read all about ring-baking in my new book – there’s a chapter with all of the recipes from Beurre & Sel.)

And so, here’s the latest version of what I think of as ‘our’ cookie, since while it might not have brought peace to the world, it certainly has traveled the world and made so many people happy.

And yes, that’s a World Peace Cookie on the cover of my new book!

PS: When I moved into my new digital digs, ie, this website, I left behind many posts. I hope that I’ll be able to get them to live here soon, but in the meantime, I’ve heard from some of you that you can’t find your old faves. Now, at least and at last, World Peace Cookies are back!

Photograph by Davide Luciano for Dorie’s Cookies

Dorie Greenspan

World Peace Cookies

From Dorie’s Cookies

A word on mixing, log rolling and patience: This dough can be different from batch to batch — it always seems to turn out well no matter what, but the inconsistency can be frustrating. I’ve found that it’s best to mix the dough for as long as it takes to get big, moist curds that hold together when pressed and then knead if necessary so it comes together. When you’re rolling it into logs, keep checking that the logs are solid. Again, the dough can be capricious and it may not always roll into a compact log on the first (or second or third) try. Be patient.

Makes about 36 cookies

1 1/4 cups (170 grams) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (28 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons; 5 1/2 ounces; 155 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature

2/3 cup (134 grams) packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar

1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 ounces (142 grams) best-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into irregular sized bits

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium speed until soft, creamy and homogenous, about 3 minutes. Beat in the salt and vanilla. Turn off the mixer, add all the dry ingredients and pulse a few times to start the blending. When the risk of flying flour has passed, turn the mixer to low and beat until the dough forms big, moist curds. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix to incorporate. This is an unpredictable dough (see above). Sometimes it’s crumbly and sometimes it comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl. Happily, no matter what, the cookies are always great.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather it together, kneading it if necessary to bring it together. Divide the dough in half. Shape the dough into logs that are 11/2 inches in diameter. Don’t worry about the length — get the diameter right, and the length will follow. (If you get a hollow in the logs, just start over.) Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and freeze them for at least 2 hours or refrigerate them for at least 3 hours.

When you’re ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Working with one log at a time and using a long, sharp knife, slice the dough into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. (The rounds might 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 2 inches between them. (If you’ve cut both logs, keep one baking sheet in the fridge while you bake the other.)

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes — don’t open the oven, just let them bake. When the timer rings, they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, and 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 munch them, or let them reach room temperature (I think the texture’s more interesting at room temperature).

Bake the remaining dough.

STORING 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 bake the cookies 1 minute long.

PLAYING AROUND Rolled-and-Cut World Peace Cookies. WPC dough has a mind of its own and it’s hard to corral it into perfect rounds no matter how you handle it. If you’re on a quest for a neater, rounder cookie, roll the dough to a thickness of 3/8 inch and refrigerate or freeze as you would for logs. If you have 2-inch baking rings, use a cookie cutter that’s slightly smaller than 2 inches, cut out rounds and center the rounds in the baking rings. (Muffin tins won’t work for these cookies.) Alternatively, you can cut out the dough and bake it on lined cookie sheets — it’s how we made the beautiful cookie in the photograph. The baking time remains the same no matter how you cut the cookies.

Baking From My Home to Yours, Beurre & Sel, Dorie's Cookies, homebaking, homemade, Korova Cookies, Pierre Hermé, World Peace Cookies

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30 Comments

  1. This is the closest a recipe can come to cookie nirvana. PH is a true genius with flavor and texture. Thank you, Dorie, for spreading this around the world. Am anxiously awaiting the new book!

  2. Ah a new version of one of my favourite cookies ever! And I love the idea of rolling them and cutting them – I always have issued with slice and bake! Good to know your recipes will find their way back here eventually – I noticed broken links out to your site on my posts but figured it was just transitional and temporary! Love your new digs, btw!

    1. Thank you, Mardi! I think you’ll like the new method of rolling – not as efficient as slice-and-bake, but it makes a nice cookie. Actually, no matter what you do with World Peace Cookies, they’re always a lot more than nice!

      I’m sorry about the broken links – it’s an issue we’re dealing with, but it’s slower than we’d all like it to be. Fingers crossed all my content will be back soon. In the meantime, I’m glad you’re liking my new digital home – xo

  3. This cookie lives up to its reviews. Thanks for reminding me that the dough has an an independent streak — every time I bake them, the dough crumbles here and there and I wonder what I’m doing wrong. After time in the oven, all is well, even if not perfectly shaped. Sooo delicious.

  4. Maybe the difference in the dough each time you make it is teaching us to be patient and accepting, if we do that everything turns out right In the end, just as the cookies do! What a great name for this cookie.

  5. This is family’s favorite cookie and the one I make when asked to bring a casual dessert…. Everyone ALWAYS swoons over it. My husband prefers it raw so I can’t leave it alone in the fridge for too long or there is a good chance that a large portion will be missing!

    1. So funny. I’m not really crazy about raw cookie dough, but like your husband, I find the dough for World Peace Cookies irresistible.

  6. Dorie,
    I really enjoyed your interview with WNYC. You have taken the cookie creatively to a new level and certainly help promote peace.
    Florence, a baker’s daughter

    1. Florence, thank you so much. I really wanted to stretch the idea of cookies beyond the wonderful chocolate-chip cookie. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview with Leonard Lopate. I always love being on his show.

  7. I am so excited to try these cookies! I hope mine come out ok. I did not have a stand mixer and could not find the blades to my handheld…so in a panic, I used a food processor. It may or may not be ok. But, the dough tasted yummy so I am hopeful. Freezing the dough and then bringing them to a pre-inauguration party…not spreading my politics, but feel if there is a place for world peace, this would be it!

    1. I’m sorry that I’m so slow answering (as in months slow – aarrgh). I’m curious to know how the cookies came out – I’ve never made them in a food processor. Peace!

  8. Hi Dorie. I heard you talk about these cookies on NPR. I swear you said you have used muffin tins for the cookies… but in this recipe you mention that muffin tins don’t work. I’ve made them several times in muffin tins with mixed results. Some of the cookies turn out great. Others have pock mark-like holes on top. Is that why you’ve moved away from muffin tins? That said, they are always delicious but they don’t always look so great. Thanks.

    1. I use muffin tins to get more precisely shaped cookies for lots of shortbread recipes – I use the tins for most of the cookies I used to make for our company, Beurre & Sel (the recipes are in Dorie’s Cookies) – but I’ve never gotten a good World Peace Cookie out of a tin. They’re much better made free-form.

  9. Hi Dorie!

    These cookies are incredible and were a big hit at a recent work meeting. However, when I added the dry ingredients the dough became dry and very crumbly, to the point where I couldn’t get anything to stick together. I added a couple splashes of buttermilk to get it to the right consistency and they turned out well, but I am wondering if you have advice to solve this problem. I measured everything by weight on my kitchen scale so I don’t think I put too much dry ingredients. I have had this problem before with chocolate cutout cookies, but haven’t figured out why yet!

    Thanks for these!

    Jasmine

    1. This happens sometimes – I’ve had it happen with various cocoa powders. Adding a bit of liquid was a good idea, but I usually find that if I keep mixing, the dough comes together. As I’ve mentioned, these cookies can be finicky. As I’ve also mentioned – and, as it seems that you’ve found out – they’re always worth it 🙂

  10. Hello, has anyone tried to bake this with vegetable oil instead of butter? Unfortunately I can’t take dairy, but would love to try baking these cookies!

  11. Dorie,
    Do you use a convection oven? I am particularly interested to learn if I need to adjust the temperature or time for the beautiful world peace cookies. Thank you for your thoughtful efforts go help us make wonderful things for our families and friends

    Carolyn

    1. Carolyn, I don’t use a convection oven, however you can, of course, just lower the temperature to 300 degrees F. World Peace Cookies are particularly sensitive and if the heat is too high, they quickly burn and/or become lacy. Lower the temp and take a look at them after about 8 minutes. Enjoy!

    1. No, please don’t add an egg – you’ll change the texture! Just mix the dough longer and it should come together.

  12. Dorie’s Cookies, the book, is so beautiful! I’m excited to try this recipe, but I can’t decide if I should use natural or dutched cocoa powder. The presence of baking soda in the recipe makes me think natural. Any tips?

    1. Katrina, the cookies will be good with either cocoa – I’ve made them with both, although my favorite cocoas are Valrhona and Guittard. I hope you love the cookies – let me know.