Dorie Greenspan has changed my life. I love chocolate candy, but I’ve never been a huge fan of chocolate cake or cookies (although I love brownies; go figure). But these cookies have changed all that.
I have made World Peace cookies before. And as we’re trying to cut back on the sugar and fat around here, if this were any other recipe in the book I’d probably have gone back to old photos and written the post from memory.
But this is not any other recipe.
These are, bar none, the best cookies in the world. Nay, in the universe. Dare I say in the megaverse?
I love these cookies.
But even though I’ve made these three or four times already, I tried two new techniques this time. Both were brilliant, if I do say so myself.
First, I shaped each half (well, actually, quarter; I doubled the recipe) of the dough into a rough log and wrapped it in plastic wrap before final shaping. Boy, did that made things easier. Then I slit a paper towel roll (as suggested by Dorie herself) down the side and used that to make sure the dough logs were the right diameter for their whole length. So much neater!
I also baked half a dozen of these little darlings before refrigerating the dough (and after it had been sitting on the counter for an hour or so). They flattened in the oven much more than the refrigerated ones, but they were scrumptious. I think I like them even better that way. (Who would have thought that was possible?) They were thin, but soft and chewy like the best chocolate chip cookies. I was going to save one so I could report on how it was the next day, but I couldn’t resist. Sorry.
The next afternoon I baked the rest, and surprise! They were just as thin and chewy after having been refrigerated for 20 hours or so. In the past, my World Peace cookies have always come out almost like chocolate shortbread. This time they were completely different â€” if I’d had these somewhere else, I wouldn’t even have recognized them as the same recipe. And I have to say, we like them even better this way.
There were two very small differences in the ingredients this time around: First, #1 Son had been cooking all day on the day I made the dough, and he had left almost three sticks of butter out softening for me. I needed 22 tablespoons, but the nearly full stick had seven rather than six tablespoons left, and, throwing caution to the wind, I tossed the whole thing in there. So that’s essentially an extra half-tablespoon of butter for the basic recipe. And then when I was adding the dry ingredients, I spilled some â€” no more than two tablespoons or so.
So there you have it: a tiny bit more butter, a tiny bit less flour. A totally different cookie. Fun with chemistry!
I have two photos here to demonstrate the huge difference. The top one comes from the lovely blog She’s Becoming Doughmesstic; thank you, Susan, for so generously allowing me to borrow it. Mine have always looked just like that. The one on the bottom is, of course, this batch.
I made about six dozen of these. By the time we got to the party I made them for, it was down to four dozen or so. Fifteen minutes after I laid them out on the table, there were only crumbs.
I didn’t interview people at the party, but here’s the family:
Husband: I actually liked them better before, when they were more shortbready. They were more special that way. They were good this time, too, though.
#1 Son: The added butter and reduced flour gave them a beautifully crumbly texture without being as dry as I’ve found some past batches. [We’re planning to send him to military school for suggesting that these cookies have even been anything but fabulous.]
#2 Son: They were just as delicious as they were last time, if not more so. They were especially good with the ice cream [coffee and vanilla]. I think they would have been even better if you’d used the 72% chocolate. [I debated between regular bittersweet and the crazy dark stuff, and I went with the regular. I’m a milk chocolate gal!]
Go read 300 other bloggers raving about these cookies. And if you don’t already own Baking: From My Home to Yours, buy it. While you’re waiting for the chance to get to the store or for the book to come in the mail, you can find the recipe at Cookbookhabit. In the name of all that is chocolatey, make these cookies.