Time to review Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies from her book From My Home to Yours. Also called Korova Cookies found in her book Paris Sweets. These cookies are the brain child of French Pastry Chef extraordinaire Pierre Herme. They are a classic Sable' cookie. What sets them apart from average cookies is their sandy texture, and salty sweet flavor thanks to the inclusion of the French sea salt Fleur de sel.
First start by mixing together the flour, Dutch-processed cocoa powder, and baking soda. I love to measure my ingredients by gram weight when possible... very precise; each batch comes out exactly the same.
You'll need 175g all-purpose flour (1 1/4 cups).
30g Dutch-processed cocoa powder (1/3 cup).
I like to weight my cocoa powder right into a sieve.
This is why. Cocoa powder is notorious for clumping, so just use a spoon or your fingers to push the clumps through the sieve.
Next I measure 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. A measuring spoon works just fine when measuring such a small amount.
FYI - baking soda is really good at absorbing odors, right? Right. So to prevent it from picking up the flavor of other items stored in the cabinet (like spices or chocolate), I store it in a jar with a tight fitting lid. I also put a piece of tape across the mouth of the jar so I can level the spoon. I replace the tape once a year or so.
Now combine the dry ingredients together with a whisk; set aside. You can sift them together if you like. I don't own a sifter, but I have a lot of whisks :).
In a separate bowl combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and Fleur de sel.
I like to keep my brown sugar in an airtight container which keeps it nice and soft. If you find your brown sugar has dried into a hard brick, just zap it in the microwave for a few seconds at a time and it will soften right up.
120g light brown sugar (2/3 cup, packed)
50g granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon Fleur de sel (or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt)
(sorry I have no photo of my Fleur de sel... I accidentally knocked it off the counter and the little glass jar broke into a million pieces :(. Thankfully there was only a tiny bit left or I would have been much more upset)
Mix the sugars and salt together; set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream 150g room temperature, unsalted butter (11 tablespoons).
Add the sugar/salt mixture and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract; beat on medium until creamy (you can do this by hand if you prefer).
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour/cocoa powder mixture.
This is a very dry dough so I like to cover my mixer with a kitchen towel to keep the dust down.
See how crumbly the mixture is? That's the way it's supposed to look.
Add 150g chocolate (5 ounces). I used mini chocolate chips.
Stir them in by hand.
I weighed the finished dough (still crumbly). I got 670 grams. I split the finished dough into two equal portions of 335g.
Smoosh each portion into a log that measures 1 1/2-inch wide by about 7 1/2-inches long. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour; you can make this dough up to 3 days in advance, or freeze it for a month. When you're ready to bake, just preheat your oven to 325F.
Use a sharp knife to cut the logs into 1/2-inch thick slices.
Place the cookie slices on parchment or silicone lined cookie sheets. The recipe states you should get 36 cookies, but I got exactly 30 (that might be because we sampled the dough a few times during the mixing process... it was really good).
Bake only one tray at a time in the center of the oven for exactly 12 minutes. Put the second tray in the refrigerator while the first tray bakes. When done, let the cookies cool completely on the tray before you enjoy them.
My kids prefer a sweeter, chewier cookie, but my husband and I really liked these. I'd say they are probably best served to people who appreciate the soft, delicate flavor of Fleur de sel. A great gift to share with friends!
Enjoy these cookies!