Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Cookie Tuesday - For World Peace

I've been meaning to get this recipe to you. It was supposed be Christmas Cookie Monday Part 2.  I apologize in advance for holding onto something so amazing, so life changing.  This thing that you definitely must have as part of your holiday celebration.  After all - the name of these cookies alone "World Peace Cookies" promises a panacea to any stress or hurry you may be feeling. Each transcendent bite will dissolve ill will, anger or bitterness. The chocolate-sugar-butter medley sure to smooth away  your troubles

Ok - clearly that paragraph was over the top.   It is just cookies we're talking here.  You'll have to excuse my giddiness.   The children noise that live here are outside enjoying a sunny December afternoon, the coffee is french roasted, hot and strains of the Messiah are echoing around me.  Pure ridiculousness in the joy of this moment has taken over.

Dorie Greenspan included this recipe in her most recent baking book.   The ingredients are so simple, so easy  that you most likely have everything in your pantry.  Nothing fancy going on here.  But the combination is perfectly balanced. It has all the flavor of the darkest, richest brownie but with the light airness of a sandie or shortbread.  As if that wasn't enough, these cookies are highlighted by dabs of bittersweet chocolate tucked in  for a delicious finish. These are delicious on their own, made even better with a chaser of ice cold milk.

World Peace Cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup  (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (scant)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces  bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small bits, or a generous 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips.
  • Whisk the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.
  • Beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.
  •  Pour in the flour mixture, drape a kitchen towel over the  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. Stop and check — 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.
  • 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 — just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)
  • Preheat oven to 325.  
  • Line baking sheets with silpat or parchment paper.Working with 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 one inch between them.
  • 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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