It is so hard for me to describe these fabulous & famous cookies and so I can only summarize by saying that these are the most wonderful chocolate cookies I have ever had.
Closely related to sablés in texture, these cookies are light and sandy but with a stronger burst of chocolate flavor. The tiny bits of hand-chopped chocolate & intense cocoa flavor make them seem almost like a fudgy brownie. In fact the thicker they are sliced the more fudgy-brownie-like they taste because their middles are soft & the edges crispy. I'd say this is a rather sophisticated, yet unassuming cookie.
Since I have zero will-power, I halved the recipe & wanted to use a Lindt Chili Bar in place of the dark chocolate required but then I discovered I didn't have it on hand like I usually do. So I added in just a little over 1 teaspoon of ground Chipotle Chili Pepper. That may have been a little bit too much since I had halved the recipe - of course that didn't occur to me while adding it in.
I had a few problems with the dough - it came together really well because I used softened butter. But after the dough had been shaped &refrigerated and I began slicing it, it would split in half. I pressed the sliced & split rounds together and baked the as they were while I refrigerated the log again. Eventually the problem solved itself when I sliced the cookies very thick which also meant very fat cookies. But I'm not complaining!
I have to say the chipotle pepper added a deceptive heat to these cookies and, for me, it was an interesting blend of flavors. I should have added a little less chili powder because it pricked a little at the back of my throat. But here's the real surprise: my kids ate them. Not one each, but several - and they think 'the chili pepper is kind of nice' but 'these cookies are so, so good - they would be even better without the chili pepper'. I guess I was really pushing my luck with those chilies, wasn't I?
That said, I'm not done talking about these cookies yet. I wanted to compare them to chocolate sablés and figure out which I like better because I really couldn't decide.
Here are the sablés I used for comparison purposes:
One bite is never enough to decide. I took several:
Was I any closer to deciding? No.
The verdict: I love them both! The sablés taste far more buttery and were slightly little less sweet than world peace cookies.
The addition of fleur de sel intensifies the cocoa flavor in the world peace cookies which, along with the hand-chopped dark chocolate, satisfies every chocolate craving I could ever have. They're not really like shortbread but taste more like double chocolate chip cookies with a pleasant saltiness.
Thanks for picking this recipe Rebecca! It was a wonderful way to roll in the new year. You can find the recipe for World Peace Cookies on Rebecca's blog Beurrista or pages 138-9 of Baking from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan.
Next up we're making Apple Coconut Family Cake. If you'd like to join our baking challenge, please email me at needfulthings at ymail dot com. We'd love to have you bake along with us!
Happy New Year to you all & I hope 2011 brings peace to all mankind!