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World Peace Cookies became a holiday tradition in our house more than a decade ago. We make them at Christmas time to give away as fast as possible so that we don't devour them all. They're like no other cookie: deeply chocolaty and lightly salty, with an impossibly tender shortbread-like texture.
These started with a recipe from the marvelous, Dorie Greenspan, who got the recipe from famed French pastry chef and chocolatier, Pierre Hermé. Dorie says of these cookies: "If everyone had it, peace would reign o’er the planet." I agree. Here, the ingredient list and amounts are the same, but the method is different and, I think, improved.
Ingredients You Need to Make WOrld Peace Cookies
- Flour: all-purpose flour
- Cocoa Powder: unsweetened
- Baking Soda
- Butter: unsalted
- Brown Sugar: light brown sugar
- Sugar: granulated sugar
- Salt: fleur de sel (ideally) or kosher salt
- Vanilla: pure vanilla extract
- Chocolate: best-quality bittersweet
Everyone loves to eat these cookies, but if you read the comments on Dorie Greenspan's post, you'll find ample complaints about the dough being fussy to work with. The most challenging part: muscling a pile of dry crumbles into a tight cylinder to freeze. And then cutting the cylinder with a thin, sharp knife while frozen into thick rounds that invariably fall apart and have to be smooshed back together.
This year, I decided to try a different method. And I'm happy to report that it's a lot easier and still yields a cookie worthy of its name. The only special equipment you'll need is a 1 ½-inch biscuit cutter. Below you'll find my revised method along with photos and detailed instructions.
How to Make World Peace Cookies (New, Easier Method than the original recipe)
First sift the dry ingredients into a bowl (flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda).
Then cream the butter until fluffy in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add sugars, salt and vanilla and mix to combine. Now add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just combined. Finally, add the chocolate pieces and mix, again, just until combined.
Now turn the crumbly dough out onto a work surface (don't panic when it looks like the photo below!) Press the dough into a ball then roll into a ½-inch thick circle. Use a dough scraper to tidy the edge of the circle. Cut the dough into 1 ½ inch circles with a biscuit cutter, as close together as possible.
Transfer dough rounds to a parchment lined baking sheet as you cut them out. Cover with parchment paper (as shown below) or with plastic wrap. Freeze for 2 hours or refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
To bake, arrange cookies 2-inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in an oven preheated to 325˚F for 12 minutes if the cookies are cold from the refrigerator or 13 minutes if they're frozen. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Bake Straight from the Freezer
Keeping portioned World Peace Cookie dough in your freezer means that you're always minutes away from fresh from the oven cookies. Convenient and perfect for sharing with visiting family and friends. Just freeze your unbaked cookie dough cutouts in a freezer bag in a single layer (separated by parchment paper if you have multiple layers). Then bake the dough rounds straight from the freezer as instructed in the recipe.
More of My Favorite Holiday Cookies
World Peace Cookies
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 175g
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 30 grams
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 11 tablespoons unsalted butter 156g, room temperature
- ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar 134g
- ¼ cup granulated sugar 50g
- ½ teaspoon fleur de sel or ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- Sift flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda into a medium bowl.
- Add butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add sugars, salt, and vanilla; beat 2 minutes more, scraping down sides as necessary.
- With the mixer off, add dry ingredients. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and mix on low until just combined (to minimize flying flour); uncover and continue to mix on low until just combined (the dough will be crumbly). Add chopped chocolate and mix until just combined.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Turn dough out onto work surface and gather into a disc, kneading if necessary. Roll into a circle ½-inch thick. Cut with 1 ½-inch diameter biscuit cutter and transfer to prepared baking sheet for chilling - no need to leave space between as you're not baking them yet. Cover with plastic wrap or a second sheet of parchment paper and freeze for 2 hours or refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
- When ready to bake cookies, preheat oven to 325˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange half of the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes (cookies won't look done, this is okay). Transfer baking sheet to a wire cooling rack and let cool until warm or to room temperature before serving.
- Repeat with remaining dough if desired.
- Refrigerate unbaked cookies for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. To bake frozen cookies, place in oven straight from the freezer and increase baking time by 1 minute.