Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tuesdays with Dorie—World Peace Cookies

World Peace CookiesI have decided to award my own personal nobel peace prize for 2009 to Dorie Greenspan and Pierre Hermé for their important efforts to bring World Peace Cookies to kitchens on several continents!

And we have chestnuts to thank for this union of writer and chef. Dorie met Pierre Hermé while working on a story for the New York Times about chestnuts. While in Paris on vacation in the early 90s, she phoned Fauchon (a luxury food shop made even more famous by Hannibal Lector in Hannibal) to find out how candied chestnuts (Marrons glacés) were made and was told to drop by and speak to the chef pâtissier there at the time, who was Hermé. Within minutes of meeting, a friendship was born. Since that encounter, Dorie has helped translate the genius from his lab into desserts we can create in our own kitchens.

One of the most famous creations is this humble sablé cookie. After tasting the all-american chocolate chip cookie, Hermé decided to tinker with the recipe since he found the original too sweet!
"The first time I had chocolate chip cookies in the United States," says Hermé, "I didn't like them at all. I thought they were too sweet, and the gooeyness was not very appealing."
Food & Wine
So, what does he do? He comes up with a double-chocolate chip cookie that's sweeter but the sweetness is counteracted by delicate fleur de sel (meaning "flower of salt" that comes from the Guérande region of France). And not just a pinch but half a teaspoon. The salt rounds out the sweetness and brings out the chocolate flavor. Plus, this cookie is of the slice-and-bake variety, which is on the opposite spectrum of the type of patisserie you'd expect from such a chef.

This pleasantly salty, melt-in-your-mouth, chocolate cookie can bring peace to your world (or at least keep the kids from fighting while they're eating these morsels of chocolate heaven).

Recipe

Makes about 36 cookies

Ingredients for World Peace Cookies
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon fleur de sel or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous ¾ cup store-bought mini chocolate chips (Hermé uses
Valrhona)

You can find the recipe for World Peace Cookies in the book Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or here or here. To see how the rest of the TWD group fared with this week's recipe, click here and then click on each blogger! Thanks to Jessica of cookbookhabit who chose the recipe for this week and will post the recipe.

World Peace CookiesTasting Notes
This cookie demonstrates Hermé's perfect marriage of the "three Ts": taste, temperature and texture. They melt-in-your mouth and are best eaten warm with the chocolate slowly oozing out leaving fingers stained with kisses of salted chocolate. In fact, one of my daughters doesn't like chocolate chip cookies but asked to take one of these in her lunch today!

If you don't want to make them in your own kitchen, you can order them online from Hermé's online boutique for 14 EUR, $22 CAD or $18 US! Hermé recommends tea, coffee, Maury, Banyuls Vintage or water, but I prefer milk with my cookies.
"Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you."
— All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum
found on the website for Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace
Recipe for Next Week (February 10)
Floating Islands on pages 401-402 chosen by ME!

My Bucket List

  • Go to Pierre Hermé's pastry shop in Paris and buy a sablé au chocolat.

    A few other links to World Peace Cookies (aka Korova cookies or sablés au chocolat)
    • David from Leite's Culinaria
    • Deb from Smitten Kitchen
    • Fanny from Foodbeam


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  • 60 comments:

    Elle said...

    Oh my goodness. I've *always* wanted to make these! They look spectacular!

    Emily said...

    Great recipes! We'd love it if you'd join our recipe card swap!

    http://www.swap-bot.com/swap/show/30141

    Check it out! Share your recipes and get some new ones to try!

    Secret Server said...

    Thank you for the history and all the additional info! I loved these cookies.

    Karen said...

    Beautiful photos! I love that you addded the history in as well!

    spike. said...

    Dorie Greenspan and Pierre Hermé definitely deserve a nobel peace prize! These cookies are amazing

    Megan said...

    One of my all time favorite cookies! :)

    Natashya said...

    We loved them too. I don't like really sweet chocolate desserts so I thought the mild, salty taste was really nice.
    Love the photo with the milk bottle. I would love to take a look at your butler's pantry one day!

    Jules Someone said...

    Love the arrangement! Nice cookies.

    Ivette said...

    Your cookies look delicious with that milk there!!

    vibi said...

    Yup! I agree... I too say: Nobel prize!!! LOL
    Weren't those simply amazing! WOW!

    Well done Shari, oh no! not the cookies, but as much as they look nice and everything... great Nobel prize pick! LOL

    Gabe's Girl said...

    What a wonderful post! Your pictures are so strong and vibrant. I really have a hard time reading, cause I keep going to the great pics!

    mike said...

    Wow, these LOOK fantastic! They're my new favorite cookies Nicely displayed!

    steph- whisk/spoon said...

    they look so dark and delicious! please send me some for my lunch, too! :)

    Manggy said...

    Whew! We even get a history lesson on Herme, hee hee :) Those are some beautifully captured cookies, Shari!

    dorie said...

    I'm so, so happy that you love the cookies as much as I do. They look perfect in your pictures. As for the Nobel Peace Prize ... wouldn't it be wonderful if one day it really did go to a baker!?

    Kaitlin said...

    Thank you for the back story!

    It's nice to know that the very cookies I made last night sell for $22!

    Jacque said...

    Mmm, yours are perfect! Nice writeup... it seems I always learn something when I visit your site.

    rainbowbrown said...

    A beautiful mis en place as always. They look delectable.

    Megan said...

    You always have the best pictures. I am beginning to think there is something wrong with me for not liking them.

    Tracey said...

    Gorgeous photos!! These are wonderful with a glass of milk :)

    Sunei said...

    Cold milk and warm cookies with chocolate oozing out! Better together! Excellent post and stunning photos. Love the old milk bottle.

    Jessica said...

    How great is it that you included the link to Herme's online shop in this post?! It's fantastic. I had no idea I could buy the real thing online and I have to admit, I'm tempted, very tempted. Isn't that awful? I mean, I just made them at home, why would I buy them? But I desperately want to know if mine are anywhere close to the real thing. Oh well, starving student and all, I'll just have to content myself with Dorie's recipe.

    Your post is fantastic and your cookies look delicious. If I could take pictures half as good as yours, I'd be so happy.

    Katrina said...

    Awesome! So good.

    dharmagirl said...

    beautiful photos, shari!

    i'm so happy we're able to make these at home, but i agree that going to pierre's shop in paris is a must...someday!

    AmyRuth said...

    Your trip down history lane was really interesting. I was unaware of how those two got together. Neat story! Thanks for sharing. Lovely photos of your beautiful cookies. Don't you love them?
    AmyRuth

    natalia said...

    Your post is great ,the story, the pictures and the cookies are a wonder !!!!!!!

    The Food Librarian said...

    Absolutely great post! I concur with the Dorie Nobel Prize!

    Pollyanna said...

    Yay! I am so excited to see your TWD today. I look forward to your posts. The pictures are amazing and I love your back story. I love that you had a glass milk container. I thought about taking a picture with the cookies next to a tall glass of milk. But sadly, we were all out of milk today.

    Another great post! Delightful as always. You make me want to join you on Whisk Wednesdays. I love what you do in your kitchen and with your camera!

    CookiePie said...

    Yum - one of my all-time favorite cookies. Yours are beautiful!!

    SUGAR B said...

    I want to climb into the picture and eat it already!

    Fab job!

    Judy said...

    I love everything about these cookies, and they're so easy to make. Why would anyone want to buy them? Maybe we should take a TWD field trip to Paris?

    Liliana said...

    Very interesting post!

    Love the photo with the cookie and milk. I have been using fleur de sel for cooking but never thought of using it in a cookie recipe.

    HappyTummy said...

    goooorgeous. love how you included the carafe of milk in the picture--i cannot imagine a better way to eat such a rich, yet delicate, chocolate cookie. yum!

    Sweet as Coco said...

    I used Valrhona chocolate, too. :) Best stuff ever! I love all your 'info' related to the cookies....Im thinking its much cheaper to make my own than order from Pierre. Maybe I should start selling them. Thanks for visiting my page! I love your cookies on top of a milk bottle. So clever!

    Lady Baker said...

    brilliant post...and I love that photo of the cookies atop the milk bottle!! I love the extra info you provided, the quotes..everything down to the bucket list!

    Teanna said...

    Gorgeous photo! I love the look of your cookies balanced on the milk bottle! And thanks for the link for the Pierre Herme Shop... I'm about to drop some serious cash on some cookies!

    n.o.e said...

    Thanks for the backstory on my favorite cookies! Yours make me want to eat another, with milk of course.
    Nancy

    Peggy said...

    I can't wait to try the floating islands! And I LOVE your photo with the milk bottle topped by the cookies. These cookies definitely would be great-ER with milk. You do a good job.

    Katiecakes said...

    Oh yum! They look great. They look squishy and it's making my fingers itch!!

    Katie xox

    Kayte said...

    Absolutely beautiful photography on all this, as usual. Your cookies look great...and your daughter likes them??? High praise indeed! The guys here loved them, too...they were eating them by the handfuls. I am so excited about the Floating Islands...although I probably should NOT learn how to make them as it will be way too tempting once I learn not to do it again and again...I love Floating Islands more than just about any other dessert. Can't wait to see what you do with those!

    Maria said...

    Great photos! I love these cookies!

    veron said...

    I agree...the best chocolate cookies ever!

    pinkstripes said...

    Thanks for sharing the background story of the cookies. I didn't know it. Your cookies look wonderful. YUM!

    Leslie said...

    Truly, an amazing post. I learned so much, drooled so much, and sighed for Paris so much. Thanks for the escape from reality!

    Sarah said...

    I love your picture! I think next time I'll try making them with regular flour instead of the gluten-free kind--the regular flour cookies seem to hold up much better!

    Cathy said...

    Awesome post! I loved reading about how it all began. These cookies are amazing, and you are right -- it is because of that perfect marriage of taste, texture and temperature. Yours look gorgeous, of course!

    Looking forward to the Floating Islands next week!

    kim said...

    the pic with the milk jug is so cute! :) they look perfect and i love the background story.

    Carol Peterman said...

    These cookies are worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Erin said...

    Milk and cookies- you can't go wrong!

    Hannah said...

    Definitely a classic cookie that everyone should make at least once- Even I've veganized it (and loved it, of course!)

    Jess said...

    Such a great post and pics! I can't wait to try the floating islands next week.

    April said...

    Absolutely gorgeous photos, you always have the best posts and photos. That top photo really showcases the cookie texture!

    Liz said...

    Oh, I love your pictures, especially the first one! The milk jug is completely perfect.

    Rachel said...

    I love the background info--thanks! And your cookies look awesome!

    Melanie said...

    Oooh! They look and sound wonderful! I can't wait to try the recipe.

    And ditto all the comments about your gorgeous photos!

    CB said...

    I love your old fashion milk bottle in the picture! Too cute. Looking forward to your pick next week. I've never heard of floating islands!
    Clara @ iheartfood4thought

    Annette said...

    Great post! I love the history of how Pierre and Dorie met. Your picture with the cookies on top of the milk jug is fabulous. I agree. Dorie and Pierre should receive the Nobel Peace Prize!

    TeaLady said...

    That bottle of milk would be just enuff to enjoy the WP cookies. Love the pic. Great cookies.

    Linda said...

    Really gorgeous photos to accompany a terrific post! I'm with you... for me, milk is the perfect partner for this cookie.

    LyB said...

    Your cookies look so dark and intensely chocolaty. Makes me wish I still had a few in the freezer. :)