What’s in a name?
I came across a cookie on a Smitten Kitchen IG feed about a week ago, and I was instantly curious; it looked like a classic chocolate shortbread recipe but with a greater-than-usual percentage of salt and the added indulgence of chopped bittersweet chocolate.
SK’s Ms. Perelman attributed the recipe to Dorie Greenspan, a cookie maven/baking genius and I then remembered reading about this recipe quite a few years before (it had made the rounds only to enjoy a Ms. Perelman resurgence of late).
Allegedly the recipe was given to Ms. Greenspan from none other than Pierre Herme, the masterful French pastry guru who created it for a certain Parisian restaurant.
So some know these cookies by their French name, Sables Chocolats. Others by the name Korovo, the restaurant in which Mr. Herme debuted them. And then there’s the moniker given to them by Ms. Perelman.
World Peace Cookies.
As the story goes, Dorie’s neighbor took one bite of these cookies and commented that peace would be assured if everyone on earth was given one of these sublime cookies.
When cookies like these are on hand, why fight?
I was curious. Were they all that?
I bought some of this very good Belgian chocolate at Trader Joe’s
and I chopped it up into smallish pieces.
Sure, I could have spent easily three times that amount on fancier bars but why — especially for an inaugural cookie trip?
The dough was a breeze to pull together in my KitchenAid; you begin by mixing just butter and two sugars and then add a little vanilla and salt.
Next up a combination of flour/cocoa/baking soda is mixed in
as too is the chopped chocolate.
I think it’s best to hand-mix at this point so as not to overdo it; a light hand is the secret to the most delicate shortbread crumb.
Here’s what the dough looked like right out of the mixing bowl.
I then shaped it into logs, using a ruler to get crisp sides,
and as it went into the freezer wrapped in wax paper, I thought, wow, this smells and looks like the best damn slice and bake I’ve ever come across.
The next day I pulled the logs out of the freezer and sliced them into thick rectangles and got them into the preheated oven. They only took about fifteen minutes to cook until the cookies no longer looked wet.
Because not all the chopped chocolate pieces were the exact same size, each piece of sable/shortbread had little rivets and divets of molten chocolate held captive in the tender cooked cocoa-enhanced cooked shortbread.
And let me tell you, friends, these cookies are so so simple, but they are spectacular.
I tried to eat just one but I couldn’t.
They taste like a combination of the best brownie (for a straight up chocolate hit) and shortbread (for the delicacy of the exquisite buttery and tendery crumb).
The cookies that escaped my or my family’s clutches were packaged up.
I used aqua yarn from Goodwill and tags made from photocopied vintage cards.
I dropped them off all up and down the street.
Yes, if you live within 150 feet of my front door you get hit all the time with baked goodness.
But here’s the funny thing.
The last couple days have seen a flurry of treats left on my porch, too.
From the copiously talented Rebecca Ringquist (of the wonderful dropclothsampler blog), I received these bevy of lovelies.
Each cookie variety was spectacular, but I loved the thyme shortbread the best: a marvelous savory buttery cookie with a subtle herby undercarriage.
I love homemade treats,
especially the ones with wee hand written tags featuring beautiful handwriting.
Also on my door step was this — a friend’s famous white chocolate peppermint bark.
These are a but of the few things coming in lately — so often they are inhaled before I remember to take a snap.
And so my friends, I’m off.
I’m making cookies — lots of them.
I’ve got presents to wrap, a party I’m hosting to cook for, and all the other last minutes details to get ready for St. Nick.
So wherever you are, Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays.
I hope you’re surrounded by a cozy fire, lots of love, pretty music
and far too many sprinkles.