Saturday, 11 February 2017

World Peace Cookies Even the Tired Can Make

With a name like World Peace Cookies, you’d want to eat them by the bushel.  The fact they’re packed full of chocolate will transform everyone you know into a peace activist.  But the truth is, they can be slightly labour intensive if you don’t have an electric mixer.  More than slightly if, like myself, you have health issues.

So along with the recipe stolen from Dorie's Cookies, I’ll give you a few Hag Improvs for the energy impaired. 

Nary a knife slimed.

170g all purpose flour
28g unsweetened cocoa powder 
½t baking soda
155g unsalted butter
50g sugar
134g light brown sugar
½t fleur de sel or ¼t fine sea salt
1t vanilla extract
150g baking chocolate

Vegans =>  Substitute butter with a non-dairy margarine & make sure your chocolate is dairy free.

Cube the butter cold from the refrigerator to avoid sliming up the knife.  (A soft margarine won’t need to be cubed.)  A large sharp bread knife makes this easier than the eponymous butter knife, so wield the wicked blade & avoid an energy zapper.

Resident butter thief.
Cold butter is hard to mix into a dough or batter.  I put the cube plate on top of a plate warmer to soften the butter while I chop up the chocolate.  What you don't see in the photo is that the plate warmer’s inside the nuker.  That’s because I live with a Doodle whose thievery skills rival the Artful Dodger.  She not only can pick your pocket without detection, but has also lifted a Pyrex dish of cooling fish pie off the counter and onto the floor with only the softest of thumps.  AND she’d run past chocolate to steal butter.  Thus, the warming butter tucked safely out of Doodle harm. 

If you don't have a plate warmer, time will do the work for you & bring the butter to room temperature.  But if you do use a plate warmer, make sure that the butter doesn’t melt.  Your baked cookies will be flat & crisp if it does, rather than fat & chewy.

Break the chocolate into the pre-formed segments, then cut the segments in half.

In a medium bowl (not the one you plan to mix the dough in), sift the flour, cocoa & baking soda.

Ingredients for tomorrow's cooking.

On some days, that’s enough upper body work for me.  My Hag Improv for labour intensive recipes such as this, is to prepare the ingredients & store them in separate containers, leaving the mixing and/or cooking part until later.  I often use the time after dinner for congregating my fixings so that the next morning, I’m ready to bake.

Whenever it’s done, the next step is to cream the butter or margarine with the 2 types of sugar.  Once it’s smooth, mix in the salt & vanilla.  Add the sifted dry ingredients & stir until it’s nice & smooth.  

Dorie says her dough varies, but so far, mine is always a nice glossy ball that unfortunate leaves behind not a bit of chocolate to be licked from the bowl.  Lastly, add the chocolate chunks.

Separate the dough into quarters, then roll each quarter into a log that’s about 1.5” in diameter & about 12” long.  Double wrap each log in cling film & freeze for a minimum of 3 hours. 

How yum is that?

This gives you 4 cookie batches that you can cook all at once or take out of the freezer as needed.  If you have friends who pop over, they’re going to love you for your World Peace Cookies baked while they wait.  

If you’re an introvert, you may want to keep the little guys a secret, to avoid unexpected visitors.

When it comes time to have cookies, cut your dough into 1” slices – each log gives you a dozen cookies.  (Dorie cuts them in half inch slices, but an inch is the perfect size for me.)  If the dough crumbles, just bunch it together in a pile.  As it cooks, the pile will melt into a single cookie.

Bake on a paper lined tray at 190C/170 Fan/Gas 3 for 12 minutes.  They’ll look a bit under done when you take them out, but trust me, they’re perfect.  

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