"What use are cartridges in battle? I always carry chocolate instead." - George Bernard Shaw in Arms and the ManCricket is like a religion in India. There is nothing that can incite more passion or patriotic zeal. When there is a major match happening, offices are empty, children mysteriously fall "sick" and can't attend school. In my family my father and brother are the fanatics, and sometimes my mom joins in the fun too, making 'patriotic' food- green mint, cheese and tomato pasta, sandwiches or tri-coloured pulao to reflect our national flag! This one time my normally stately grandmother who was visiting during a world cup final got so involved she was actually praying that our team would win!
Yesterday, I guess because I am so homesick, I got all excited and stayed up with T ( another sports fanatic) to watch THE match between India and Pakistan. Our rivalry runs deep, because our two countries are often like squabbling siblings. When the 6th wicket went down and the sun was out already, I couldn't take the tension or the sleep deprivation any longer and missed out on all the excitement that ensued. But what wonderful news to wake up to! We had won! Time to celebrate, and what could be more apt on the day after a raging war than World Peace cookies :)
These may not be as pretty as these cherry blossom lemon cookies, or colorful macarons, and Ria's Whole wheat cardamom Nankhatais still remain my favourite cookie ever, but these intensely chocolate cookies come close, really close. They are the world famous Korova sables better known as World Peace cookies from Dorie Greenspan's book Paris Sweets. So named by her neighbor who said that if everyone in the world ate these, they would be so happy, there would be no more fighting.
They are more like fudgy chocolatey brownie tops than cookies, with puddles of melty bittersweet chocolate chunks- sooo goood. My Pakistani friends, I offer you these cookies, to soothe your troubled hearts :)
I have been waiting to make these ever since I saw them and a few days ago, I suddenly decided to bake them, in between a conversation on the phone with my mom. If you know me, you know that I suck at multitasking. I misread the instructions and forgot to sift the coco powder in with the baking soda and flour!
With the result that mid way through, I realized that I had a yummy cookie dough comprising of such wondrousness as brown sugar and butter and chocolate chunks, but no cocoa and baking soda! I was on the verge of crying and wondering what to do with a bowl ful of cookie dough when I thought I'd shoot off a message to Dorie herself on FB asking her if there was any way to salvage it. Sadly Dorie refused to dignify my idiocy with a reply, but the awesome Swapna, an amazingly talented cook, and a lovely member of our Kerala Kitchen I am proud to say, came to my rescue. She suggested many alternatives, like cookie dough truffles! Something I have to try! but also convinced me to try adding the baking soda and cocoa anyway and try baking it. And that is what I did and I am soo grateful to her for preventing me from eating my self sick with two batches of buttery raw cookie dough!
Because though the raw dough is awesome in itself (and quite addictive) wait until you taste these little chocolaty bits of heaven!
World Peace/Korova Cookies/Chocolate Choco-chip brownie cookies
Recipe source: From Dorie Greenspan's Paris Sweets, via Deb's site here with my notes in brackets
Makes about 36 cookies
- 1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons or 150 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup (120 grams) (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 ounces (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips ( I used bittersweet Cadbury's chocolate, like a true Indian- chopped into chunks)
In a medium bowl sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together. ( I forgot this step and had to add in the baking soda and cocoa at the end, which I hope you won't have to do, but the cookies still turned out fine!)
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.
Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour cocoa and baking soda mixture, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek — if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of times more; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough — for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate. (Overworking the dough can make the cookies tough)
Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking — just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.
Getting ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Working with a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about one inch between them.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes — they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can gobble them up or let them reach room temperature.
Serving: The cookies can be eaten when they are warm or at room temperature —
I love them warm straight from the oven, or microwaved for about 10 seconds, because I love the chocolate chunks to be melty and gooey and so decadent you have to force yourself to stop at two before you die of chocolate overdose . Deb prefers them at room temperature, when the textural difference between the crumbly cookie and the chocolate bits is greatest — and are best suited to cold milk or hot coffee.
Do ahead: Packed airtight, cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months. They can also be frozen in log form for months, and can be sliced and baked directly from the freezer, adding a couple of minutes to the baking time.
This is another contender for the bake sale for japan happening in many different cities this Sunday. Click here for details.
I am sending these brownie like cookies to Divya's awesome Brownie event and hope they qualify, because I don't think you can call these just cookies. Seriously you are going to need that glass of milk after having these decadently chocolatey, fudgy bits of heaven!