Sunday, September 12, 2010

Computer mishigas

This week we've been switching computers around, meaning that all my files have been flying around in cyberspace, from hard drive to portable drive and back. I've finally gotten some semblance of my regular set up back, so here we go - it's cookie time.

I've had this recipe bookmarked for ages. Not having a stand mixer held me back from trying it, but no more! I know have everything I could possibly need for baking amazingness.

Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies, via Smitten Kitchen

- a funny side note about these cookies - I had a friend try to make them awhile back and they turned out terribly for him. "This recipe didn't work," he told me. "Why not?" I asked. "Well, I didn't have a stand mixer," he said. "Hmmmm..." My brain started whirring and clicking. "Also, I didn't chill the dough." He admitted finally. Enough said. I am happy to report that with a stand mixer and three hours of dough chilling, these cookies turned out perfect and amazing.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together (or, you know, skip this step. I totally did).

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 (this is why you need a stand mixer. 2 minutes on a stand mixer is like forever by hand).

Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour mixture (you know, flour/cocoa and baking soda) - cover your mixer with a kitchen towel or the flour cover that your mixer comes with - 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.

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.)

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.

My picture is of the log after I cut most of it. Whoops! I always forget to take my pictures.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes — they won’t look done but that's okay! You just have to take it on faith that they are. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are just barely warm. Then eat them.

The cookies are delicious, kind of like chocolate shortbread but better. They are a great accompaniment to a train ride up to tomato weekend! They are worth the effort for sure.


Meredith said...

Yeah these cookies were delicious and tender. They went well with that wine we drank on the train :)

Katie Brook said...

Thanks for this recipe! I have a fairly new stand-mixer so I'm gonna try it!