Dorie Greenspan is iconic for many reasons. First, her signature sablés (cookies), which she bakes in muffin tins. Second, her writing: The New York Times Magazine columnist has an elegant, deft style. Third: Her mastery of French sweets, including her divine cannelés. Lastly, her personal style: She is rarely without a chic little scarf knotted around her neck. Though Dorie has long been known for her sweets (including her divine cannelés and cookies) her newest cookbook—Baking With Dorie: Sweet, Salty and Simple—takes both a sweet and a savory spin.
“Once I’d decided to fold some savories into the mix,” she writes, “it was great to finally write down the recipes for the vegetable tarts and pies, quiches and quick breads that I serve often. Like the Vegetable Ribbon Tart that I think of as ‘fridge fancy,’ because it looks so elegant, even though the crust and filling (sometimes hummus, sometimes tzatziki or guacamole) are supermarket ready-mades and the topping, a riot of raw vegetables, can be anything you want; for me, it’s usually odds and ends from the crisper.”
Though the book is also packed with her stellar cakes, pies and cookies, she also refashioned some traditionally sweet things, such as babka, as savory. “It can be made with cheese and a salty streusel that’s so good it can be a snack on its own.” (Yum!)
One of our favorite aspects of this new classic? Dorie tackled her own super-famous World Peace cookies, remixing them for this new book, at the request of a writer colleague. They’re still super-chocolatey, but they have an earthiness thanks to a touch of rye flour, and some bite thanks to cayenne and raspberries. They are, as is Dorie herself, a marvel. Here’s the recipe with a note from Dorie.
World Peace Cookies 2.0
Pierre Hermé, the famous Paris pastry chef, gave me his recipe for chocolate sablés, a recipe I renamed World Peace Cookies, more than twenty years ago. Over the years, I’ve made little tweaks that were fine, but none better than the original. Then my friend the author Charlotte Druckman asked if I’d rethink the cookie for her book, Women on Food, and so I thought about the qualities that I admire in women, looked for ingredients that would highlight them and mixed them into the cookie. I added rye flour for groundedness; cocoa nibs to represent strength; pepper for a touch of unpredictability; and raspberries for sharpness and verve. The raspberries are freeze-dried and their flavor takes a little time to reveal itself. While you taste them soon after the cookies cool, they really come into their own a day later. If you’ve never had the original World Peace Cookies, please make them too; see Playing Around.
Makes about 30 cookies
1 cup (136 grams) all-purpose flour
½ cup (60 grams) rye flour
⅓ cup (30 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa (I prefer Valrhona)
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons; 5½ ounces; 155 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at cool room temperature
⅔ cup (135 grams) packed brown sugar
¼ cup (50 grams) sugar
½ teaspoon fleur de sel or ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Pinch of piment d’Espelette or a smaller pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces (140 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (chip-size pieces)
⅓ cup (45 grams) cocoa nibs
½ cup (15 grams) freeze-dried raspberries, coarsely chopped or broken
Maldon or other flaky sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
A WORD ON THE DOUGH:
Although making these cookies is easy, each batch seems to have its own quirks. It’s always easy, it’s just not always the same. Sometimes the differences have to do with the cocoa. (I usually use Valrhona Dutch-processed cocoa because I love its flavor and color, but I’ve made WPCs with many kinds of cocoa—they’re always good, not always the same.) Sometimes the differences have to do with the butter, and often the temperature of the butter—it’s best if it’s at cool room temperature, but sometimes I miss the moment when it’s just right. My advice is to mix the dough for as long as it takes to get big, moist curds that hold together when pressed. Often this happens quickly; just as often, it takes more time than you think it should. Go with it. Also, when you roll the dough into logs, check that they’re solid—squeeze the logs to see if there are hollow spots. If there are, ball up the dough and roll into logs again.
The logs of dough need to be frozen for at least 2 hours or refrigerated for at least 3 hours.
Sift both flours, the cocoa and baking soda together into a bowl; whisk to blend.
Working in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in the salt, piment d’Espelette or cayenne and vanilla. Turn off the mixer, add the dry ingredients all at once and pulse to start the blending. When the risk of a flour storm has passed, beat on low speed until the dough forms big, moist curds—this can take a couple of minutes, so don’t be afraid to keep mixing. Toss in the chocolate pieces, nibs and raspberries and mix to incorporate. Sometimes the dough comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl and sometimes it crumbles—it’ll be fine no matter what.
Turn the dough out, gather it together and, if necessary, knead it a bit to bring it together. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a log that is 1½ inches in diameter. The length will be between 7 and 8 inches, but don’t worry about it—it’s the diameter that counts here. If you get a hollow in either of the logs, just start over. Wrap the logs and freeze them for at least 2 hours, or refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (If you’d like, you can freeze the logs for up to 2 months; let stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before slicing and baking.)
WHEN YOU’RE READY TO BAKE:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Using a chef’s knife, slice one log of dough into ½-inch-thick rounds. (Don’t worry if they crack, just pinch and squeeze the bits back into the cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between them. If you’d like, sprinkle the tops sparingly with flaky salt.
Bake the cookies for 12 minutes—don’t open the oven door to check, just let them bake. They won’t look fully baked and they won’t be firm, but that’s the way they’re supposed to be. Transfer the sheet to a rack and let the cookies cool until they’re only just warm or at room temperature.
Repeat with the remaining log of dough, using a cool baking sheet.
Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for 5 days at room temperature (they will get a little drier, but they’re still good) or for up to 2 months in the freezer.
Excerpted from BAKING WITH DORIE: Sweet, Salty, & Simple © 2021 by Dorie Greenspan. Photography © 2021 by Mark Weinberg. Reproduced by permission of Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.