Thursday, March 01, 2007

Sablés Korova


I must be the last food blogger to make Pierre Herme's sablés Korova (aka Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies). I don't know why I waited so long. These cookies are freaking amazing! So easy to mix up the dough, not so easy to wait while the dough is taking its necessary rest in the refrigerator, and definitely too easy to woof down a whole tray when they're fresh from the oven. I ended up using Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder and Ghirardelli 60% chocolate. The cocoa is so dark that it's black, but I don't know if it was all that special. And because the cocoa was so dark, the finely chopped bits of Ghirardelli 60% looked really light. I think they would've been better looking if my cocoa and chocolate were the same color. It almost seemed blasphemous to use anything other than Valrhona cocoa and chocolate in these very French cookies but they still rocked! That just means the cookies would've been rockin' to the millionth degree if I had some Valrhona in the pantry that night. And Dorie, you totally rock too!

Korova Cookies (Sablés Korova)
From "Paris Sweets" by Dorie Greenspan
(makes about 36 cookies)

1 1/4 cups (175g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
11 tbsp (5.5oz/ 150g/ 1stick plus 3 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened at room temp
2/3 cup (120g) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp fleur de sel or 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 ounces (150g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into tiny bits

Make the dough:
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda. Set aside dry ingredients.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, salt and vanilla and mix for 1 minute. You don't want to beat too much air into this batter.

On low speed, add in the dry ingredients and mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. (Drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from the "dust"). Beat the dough as little as possible (it's okay if it's a bit crumbly). Add the chocolate bits and mix just to incorporate. (I like to mix in the chocolate by hand to avoid over working the dough.)

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it into one mass and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1.5 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Line your sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Remove the chilled logs of dough from refrigerator. Using a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are about 1/2 inch thick. Place slices on your prepared sheet pan, about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 12 minutes. The cookies 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.

* Some tips *
Make sure your chocolate is finely chopped. Otherwise it'll be difficult to cut your cookies into neat slices. But if your chocolate bits "tear" your dough while you're slicing, just smush it back together on the cookie sheet. No one will know when they're baked.

Don't worry if your cookie logs end up less than round. After slicing, you can "reshape" it into a circle on the cookie sheet.

The chill in the refrigerator is not something I would skip. It'll help keep your cookies tender by allowing the gluten to relax a bit. The chill will also help the cookies keep their shape while baking.

The cookies are dangerously addictive. If you lack will power like me, don't bake more cookies than necessary. The dough keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you've frozen the dough, you don't need to defrost it before baking. You can just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)


Anonymous said...

They are so good aren't they? It is amazing how round and precise you got them to look! Mine were all lumpy - I think because I wanted huge chocolate chunks in them!

Patricia Scarpin said...


Your cookies look perfect! So round and beautiful!

I made these too a while ago and I want to make them again. So delicious!

Anonymous said...

These look utterly amazing - the colour just blows me away!

Cheryl said...

Wow, those are some serious chocolate cookies.

These could put oreos out of business.

Brilynn said...

I just made another batch of these yesterday! I love them!

Anonymous said...

Your not the last baker yet to make these, I have this cookbook and have yet to make them, although I have all the ingredients here to do so. I have also used the special dark cocoa and I have lately been using it half and half with my regular cocoa for my purposes. Your cookies look divine!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

No, you're not the last to make these. I'm hoping next month to have enough people in Seattle that I dare to make these! Then I'll leave the rest in the freezer as a welcome home for our son.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous photo! And I'm sure the cookies are to die for.

Regarding the Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder, their Special Dark candy bars are too sweet for dark chocolate, as far as I'm concerned, so perhaps the cocoa suffers from the same problem. Better chocolate will probably make these cookies downright dangerous.

All the above said, on the increasingly rare occasions I want a milk chocolate candy bar, Hershey's is my definite go-to pick.

Freya said...

I haven't made them yet either! Now I feel like I need to get baking! They look wonderful!

Lisa Johnson said...

These cookies are SO addictive! I wonder if these are the most baked and blogged about cookies on the planet? Yours look gorgeous, like a beautiful sculpture!

I used chocolate chips AND I didn't refrigerate them. I couldn't wait! These cookies are great no matter what!

Peabody said...

Yours turned out super perfect!

Helene said...

You are not the last one! I ahve had these bookmarked for a long time and have not gotten around them yet! I can't wait. They look amazing!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very, very beautiful! Those cookies look gorgeous...

Anonymous said...

I haven't made them yet (that's about to change)!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary - yes, these cookies are amazing! I have to stow the cookie log in the freezer, and only bake one or two at a time, or they are entirely too dangerous!

breadchick said...

Um, not quite. I have this recipe printed out and in the "to be made" tray BUT it keeps getting pushed back. They do look perfect!

Alice Q. Foodie said...

This is my favorite kind of cookie - I will definitely have to try these! That cocoa looks like "black cocoa" - which is slightly different from dutched or natural cocoa. I don't know all the details, but it's the kind you would use for oreos, etc.

Anonymous said...

These don't even look real...they look so wonderfully perfect! It is as though each chocolate bit was placed just so. I will have to try these on one of my baking days.....Thanks!

Anonymous said...

No, you're not the last one ... I still haven't made them. I'll just sit here and drool over yours!

Taylor said...

Just found your site, and I think I'm in love. I'll have a half dozen of everything you've made so far.

Unknown said... aren't the last one. I've seen many entries on them and I've yet to try too. Anyway, yours look just as great even with the color contrast. =)

Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

Hi -

Just found your blog while searching for a recipe for lemon squares. As it turns out, your recipe is exactly the same one as my mother-in-law's, putting you up there with the all time greats of cooking.

I like the look and feel of the blog, plus I see you also figured out how to do a recipe drop down in the new blogger, kudos on that one...

I'm throwing a link up to you on my site.

Happy cooking! (And worming, and such...)

Madam Chow said...

You're not the last person to make them - the are on my to-bake list! Great pictures!

Unknown said...

I love how everyone who makes them loves them so much! Yours look beautiful!

Veron said...

My goodness those cookies look utterly delectable! I have not made them either , so you are not the last one.

Elle said...

Mary, These look like the kind to keep the dough frozen so that I'll still fit in my summer clothes in June. Super yum looking!

Anonymous said...

these are so beautiful! i cant wait to make this....YUM