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.)