I was mainly in it for the name. World Peace cookies to promote Hunger Banquet? I was sold.
Then I ate one of them. And I realize now it's more than just the name.
These cookies are a French shortbread cookie with an American chocolate chip cookie twist. This is a delicate crumbly cookie with a salty delicious edge, and pockets of semisweet chocolate. A perfect combination. According to Dorie Greenspan, when she first made these cookies and she gave them to her neighbor. Her neighbor then proclaimed that a daily dose of these cookies would ensure world peace. From then on, Dorie called these World Peace Cookies.
I won't lie though, reading the reviews for these cookies had me very nervous for how it was going to work out. Mainly, I noticed when I was scanning the recipe that it didn't have any eggs in it. Zip. Zilch. Nada. How were these cookies going to hold their shape? I wasn't the only one worried about that apparently. There were so many reviews that claimed these cookies were too crumbly, they wouldn't hold, etc. etc. So naturally I had my doubts when I started baking. Was I destined for world peace, or for mass chaos?
Luckily I was blessed with the baking gods for the day, and I ended up with beautiful, beautiful cookies. They sliced up perfectly after chilling in the refrigerator, and baked up in no time. It was the least stressful moment I've had since starting up baking. So peaceful. Breathe in, breathe out. Eat.
Like I said earlier, I made these because what is more appropriate to promote global health than cookies that have such a global-inspired name?
Hunger Banquet is the fundraiser that the Global Health Student Interest Group holds annually at my medical school. I was a part of the Hunger Banquet planning committee last year, and fell in love with the concept of the whole event. Essentially, you draw for a seat that represents what it's like to eat in a first-world country, and second-world country, or a third-world country. Along with dinner is a keynote speaker, entertainment during dinnertime, and a silent auction. I am so excited for the silent auction this year. We have some great items up for auction, including an autographed copy of The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, a Larry Bird autographed basketball, and free Panera bagels for a whole year. But the greatest part about this whole night is that it is a completely non-profit event. All proceeds benefit the Tumaini Children's Drop In Center and the AMPATH Orphan and Vulnerable Children's Fund in Eldoret, Kenya. It's a truly special event. It's a night celebrating the hope that we will have world peace in the form of healthy, happy, and safe children out in West Africa.
Whip up a fresh batch of these cookies and give them to your friends. There's nothing better than giving your loved ones some edible world peace.
World peace cookies
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cups (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur del sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips
Note: If measuring by volume, it's important to measure the flour and cocoa lightly, as follows: stir flour briefly in the container or bag, spoon into the measuring cup until it's heaped above the rim, then level it with a straight-edged knife or spatula. If you dip the measuring cup into the container, you'll have more flour and cocoa and a drier, crumblier, more difficult dough.
Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.
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 dry ingredients, 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.
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. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Using 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 1 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 serve them or let them reach room temperature.
If you're in the Indy area, consider attending the Hunger Banquet this Friday. You can purchase tickets and make donations on our website, www.iusmhungerbanquet.com. Thanks everyone <3