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. At the time of its creation, this recipe was considered to be a fusion between French and American baking traditions since brown sugar was not used in French cuisine much back then, and adding sea salt to sweets was a French trend that had yet to gain traction worldwide.–Dorie Greenspan
World Peace Cookies FAQs
These cookies are a perfect example of cookie ingenuity. If you’d like, you can freeze the uncooked, wrapped logs for up to 2 months; let them stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before slicing and baking.
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 once baked.
Dorie Greenspan recommends a smaller amount of cayenne pepper but we also know that an equal amount of hot paprika also works really well.
World Peace Cookies 2.0
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup rye flour
- 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (5 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at cool room temperature
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Pinch of piment d’Espelette or a smaller pinch of cayenne
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (chip-size pieces)
- 1/3 cup cocoa nibs
- 1/2 cup freeze-dried raspberries, coarsely chopped or broken
- Maldon or other flaky sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
- In a bowl, sift both flours, the cocoa, and baking soda and whisk to blend.
- In the bowl of a 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 1 1/2 inches (36 mm) in diameter. (The length will be between 7 and 8 inches (18 and 20 cm), 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.)
☞ TESTER TIP: To make sure there are no hollow spots in your logs, give them a brief squeeze.
- Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and freeze them for at least 2 hours, or refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Using a chef’s knife, slice one log of dough into 1/2-inch-thick (12-mm) 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 (5 cm) between them. If you’d like, sprinkle the tops sparingly with flaky salt.
☞ TESTER TIP: If the cookie logs are difficult to slice, let them warm up for 10 minutes at room temperature before slicing.
- 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.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
What an impressive little cookie! I had heard of World Peace Cookies, but never made them before. This updated version was a great way to try them out. I really appreciated all of the tips throughout the recipe about what the dough might look like or act like, and how to handle it at each step of the process.
I made some cookies following the recipe exactly, and some without cocoa nibs. I prefer the version without nibs, I thought they added a crunchiness that interrupted the wonderful texture of the cookie itself (but my husband and the friend we shared these with both liked the nibs, so to each their own!). The raspberries, though, were absolutely delicious with the chocolate, and the rye flour added a subtle nuttiness that I enjoyed. I will definitely be making these again, and trying out other variations of this cookie!
With Dorie Greenspan and Pierre Hermé at the helm, you cannot go wrong with these world peace cookies. They are very easy to make and result in a cookie that is altogether a little bit sweet, a little salty (especially if you choose to top them with Maldon sea salt flakes), a little sandy (as a sablé should be) and very, very chocolatey. The chocolate bits are amazing–some will melt right into the dough, and some will remain whole and just slightly melted.
I chose to make a variation of the variation based on personal preference–I skipped the rye flour, piment d’Espelette, and raspberries, but included the cocoa nibs (for extra richness) and flaky salt.
One of the advantages of this recipe is that you can bake all of the cookies in one session or slice only the amount you need and keep the rest in the freezer for future use.
I have been a fan of Dorie and Pierre’s World Peace Cookie recipe for many years so I was excited to try the 2.0 version of these amazing little sablés! In these hard and unpredictable times, I most certainly felt the pepper was needed but also the groundedness of the nibs and lastly the verve of the freeze-dried raspberries.
I think the rye flour adds a nice depth of flavor to this recipe. I also added flaked sea salt to top of my cookies which I love with the richness of the chocolate.
If not World Peace, at the very least, these wonderful cookies have the power to bring a bit of peace and happiness to your little corner of the world. They are easy and humble, yet delicious and satisfying. The aroma as they were baking and cooling was intoxicating, and the finished product is deep, dark, and chocolatey with a fabulous texture. If you are lucky enough to have any leftover, they are just as good on day 2.
Rye and chocolate have a natural affinity towards each other, so I went with the rye/all purpose flour mix, while eliminating the pepper, nibs, and dried raspberries. This flour combination creates a more complex flavor, but not to worry, they don’t taste like health food. After an overnight chill in the refrigerator, I found it easiest to slice the dough after a 10 minute warm up on the counter. Still, the dough was a little crumbly and the slices weren’t that even, especially when the knife hit a chunk of chocolate. Once they were on the cookie sheet, I just pushed them back together and evened them up a bit as directed.
A little bit of salt goes a long way, so heed the author’s advice to sprinkle the tops sparingly.
I love Dorie Greenspan recipes, none more than her one for World Peace Cookies. So I was intrigued to try a recipe called World Peace Cookies 2.0. Would they be better? I needed to find out.
The dough came together easily–I really appreciated her comments about butter temp and I was careful to start mixing when my butter reached 65°F– and I ended up refrigerating the dough logs overnight. The next day I sliced, baked, and enjoyed the wonderful, chocolatey aroma. After cooling for about 10 minutes on the pan, I moved them to a wire rack and took a bite of one.
Chocolatey with pools of melted chocolate chips, crunch from the nibs, and a hint of fruit, it was a delicious bite. And, you ask, was it better than the original? For me, it was not better, not worse, but different and has inspired me to think of other ways to play around. Buckwheat flour? Toffee or mint or nut add-ins?
If World Peace is to be gained through chocolate and healthy fiber, these cookies definitely fit the bill. All of the additions of rye flour, cocoa nibs, dried raspberries really add grit and substance as well as staying power to what is a perfectly crisp and tender chocolate cookie. I feel good grabbing one (or a few) for an on-the-go breakfast or with my afternoon coffee, a guilt free cookie in my opinion–it tastes delicious and healthyish at the same time.
Somehow I’ve been reading about the world peace cookies recipe for at least 10 years and never made them before this. The downside of making these 2.0 versions first is now I will probably never want to experience the original, because I’m so smitten by the texture and taste of the freeze-dried raspberry bits.
Initially, these “improvements” felt like they might just be gimmicky, especially since the raspberries and the cacao nibs aren’t things I usually keep in my pantry, but wound up being essential players I wouldn’t want to experience the cookie without. It converted even the most skeptical of those I offered them to. The directions worked perfectly from beginning to end and the make-ahead possibilities of this little sablé have me planning ahead for holiday cookie swaps.
This is one of the most sophisticated cookies I’ve ever eaten. It’s both exceptionally delicious and satisfying as well as elegant and intriguing for the eater, studded as it is with a bounty of little surprises. I truly felt transported upon my first bite.
The raspberries are a delightfully bright and fruity pop, the cacao nibs a lovely textural contrast, and the chopped dark chocolate deliver on the promised hopes of a chocolate cookie. I truly can’t recommend them enough, and encourage everyone to have a spare roll in their freezer to slice off on a moments whim or as preparation for those last minute guests you’d like to have something delicious for.
Don’t skip the flaky salt on top either, it really takes them to the next level if you’re a fan of a little salt with chocolate, as I am.