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Dorie Greenspan's World Peace/Korova Cookies

I recently made my first batch of Dorie Greenspan's World Peace/Korova cookies and followed the directions to take them out at 12 minutes, while still seemingly unfinished. They taste floury and the texture is gritty, like the sugar wasn't mixed in. The recipes say they are supposed to be crumbly, but the flour taste and gritty texture are not good. My other shortbread recipes (successfully baked) say to be sure shortbread is well cooked.

Does anyone know if this is how world peace cookies always are? Any suggestions for baking the second log (e.g. bake for longer)? Did I not cream my butter and sugar enough? Thanks.

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  1. Made these cookies once and wondered what all the hullaboo was about. Mine were just not very good, and not a repeatable recipe IMO.

    2 Replies
    1. re: janniecooks

      Exactly! No way these things could bring world peace. :)

      1. re: quirkydeb

        I agree. My cookies looked near perfect and tasted pretty good, but there's no world peace to be found unless you're perched at the oven when the cookies come out (but then, aren't all cookies good straight from the oven?). I think my preference toward soft cookies biased me against these, which do have a lovely flavour thanks to the salty edge.

    2. We have multiple threads on this cookie, some quite long, so you might want to do a search. I don't remember anyone having this particular problem ...

      When I made the recipe, they were quite good. I would suggest you follow your instincts for the second batch. I seem to recall I liked to cut them quite thick as they seemed to hold their shape better that way (I use heart-shaped molds for refrigerator cookies). I also seem to recall there was a description of how they should look visually that I followed? It's been more than a year. But for cookies, I never go strictly according to time--especially when the thickness is going to vary, unless you're using a ruler or something.

      Could the texture be a result of the salt? That may be correct, but the flour taste definitely is not. Are you sure the measurements were correct?

      2 Replies
      1. re: foiegras

        Thanks, foiegras. I looked at other threads and seemed to be having my own unique issue with them. I used the recipe on epicurious.com and measured by mass (in grams), rather than volume, so I would think my measurements should have been good. I suppose my scale could be off, but I use it frequently in lots of other cookie recipes with no problem.

        Maybe I didn't cream the butter with the sugar long enough? Although the recipe didn't say to do it for an especially long time. Prior to baking, my dough behaved exactly as the recipe predicted. I sliced them to be just shy of 1/2 inches and I do have an oven thermometer, which I monitor with each batch. I used just under 1/2 teaspoon of Maldon sea salt.

        Batch one was a little better to eat as frozen (baked) cookies. I'll try baking batch 2 for longer, since I tend to prefer my shortbread well-baked. If that doesn't work, I will try to achieve world peace with chocolate chip cookies instead.

        1. re: quirkydeb

          Just looked at the recipe online, and you're quite right that it just refers to time. But I seem to recall that I looked for a certain sheen (or lack thereof?? it's been too long), and that was my cue. I don't remember if that was a hint I picked up here, or if I arrived at it on my own. I do think these are different from other shortbread, I'm sure due to the serious amount of chocolate. I have found in other cookies too that chocolate makes a difference in dough texture ... my favorite rolled cookie for making with kids is chocolate for that reason.

      2. This is not how World Peace cookies usually are. They are damn near perfect. They should be neither floury or gritty. Something must have gone wrong with your measuring and/or mixing.

        2 Replies
        1. re: maxie

          Isn't the fleur de sel perceptible post-baking? I'm wondering if that could possible be what's meant by gritty. I need to bake these again ... it's been too long.

          1. re: foiegras

            Maybe it was the salt. Although my chocolate chip cookies have a decent amount of sea salt added at the end too without the grit. Of course, ccc have such a different texture than shortbread anyway.

        2. My experience was not good. I don't know what the problem was and I thought I followed the recipe exact. With all that good chocolate I certainly wasn't about to waste the ingredients, plus, there was (is) so much hullabaloo about them I was excited to join in on the fun! But it was not meant to be. Whatever I did, I am completely turned forever off to them and I probably won't attempt making them again.

          I think the chocolate krinkles rolled in powdered sugar, the ones that crack are excellent. I think I'll just stick to making those.

          16 Replies
          1. re: chef chicklet

            My two favorite chocolate cookie recipes are this one, and Maida Heatter's Wienerstube, which is a chocolate pepper refrigerator cookie. If you like chocolate + spice, you might try that one. Her recipes are the ultimate in reliable. I use black cocoa to make them even darker ...

            1. re: foiegras

              Re Maida Heatter: I've made dozens of recipes from her books and have only ever had one failure (the ginger carrot cake from her American book) - and that may have been the fault of the not terribly reliable oven I had at the time. Everything is so good. (Re the World Peace cookies - made them once, liked them reasonably well, didn't have quality issues but never made them again.)

              1. re: buttertart

                Buttertart, there seem to be a number of editions of her cookie book, published over many years, with slightly different titles; which one do you have/used/recommend?

                Thank you, as always.

                1. re: bushwickgirl

                  It's not just one cookie book ...

                  There's a compilation book that I believe combines recipes from three different baking cookbooks ... Maida Heatter's Cookies. If you're going to buy just one, that's the one. There's also Maida Heatter's Brand-New Book of Great Cookies. She also has an older all-chocolate dessert book that is well worth owning.

                  1. re: foiegras

                    Yes, that's what I meant, thanks for the info!

                  2. re: bushwickgirl

                    The oldest cookie book from the 70's is the one I've used ever since it came out (the walnut-filled Hungarian shortbread is out of this world). I have the "Brand-New" book and have used it a bit (there's a dynamite oatmeal-crusted chocolate square in it for example). All her books are well worth having - the American one, the chocolate one (mine is falling apart), and the three Great Desserts books. The ones from the 70's and 80's are available for almost nothing on ABEbooks: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Searc...

                    1. re: buttertart

                      Thanks, the one I'm eying was published in '77. Thanks for the link.

                      1. re: buttertart

                        I've picked up mine (the older ones) at various antique malls. It seems they were often given as wedding presents, and some of the inscriptions are pretty cute :) It's a great idea for a wedding present, actually. Assuming the recipient is a baker ...

                        I agree that Maida's never written anything that's not worth owning. Her lemon bar recipe is outstanding, and lots of great brownie recipes ...

                        1. re: foiegras

                          FWIW, I've found a collection of her cookbooks (bakebooks?) at the library. A good place to search, especially if someone wants an older edition/book.

                          1. re: chowser

                            I'm sure the BPL would have them.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              Bought the cookie book for under $5 including shipping, at abebooks. So I'll have it in what, maybe two weeks. That's ok, looking forward to it.

                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                Good, you'll like it. I've bought quite a few things from them and it's usually a week to 10 days.

                  3. re: foiegras

                    Thank you, I'd love the one refrigerator cookie recipe please? When you said your two favorite "this one" which one, World Peace or the Chocolate Krinkle cookie?

                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      I mean World Peace ... not sure which krinkle recipe you use. Here's the Wienerstube recipe ...

                      1.5 c sifted AP flour
                      1.5 t baking powder
                      .25 t salt
                      .75 t cinnamon
                      .25 t allspice
                      .5 t finely ground black pepper (I believe I also add some coarsely ground white pepper)
                      pinch of cayenne
                      .75 c Dutch cocoa (I use black cocoa)
                      1.5 sticks unsalted butter
                      1.5 t vanilla
                      1 c sugar
                      1 egg

                      Sift dry ingredients together. In mixer, cream butter. Add vanilla and sugar, beat well. Beat in egg. Add dry ingredients.

                      Form logs or put dough in refrigerator cookie molds. Cool or freeze for several hours. Cut quarter inch slices; bake 9.5 min @ 375. Test for doneness: cookies spring back when pressed with a fingertip. Yield: 4 dozen.

                      1. re: foiegras

                        thanks! Love refrigerator cookies and these do look good, white pepper is intense. And also,what an Interesting name.

                        1. re: chef chicklet

                          You're welcome ... no idea what the name means, I believe they are Austrian. I have made other chocolate pepper cookies, and it seems people love them or hate them. The first ones I made I wasn't too crazy about myself, but my aunt DEMANDED I make them again. Eventually I got hooked myself. I remember a good friend who got a batch of my Christmas cookies told me they were all good--except for 'that black one'--and glared at me like maybe I'd tried to poison him :D

                          Different strokes ...

                2. Thanks for all the feedback. I just baked the second log and kept them in the oven until they felt firm (as directed in other shortbread recipes). They aren't chewy, but they are sandy. And they taste great! No floury-ness. Fully baked, they ARE worth making again.

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