Tuesday, December 7, 2021

World Peace Cookies #recipe by @LeslieBudewitz


Imagine if cookies could bring world peace. Worth a try.

—Dorie Greenspan 

These cookies from famed baker and cookbook author Dorie Greenspan have been around for a while, but I only discovered them recently, when I tracked down the source of this quote for Peppermint Barked, the 6th Spice Shop mystery (coming July 19, 2022). Dorie updated them recently for King Arthur Baking as World Peace Cookies 2.0, adding cocoa nibs and dried raspberries. I haven’t tried 2.0 yet but am sure they are delicious. Still, I can’t help but think that when you’re aiming for World Peace, it’s best to keep the recipe simple. 

These are not the most glamorous or gorgeous cookies. Erin Murphy of my Food Lovers’ Village mysteries might argue that they aren’t “Christmas cookies,” because they don’t contain any special or seasonal ingredients – and because they are so easy and good that you’ll want to eat them any time of year. But I’m sure I can persuade her to come around. And after all, the true message of Christmas is world peace, yes?

Use either bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chunks or chips. I used a 50/50 mix of Scharffen Berger chips. Dorie herself says the dough can be unpredictable, which is frustrating, but they always turn out well. Mine was on the dry side, but shaped into logs fairly easily once I got my hands on the dough and warmed it up a bit. If the logs don’t want to stick together, or an individual round threatens to fall apart, be firm but diplomatic in pressing the dough into shape. 

These would work beautifully in a cookie box. 

And since it’s cookie season, let me tickle your tongue with these: Christmas Crinkle CookiesCranberry Bliss Seven Layer Bars, Lemon Cardamom Crescents, and the classic Russian Teacakes, aka Mexican Wedding Cakes and Snowballs, which play a critical role in Erin's solution to one of the mysteries in As the Christmas Cookie Crumbles

World Peace Cookies

Adapted from Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 ounces good quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, in chips or chunks, or larger pieces chopped into irregular sized bits 

Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together.

In the bowl of your mixer, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Turn off the mixer, add all the dry ingredients, and pulse a few times to start the blending. When the risk of flying flour has passed, turn the mixer to low and beat until the dough forms big, moist curds. (Or as close as you can get.) Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix to incorporate; you may want to mix by hand at this point. 

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather it together, kneading lightly if necessary. Divide dough in half. Shape dough into logs that are 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap logs in plastic wrap and freeze for 2 hours or refrigerate for 3 hours.

To bake: Center a rack in the oven and heat to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Work with one log at a time. Use a long, sharp knife to slice the dough into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. (If the rounds crack as you’re cutting, squeeze them back together!) Place rounds on baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. (If you’ve cut both logs, keep one baking sheet in the fridge while you bake the other.)

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes — don’t open the oven, just let them bake. Do not overbake. (They may not look done or feel firm, but they will be done. They’re like brownies that way.) Place baking sheet on a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until just warm. Bake remaining dough. 

Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Makes about 36 cookies

The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Dorie says if you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking — just bake the cookies 1 minute longer.

Wishing you peace – and cookies. 

From the cover of BITTERROOT LAKE, written as Alicia Beckman (Crooked Lane Books; available in hardcover, ebook, and audio): 

When four women separated by tragedy reunite at a lakeside Montana lodge, murder forces them to confront everything they thought they knew about the terrifying accident that tore them apart, in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman's suspense debut.

Twenty-five years ago, during a celebratory weekend at historic Whitetail Lodge, Sarah McCaskill had a vision. A dream. A nightmare. When a young man was killed, Sarah's guilt over having ignored the warning in her dreams devastated her. Her friendships with her closest friends, and her sister, fell apart as she worked to build a new life in a new city. But she never stopped loving Whitetail Lodge on the shores of Bitterroot Lake.

Now that she's a young widow, her mother urges her to return to the lodge for healing. But when she arrives, she's greeted by an old friend--and by news of a murder that's clearly tied to that tragic day she'll never forget.

And the dreams are back, too. What dangers are they warning of this time? As Sarah and her friends dig into the history of the lodge and the McCaskill family, they uncover a legacy of secrets and make a discovery that gives a chilling new meaning to the dreams. Now, they can no longer ignore the ominous portents from the past that point to a danger more present than any of them could know.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. Watch for her first standalone suspense novel, Bitterroot Lake (written as Alicia Beckman) in April 2021 from Crooked Lane Books.

A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by her website and subscribe to her seasonal newsletter, for a chat about the writing life, what she's working on, and  what she's reading -- and a free short story. And join her on Facebook where she shares book news and giveaways from her writer friends, and talks about food, mysteries, and the things that inspire her.


  1. Dried raspberries sound like a great addition. I don't happen t have them lying around my kitchen, however.
    These sound quite tasty.