Taking liberties with a recipe is one thing, taking liberties with a recipe name is another. When Dorie Greenspan first published the recipe for Pierre Hermé’s famous double chocolate cookies, they were called “Korova Cookies” for the restaurant where they were served in Paris. Then, one day, Dorie’s neighbor told her that the cookies were good enough to bring about world peace, so she renamed them World Peace Cookies and that went a bit viral. For some strange reason, though, these cookies never made an appearance in my kitchen. Maybe it’s because, in my small-mindedness, I thought: “How good could chocolate chocolate cookies be?” Then, last week, I made them and they were so good, so instantly adored, I knew I had to give them an even more appropriate name; the kind of name that could make a viral cookie go even more viral. And so Shirtless Ryan Gosling Cookies were born.
Sure, Ryan Gosling wouldn’t look very good shirtless if he actually ate these cookies, but that’s besides the point. The point is that these cookies are very much worthy of your attention. They’re such a cinch to make: you cream butter with two kinds of sugar (white and brown) along with a healthy dose of salt and some vanilla; then you sift in flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. It comes out a bit crumbly:
Worry not, though: you shape that into two logs, wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for hours or days or even freeze for the months ahead. These cookies last a long time.
When you’re ready to make them, you carefully slice them with a sharp knife. They’ll crumble a bit, just pack them back together and bake at 325 for 10 minutes or so:
They won’t look very done when they’re done, but just trust that after they sit on the cookie sheet for a little while after they come out of the oven, they’ll be perfectly set up. Like, I don’t know, the abs of a certain someone.
And one bite of these and you won’t mind as each ab of yours morphs into flab. They’re really hard to describe: incredibly delicate, buttery, rich and oh so chocolatey. Eat one and you’ll already be eating another one before you can think about it.
Whether you call them Korova Cookies, World Peace Cookies, or Shirtless Ryan Gosling Cookies, the point is you’ll be making them a lot. And with Dorie Greenspan’s new book “Baking Chez Moi” coming out this week, there’ll be plenty of more Shirtless Ryan Gosling delicacies coming your way soon.
Recipe: Shirtless Ryan Gosling Cookies
Summary: Based on Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookies.
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 5 ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 85% cacao), chopped (no pieces bigger than 1/3 inch)
- Sift flour, cocoa, and baking soda into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth but not fluffy. Add both sugars, vanilla, and sea salt; beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add flour mixture; beat just until blended (mixture may be crumbly). Add chopped chocolate; mix just to distribute (if dough doesn’t come together, knead lightly in bowl to form ball). Divide dough in half. Place each half on sheet of plastic wrap. Form each into 1 1/2-inch-diameter log. Wrap each in plastic; chill until firm, about 3 hours. (Or you can freeze for way later.)
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using thin sharp knife, cut logs crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. (If the cookies crumble here, just pack them back together on the sheet; they’ll re-fuse.) Space 1 inch apart on prepared sheets. Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies appear dry (cookies will not be firm or golden at edges), 11 to 12 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool.
Preparation time: 25 minute(s)
Cooking time: 12 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 6