A Classic, Updated: World Peace Cookies 2.0

My husband recently gave me a copy of Baking with Dorie for my birthday, but I got a sneak preview weeks earlier when King Arthur Baking Company published Dorie Greenspan's recipe for World Peace Cookies 2.0 on its website. Of course I'm a fan of Dorie's original World Peace Cookies, and I couldn't wait to see what she had done to update such a classic.
The original World Peace Cookie is a straightforward chocolate sablé: butter, sugar, brown sugar, fleur de sel, vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and bittersweet chocolate chunks. The revised version includes rye flour, cocoa nibs, freeze-dried raspberries, and a pinch of Espelette pepper. That all sounded great except for the pepper, which scared me a little -- so I decided to leave it out. 

Making the dough is straightforward. You cream softened butter with sugar and brown sugar; add fleur de sel and vanilla (and the pepper, if you're using it); incorporate all-purpose flour, rye flour, Dutch cocoa, and baking soda; and mix in broken freeze-dried raspberries, cocoa nibs, and chocolate chunks. I used a chopped Ghiradelli 60% bar for the chocolate. Right before I made these cookies, I happened to notice my set of Heilala flavored vanilla extracts that have been sitting neglected in the cabinet. I received it as a reward after backing Heilala's Kickstarter campaign to bring their flavored extracts to market, and I keep forgetting that I have them. But I decided to use the berry vanilla extract in this recipe. It was quite fragrant, and the dough had a noticeable berry aroma as I formed the it into a log that I chilled overnight.
The next day when I sliced the dough it was well behaved and didn't crack. I sprinkled the cookies with Maldon salt before baking, and the cookies held their shape well during baking. I liked the little specks of raspberries visible on top. The cookies were terrific, although I was surprised that they were chewy and not sandy at all. They had rich chocolate flavor, a nice kick of a raspberry (I don't know how much the berry vanilla extract contributed to the "berry-ness" of the cookies, but they continued to exude a chocolate-berry aroma even after baking), a hard crunch from the nibs, and just the right amount of salt. I wouldn't have known there was any rye in these cookies just from tasting one. I also would not have recognized this cookie as a riff on the original World Peace Cookie, but I don't really care -- I'm just grateful that Dorie Greenspan continues to share her baking gifts and wonderful recipes with all of us!
Recipe: "World Peace Cookies 2.0" from Baking with Dorie by Dorie Greenspan, recipe available here from King Arthur Baking Company.