Today, Cafe Fernando turns two years old and I would just die if I don’t mark this occasion with my most favorite cookies of all time: Korova Cookies.
These cookies made their debut in “Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City’s Best Pastry Shops” by Dorie Greenspan. There is another very impressive person behind the recipe – the man Vogue magazine once called “The Picasso of Pastry.” No, it’s not David Lebovitz (he is the Monet). It’s Pierre Herme.
The recipe later appeared in Dorie’s masterpiece “Baking: From My Home to Yours”, but under a different name: World Peace Cookies. Dorie’s neighbor, who is clearly one of the luckiest people on earth, gave them their new name. He once said that a daily dose of Pierre’s cookies is all that is needed to ensure planetary peace and happiness.
Korova cookies are extremely intense chocolate cookies, scented with vanilla, painted dark with cocoa and sprinkled with fleur de sel to bring out all the flavors and overwhelm your senses with each bite.
The sable-like texture is achieved by keeping the mixing to a minimum and baking them for exactly 12 minutes. My favorite way of eating them is a minute after they come out of the oven.
When I started writing two years ago today, I really didn’t expect Cafe Fernando to become this big a part of my life. I have met wonderful people along the way and learned a lot from my very talented fellow bloggers. And I have YOU to thank for that!
Without your enthusiasm and encouraging comments, I know that I wouldn’t find the motivation to go on.
So, thank you for inspiring me to bake, photograph, write and eat and bake and eat and eat.
KOROVA COOKIES RECIPE
recipe from “Paris Sweets: Great Desserts from the City’s Best Pastry Shops” by Dorie Greenspan
Yields 28 cookies
- 1+1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (30 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (150 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup (120 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 5 ounces (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small bits
- Sift the flour, cocoa, and baking soda together and keep close at hand.
- Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the butter is soft and creamy.
- Add both sugars, the salt, and vanilla extract and beat for another minute or two.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the sifted dry ingredients. Mix only until the dry ingredients are incorporated. For the best texture, you want to work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added.
- Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.
- Turn the dough out onto a smooth work surface and squeeze it so that it sticks together in large clumps. Gather the dough into a ball, divide it in half, and working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1-1/2 inches (4 cm) in diameter.
- Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill them for at least 2 hours. (Wrapped airtight, the logs can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for 1 month.)
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and keep them close at hand.
- Working with a sharp thin-bladed knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick.
- Place the cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch (2.5 cm) spread space between them.
- Bake only one sheet of cookies at a time, and bake each sheet for 12 minutes. The cookies will not look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be.
- Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies stand until they are only just warm or until they reach room temperature.
- Repeat with the second sheet of cookies.
Happy Birthday Cafe Fernando!!!
Hearty congratulations on your second blog anniversary, Cenk. I have learnt so much from you :). A quick question: How many cookies does this recipe yield?
Yeah to cafe fernando! And to korova cookies too – probably my most favourite cookies ever.
All my love xxx
I bought Dorie’s book based solely on your photos. Her book is quite nice, but your pictures are fantastic. Thanks for all you offer, Sarah
Happy Anniversary 🙂 I am SO going to attempt these scrumptious looking cookies!
Hande, Fanny, Sarah – Thank you!
Suganya – I am flattered! Thanks. Dorie says the recipe yields 36 cookies, but I never manage to get out that much from the ingredients above. The batch above yielded 28 cookies for me.
happy anniversary! I enjoy reading all your posts about your daily adventures in your country and at the lovely mansion as well as drooling over your fantastic pictures.I have yet to make these cookies but I’ve been eyeing them ever since I bought the book. Now is the time to dive in I think
happy annoversary cafe fernando 🙂
here to many mor years, and many more delicious goodies.
Looks great! I have made the world peace cookies before, they are soo yummy!
Happy anniversary, Cenk! Thank YOU for the lovely photos, recipes and stories. All the best!
Tebrikler! I really enjoy your blog! Here’s to more great recipes and photos.
Happy Birthday to Cafe Fernando!! Two years is alot of writing and baking/cooking 🙂
The cookies are absolutely beautiful – Dorie would be proud. Consider them stumbled!
Happy Birthday to Cafe Fernando! Still one of my favourite blogs and those cookies look so pretty all cracked and glistening with chocolate!
Oh Happy blog Birthday!! 2 years! I think I maybe first crossed your blog a year ago, and I absolutely love it! Great cookies, and looking fwd for more delicious posting for your blog’s 3rd year!
Amanda – Dive right in. I promise, you won’t regret it!
Andrea, Helen, Ayat, Jessy, Helen – Thank you!
Allen – Thank you so much for the kindest comment and stumble!
Happy 2nd Birthday Cafe Fernando!! – I enjoy reading your blog very much. Keep it up! t xx
I am fairly new to your blog but fell in love immediately & added you to my favorites and signed up for the mailings, CoNgRaTs on the 2 year anniversary!!! This one may be my first attempt at one of your MANY delicious looking and sounds recipes!!! Thank you for all your work and efforts!
Cenk, these really are the best cookies, I agree. But, tell me, Monet? Really, that is just too good! Does he know this yet?
Happy blog birthday, Cenk!
Cafe Fernando is beautiful and I’m glad it’s part of my blog life, too.
These cookies are irresistible – that’s why I have baked them only once so far! 🙂
Congratulations on reaching two!
Mmmm… chocolate…. mmmmm…..
Tamami – Thank you! Even though I didn’t have the time to visit your blog lately, I love reading about your adventures a lot, too. By the way, your baby looks so cute. I wish you and the baby best of luck and health.
Jeff – Thank you! Hope you enjoy the recipes as much as I do!
Hande – I am not sure if David has read this post yet, but I am certain that this is not the first time he is receiving such a compliment. Do you really think that is too much? Have you ever tasted his Gianduja Gelato recipe?
HAPPY 2ND BLOGVERSARY Cenk. You are a huge source of inspiration to me. Korovan cookies are just the sorta celebration for your blogs 2nd birthday. I made these some time back & fell in love with them. Your pictures are fantastic…can’t find Dorie’s book in my part of the world, but will keep checking Cafe Fernando! HAVE A FANTASTIC DAY & YEAR AHEAD!!
Happy Blog Birthday!
These cookies are a great way to celebrate, they’re definitely a favourite of mine!
I never made a (sweet) recipe from David and then thought “oh, ok”. It has always been “wow, OMG”. This is why I try to stay away from them. Cause, you know, chubby men are called “cute” but chubby women… But never mind, what I meant was not that Monet is too much. I just had some associations in my mind about PH being Picasso and David as Monet… something about the styles… oh, must be my sick mind… This is PG-13, so I will stop now…
PS: Don’t you also have fantasies about that Gianduja Gelato?
Happy Blog Birthday! Even though these cookies have been around the block (and isn’t that a neighborhood we’d all love to live in), yours look terrific and my love for them is renewed!
Congratulations on your second anniversary! These cookies look like a fabulous way to celebrate. I bet the kitchen smells just delightful as they bake!
michelle @ TNS
i have dorie’s “baking” and i have not yet used it NEARLY enough. proof of that fact: i have never made these cookies.
this situation will be remedies soon enough.
stumbled upon your blog.great site:) happy blog birthday btw. these cookies look so perfect. wish i actually had some around the house. i am craving cookies.
Happy Blog-Birthday!!! I wish I was your neighbor right now! I haven’t tried making these cookies yet but I’ve done other Dorie dark chocolate cookies and loooved them.
Best wishes for many more years of blogging!!
Happy second birthday! These cookies look so rich and yummy. I’m sure they were enjoyed by all! I love the line “I would just die if I didn’t make these korova cookies”. Hehe.
oh yes, this recipe is a winner. I have made it a few times, including before leaving for New Zealand last year, and they never fail to satisfy.
Happy blog anniversary. To many more happy cooking years ahead!
These cookies look beautiful. I will most definitely add them to my repertoire. Happy Blogiversary.
Congratulations! You do a great job on your blog.
And thank you for sharing all this good stuff with us.
Deeba, Brilynn, Katie, Fearless Kitchen, Diva, Robin, Hillary, Bea, Kathie, Sim – Thank you all for your lovely wishes!
hande – I do. Constantly.
Michelle – You’re missing A LOT!
So that’s the origin of the World Peace Cookies! Good to know, I was wondering. I actually got the recipe from another blog (can’t think which right now) but it used peanut butter chips instead of chocolate chunks. Still, delicious! So fudgey.
Happy Birthday ÇOÇO I am so proud !!!!!!!!!
göz yaşlarım seller gibi, aceba gidip Omega saat alıp kırsam mı?
Happy Blog Birthday! Here’s to another great year!
HAPPY BLOG BIRTHDAY!
These cookies look amazing!
Those look great! Good close up photo. Can’t wait to bake some of these.
My first stop on your blog and what do I see – the most amazing cookies and I can’t pull them through my monitor.
Cenk ~ I join your many fans in congratulating you for 2 years of blogging bliss. One of the few things that has carried over from my life in the US to a new one in New Zealand is visiting my favourite blogs. Your blog always satiates my sweet tooth. Happy Birthday!
Congrats on completing two delicious years Cenk!! your recipes and photos continue to inspire me, and I’ll look forward to many more of these!!:)
Happy blog anniversary! I wish you the best of time for the years to come. I sure am enjoying your journey and of course the cookies!
cenk, what kind of dark chocolate do you use???
Feri – %70 works best. I use Valrhona Guanaja.
I just found your wonderful blog looking for Molly Steven’s braised Brussels sprouts recipe as I left my book upstate. Glad I did as I plan to try your changes to it. They sound good, and I think it will be even better than the original, especially if there are leftovers to reheat.
I must say I totally agree that these are the BEST cookies ever. I made them a few weeks ago for the first time. I didn’t useit in FROM MY HOUSE TO YOURS. I used Green & Blacks organic, and it was excellent. I also used turbinado sugar as I had no “light brown” sugar in the house. I pulsed it in the food processor a little. The texture was really good in the cookie, especially with the fleur de sel. I may just keep making this “mistake.”
Anyway, lovely blog.
I’m sure these cookies will do everything BUT “numb the senses”…you must mean “wow the senses” or “overwhelm the senses.” To numb the senses would to make us stop tasting and smelling and feeling. Let’s not do that!
Thank you, thank you, for all the wonderful recipes and charming commentary. I love your blog.
Gretchen – You’re right! I think I like “overwhelm” better! Thanks..
May I ask you something? This recipe looks so fantastic that I’ve tried to replicate it twice, unsuccessfully.
The moment I put the rack with the cookies in the oven they start to ‘melt’ and I end up with a shapeless dough covering the entire baking sheet.
The taste is delicious, yet the shape is nightmarish. What I am doing wrong? Could it be that the chocolate I use is too “fatty”? (I notice that it did not melt in your cookies, the chunks are still visible, while they did melt in my case). Or should I bake them at a temperature lower than 165°C?
Any hint would be most welcome!!
Deliciousspoon – You did refrigerate the logs before you sliced them, right? I always refrigerate the dough overnight (and keep a batch in the refrigerator while another is baking in the oven) and it bakes perfectly. Did you wait overnight or just a couple of hours? The logs should be solid. That’s the only thing I can think of. As far as chocolate, I always try to use the best I can find (%70 cocoa) for these Korova cookies. Hope your next batch turns out better.
Hi Cenk, thank you so much for your quick reply. I left the logs about 3 hours in the refrigerator, and they were quite solid. Actually they were all crumbly, so I was quite hopeful that they would end up with the “sable” texture.
I think the culprit may be the chocolate I used. It was a kind of manufactured chocolate drops with min. 48% cocoa.
Next time I’ll just buy the 70% tablet and chop it. I’ll let you know of the result. I’m soooo looking forward to obtain great looking cookies like yours!
These cookies SO remind me of some chocolate cookies we made from scratch, while living away from USA. Omg…we lived in Mexico, of all places, the land that gave us chocolate, but there were no chocolate cookies to be found anywhere!! So we had to make some from scratch. The recipe also called for cocoa and I think that makes all the difference! Those cookies were INTENSE!! I’m trying this recipe and will get back to you…
Wow! It looks great. I bet the taste is fantastic. I’ll try the recipe. Thank you for sharing.
I am living in Turkey and have had a difficult time finding brown sugar (the kind that is very dark, moist and packs down well – the kind I would use in America). When you list brown sugar as an ingredient, which are you referring to? I have used honey in the past, but it isnt the same….any suggestions where to find it, or what to use as a substitute? I prefer brown sugar to white sugar as well. Do you know of any places that sell the “American style” brown sugar in Istanbul? Thanks…will try these out as soon as I understand which brown sugar I should be using.
Laura – Bad news: You can’t find American style brown sugar in Istanbul. The type we have in supermarkets labeled as Brown Sugar is a joke. I have requested a few friends in the past to bring me some real brown sugar from the US, and I’m still using that. I’ll soon run out though. An idea for substitution (for taste only) may be mixing white sugar with some grape molasses (üzüm pekmezi).
A quiet day so I’m having a look at the rest of your site now. Really beautiful stuff.
These are my favourite cookies too. The texture is so out of this world. If you run out of brown sugar before your friends bring you back more and you want to do some kind of mail-swap, drop me a line. I’m sure we could think of something.
These look delicious, and the name is interesting. ‘Korova’ in russian means cow.
Just cooked my second batch of Korova Cookies and I just can’t stop cooking them. I have never tasted chocolate cookies so good, so glad that I have discovered your blog. Love it !!
I made them and I loved them!
You have some really nice looking recipes 🙂 i’m going to try making some this tomorrow after my exam.
Thanks for the great recipe! Tried them yesterday night, the first batch got finished in 20 minutes by 4 people! 🙂 I just have a quick question. My cookies became somewhat flattish, and a bit more crunchier than I would expect (I would prefer they stayed chewy in the center). I might have overcooked them (I cooked them for 17-18 min by misatake, instead of 12 min). Can this be the reason?
Anyhow, they were still sooooo delicious! Thanks for the recipe! 🙂
Ayse – Yes, that’s the reason. The cookies will still be soft after 12 minutes, but will harden as they cool. 20 minutes is way too long.
when i found this recipe straight away i got my baking equipment out even if it was 6 0’clock at night. it was well worth it 🙂 the cookies are amazing and the dough is divine :)now lets try another recipe.
from a New Zealand fan 🙂
i’ve cooked several times this. truly outstanding!
only issue is my cookies don’t look like yours. do you have any trick to avoid skew shape ?
suleyman – Use a heavy and sharp knife so that the slices look perfect. Or you can roll them into perfect rounds before baking.