You spend a lot of time interacting with people, on their blogs, on Twitter, listening to their ups and their downs, their triumphs, their fun moments, their cries for help. You support them and work with them together for causes, and you fall down on your knees when you lose one of them.
And even though you’ve never met, and a great physical distance separates you, you feel the need to somehow bridge that gap when the hurting starts.
Surely everyone has heard of Barbara and her LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow event that she’s organized for two years running to promote cancer awareness, cheer on survivors and remember lost loved ones.
Barbara’s own fight against cancer is heading into another round. A round of chemo that leaves that dulls her tastebuds, mutes her physical energy but does NOT dampen her spirits.
So while I’m not an Asian food expert like many of the bloggers participating, when I ran across my earmarked recipe for World Peace Cookies yet again, I knew they were what I wanted to make for my Virtual Hug to You. More than the ingredients, it’s the sentiment that I’d love to pass to you, to give you a few moments of peace, of normalcy, of strength. You’ve given a lot of other people strength through your own actions. I added some crystallized ginger because Barbara I’m hoping, since not much tastes good right now, that you can get a tiny morsel of these strong cookies in with several bites of the ginger to sooth your tummy, and know that I made them for you!
Keep strong Barbara, and let us know if we can do anything.
A Big, Virtual Hug to you.
World Peace / Virtual Hug Cookies with Crystallized Ginger
from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours (I highly recommend it!)
I recommend pushing the ginger into the fresh-from-the-oven cookies as it’s easier to incorporate them. If you’re using very chilled or frozen dough, they will fall off during baking.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons = 155g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips
- Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together and set aside.
- Beat the butter on medium speed in a large bowl until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, salt, vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes
- Turn off the mixer. Pour in the dry ingredients. Dorie suggests using a kitchen towel to cover the bowl and protect you from the flour flying up. I agree! Pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Mix just until flour disappears into the dough – it should be a little crumbly.
- Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix to just incorporate.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and split into two. Working one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. (It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for 2 months).
- Preheat oven to 325F / 160C and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. They will probably crack/crumble, just shape them back on the cookie sheet. I recommend pressing against the exposed side of the log while slicing as it helps keep the cookie together.
- Bake them for 12 minutes. They won’t look done or will they be firm, but that’s ok. Cool them on a cooling rack until just warm/room temperature and they can be moved – otherwise they will break apart.