In the beginning, there was a recipe cut out of a magazine, and lo, it was meh. For it contained too much sugar, insufficient flour, and way too few chocolate chips.
Then there were the years of tweaking, years filled with tears and frustration, years of trying to chew on puck-like blocks of nastiness.
Somewhere amidst this temporal and chocolatey swirl, the original recipe became torn, grease-stained, and eventually lost. But the brave continue their trek without a map when the map is wrong in the first place.
Thus, through toil and strife, through beaters and blades, sometime in the early 90s was born THE GREATEST COOKIE OF ALL TIME.
Many asked – nay begged! – for the recipe. All were denied. Gradually, it became clear that the Cookies had immense power that needed to be kept under careful control lest they burst forth in chocolatey goodness and threaten to tear apart the very fabric of the universe. Or at least, too many waistbands.
The Cookies became known as World Domination Cookies, whereby first samples were given liberally for free, but subsequent deliciousness could only be attained by providing the Baker with small favours on her path to glory and conquest over all things.
But then life changed. The Baker had a baby and got sidetracked away from global conquest. Plus seriously, the world is messed up and really not worth ruling when there’s good stuff on TV.
And lo, when the Great Cookie Swap of 2012 came around, the Baker thought, “Maybe it’s time. I have a food blog now. Why am I keeping this recipe so secret? Doesn’t the world deserve this? Mightn’t it bring about world peace through chocolate? Who am I to contain such power alone?”
Brace yourselves, the recipe is coming…
Video by the amazing Keith Cramer, who has thus earned a shipment of these cookies. All hail the video lord!
First, let’s talk ingredients, because it matters. Oh, I know how this works: people get a recipe and immediately substitute out ingredients for diet preference, taste, what’s on hand, etc. I do it. We all do it. That’s fine if you want to do it here but if your cookies fail to delight all and sundry, don’t blame the recipe (as with the hilarious spoof comments on the ice cube recipe). World Domination Cookies do not fail; some bakers may fail the cookies.
This recipe uses margarine, not butter. Butter is not the same. Butter is awesome, delicious, and something I use in lots of recipes, but in this one it makes the cookies too hard, especially in a dry environment. The ingredients say “margarine” and by that I mean “margarine”, the kind we ate for decades because it was supposedly healthy and now we know it’s awful for us. These cookies are not health food. The margine I use is Canoleo Premium, which is very soft and made with hydrogenated oils which I fully realize are wretchedly unhealthy. So be it. Nothing else makes them come out as well.
This recipe also uses AP flour. There are lots of times where it’s good to substitute whole wheat flour. Again, these are not health food. Use AP flour.
This recipe uses sugar, although not a huge amount. Don’t even think about using a substitute unless you like munching on hockey pucks. Seriously. Any less sugar and you’ll lose the hygroscopic nature of that crystal.
This recipe uses baking soda, not baking powder. Don’t confuse these two or they’ll come out dry.
This recipe uses regular powdered cocoa, not dutch-process and certainly not chocolate drink mix (I believe the original recipe did and it was Not Good). They are already fudgy and dark without tons of sugar; if you change the cocoa, you are changing the basic chemistry and they will not be the same.
This recipe uses dark chocolate chips, specifically Ghiradelli 60%. That’s the perfect level of dark and sweet to balance with the cookie portion. Using other chips will be tasty, but not as tasty.
I mean sure, if you want to substitute, fine, but you won’t be making World Domination Cookies. You will be making Pretender Cookies, and maybe they’ll be good, but not this good. You might be able to use Pretender Cookies to take over a small borough or hamlet, maybe even a province or state if it doesn’t have diamonds or oil. But not an entire world, no.
At the bottom of this post is a printable version of the recipe with precisely weighed/measured ingredients all fussed out, because I gather that’s what Proper Food Bloggers do. But I also live in the real world where I sometimes do things that aren’t the Proper way, so I’ll take you through my procedure step-by-step first, with pictures.
First I measure and soften the margarine. It just so happens that the right amount is for me to pack my little glass measuring cup full, which I’ll officially call 1 1/4 cups. I weighed it to be sure and it comes out to 10 oz/283.5 g. To soften, I warm it in the microwave for about eight to ten seconds: it should be soft enough to mix, but DO NOT MELT IT.
I cream together the softened margarine with a cup of granulated sugar. The original recipe had two or three cups, I can’t recall. I made it for a long time with two but then mis-measured on a batch once and everyone agreed that while the two-cup version was nice, the one-cup version was much more rich and deep-chocolatey. I’ve stuck with one cup since and nobody’s ever said, “Meh, this is insufficiently sweet.” The reactions are still always, “OMG I LOVE YOU MARRY ME AND BAKE ME COOKIES EVERY DAY!” Paraphrased slightly.
Next I beat in two eggs, followed by a teaspoon of vanilla.
In a separate bowl, I mix together 2 cups of AP flour (10 oz by weight), 3/4 cup of cocoa, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Next I add the dry to the wet and mix completely.
Then I add in at least two cups of Ghiradelli 60% dark chocolate chips. I say “at least” because I start with that amount and then if there’s a lot of batter left stuck to the bowl at the end, I add in a small amount more as necessary to ensure every cookie is full of chips. You don’t win friends with stingy-chip cookies. Or salad.
Then I put the whole bowl in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up. I have skipped this step from time to time when rushed, but the cookies are better if dispensed cold to the tray. The insides take longer to cook so they come out puffier plus more tender on the inside. I also return the bowl to the fridge between trays, trying to keep the mix as chilled as possible before going into the oven.
I can vary the size depending on how many I need versus how big I want them to be. Generally speaking, I can get 35-40 cookies out of a batch of “teaspoon”-dropped size balls. By “teaspoon” in that context I mean the medium-small spoons in my drawer; not the big serving spoons, not the teeny weeny little almost-baby-sized spoons, but a generic sort of cereal spoon. For kicks I weighed a couple of these and they’re about 1.5 oz / 42.5 g.
I put them on a very lightly greased non-stick pan and bake at 350 F / 177 C for 16 minutes / 1.78 x10^46 Planck Time Units.
Voila! WORLD DOMINATED!
Sixteen minutes seems to always be about right even if I vary the size slightly, but since ovens vary, what you want to look for is the tops to be firm and the bottoms to have started to brown but not darken too much. Do not overbake them! They’re not very good toasted.
I put them on a cooling rack a few minutes later, then gently wipe the pan with a paper towel and start putting out the next set. I use two pans in rotation that way. No extra spray is needed: just be sure to clean off any crumbs that might burn.
There you have it: my deepest, darkest, fudgiest secrets revealed. I feel so…exposed. No wait, that’s just the draft from the window I cracked open so I can let the scent of these babies waft out and enrapture the general public. Muahahahahaha.
- 1¼ cup margarine (10 oz, do not substitute butter)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups All-Purpose flour (10 oz by weight, sift if necessary)
- ¾ cups regular powdered cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chocolate chips (60% Ghiradelli recommended, plus extra if needed at the end)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Soften the margine, but DO NOT MELT.
- Cream margarine and sugar thoroughly.
- Beat in eggs and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Combine thoroughly.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix thoroughly.
- Add chocolate chips. Combine thoroughly.
- Refrigerate dough for at least ½ hour to firm up.
- Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased non-stick cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 F for 16 minutes or until bottoms start to brown slightly. Do not overbake.
- Add extra chocolate chips to bowl scrapings at the end as necessary.