Cambridge in July: cucumbers, currants and other summer fruits

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[This article is one of a series of Crumbs on the Table  monthly food columns published in Weekend  (editor, Alice Ryan), the Saturday supplement of the Cambridge News.  July’s column considers the cucumber and fruits of high summer, with a menu featuring fish fillets with grilled cucumber and beurre blanc, and refreshing cucumber and white peach sorbets served with fresh fruit salad.] [Read More…]

‘World Peace Cookies’ taken with a pinch of salt

CrumbsontheTable World Peace Cookies Pierre Herme and Joyce GreenspanWorld peace.  That’s a lot to put onto a cookie, but that’s what cook book author and baker Dorie Greenspan calls this famous chocolate biscuit, crediting Parisian patissière Pierre Hermé with its invention.  It is world class, though, so I understand the temptation to hyperbole.  This is a meltingly delicious, short and crumbly chocolate cookie that’s worth the calories. The joke in our house (obvious, really) is that it’s so good it causes fights.

It’s decadent without being overwhelmed with gimmicky extras, despite the name.  It’s simply a cocoa shortbread with chocolate chips or chunks, treated as a refrigerator cookie dough: i.e., you roll the dough into a long sausage, chill in the fridge, and then slice to bake.  It needs good butter, cocoa and chocolate, and a light hand in the mixing; and it must not be over-baked, as the soft crumb is what makes the mouth-feel so extraordinary.

What I also find essential is a sparse sprinkling of flaky sea salt on the top before baking — not too much, not too little.  [Read More…]