Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies

The annual Passover abstention from flour need not be so abstemious, as François Payard demonstrates in this recipe for chewy, gooey chocolate-walnut cookies. Egg whites add a meringuey quality, but fudginess prevails in these jumbo-size beauties,

François Payard’s Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies

2 1/2 cups walnut halves
2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Spread the walnut halves on a large-rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 9 minutes, until they are golden and fragrant. (1) Let cool slightly, then transfer the walnut halves to a work surface and coarsely chop them. Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and lower temperature to 325. Line two large-rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. (2) In a large bowl, whisk (or combine in an electric mixer on low speed) the confectioners’ sugar with the cocoa powder and salt followed by the chopped walnuts. While whisking (or once you change the speed to medium), add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat just until the batter is moistened (do not overbeat or it will stiffen). (3) Spoon the batter onto the baking sheets in 12 evenly spaced mounds, and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through to ensure even baking. Easiest just to do one pan at a time. Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto 2 wire racks. Let cookies cool completely, and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Beet Horseradish

passed down from my Grandma Sarah and Aunt Bella

For approximately 1 pound peeled raw horseradish, use approximately 2-3 small peeled fresh beets

1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, water to taste

Step 1

shred radish and beets in the food processor… Be very careful that you don’t inhale fumes. This can be very painful. Much worse than onions.

Step 2

put shredded stuff back in the food processor with steel blade… until it is finely chopped.

The rest is just guesswork. Not all horseradish is created equal. Some are riper than others and that affects how strong it is. There are ways to mitigate this problem. Leave uncovered for a couple of hours. Adding water, more sugar, more beets, even some lemon juice will help. The taste changes from day to day so it might taste better the longer it sits in the fridge. I would make this about three days before serving.

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Poppy Seed Cake

with revisions

Recipe from Strawbery Banke Museum

Adapted by Joan Nathan

Yield: 12 servings

  • 1cup poppy seeds
  • 1cup milk or soy milk
  • 1cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter or pareve margarine, plus more for greasing pan
  • 2cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting pan
  • 1 cup sugar(original recipe called for 2)
  • 3large eggs, separated
  • 2teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½teaspoon salt
  • 2½teaspoons baking powder
  • zest from 2 lemons and juice from 1
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


  1. Step 1In a small saucepan, combine the poppy seeds and milk. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and allow to rest until cool, about 20 minutes.
  2. Step 2Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a large loaf or tube pan by greasing it with margarine and lightly flouring the inside of the pan.
  3. Step 3In bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter or margarine and sugar. Add egg yolks, vanilla, and poppy seed-milk mixture, and beat until smooth. Gradually add 2 cups flour, salt and baking powder. Mix well; remove bowl from mixer and set aside.
  4. Step 4Place a clean bowl in mixer, with a whisk attachment, and whisk egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold into batter. Scrape into pan, and bake until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer cake to a rack. Unmold after 15 minutes. When cool, dust cake with confectioners’ sugar.
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Roast Chicken Thighs With Fennel, Green Olives and Lemon

TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes



  • 1 large fennel bulb, outer layers removed
  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs, patted dry
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly crushed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup jasmine or other long-grain white rice
  • ½ cup Castelvetrano olives, crushed open and pitted
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Halve fennel bulb lengthwise, then cut each half into 4 wedges. In a large bowl, toss chicken and fennel with 2 tablespoons olive oil, turmeric, fennel seeds and cumin until evenly coated. Season generously with salt and pepper. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread fennel and chicken, skin-side up, across it. Do not overcrowd. Roast until fat starts rendering and thighs partially cook, 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium pot over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add rice, 1 tablespoon olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover pot and simmer until rice is just tender, about 15 minutes. Strain rice and toss dry. Season with more salt if needed.
  3. Carefully pour off rendered fat accumulated around chicken, and discard. Scatter olives around chicken and return baking sheet to oven. Continue roasting until chicken is fully cooked, skin is crisp and fennel is tender, 10-15 minutes more.
  4. Squeeze lemon over chicken, olives and fennel. Transfer chicken, skin-side up, to a serving dish along with olives and fennel. Pour any pan juices over chicken, and garnish with parsley. Serve over or alongside rice.
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Quick Hummus With Seared Oyster Mushrooms and Pine Nuts


  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar tahini
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more to season
  • 1-1½ cups ice water
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more to drizzle
  • 1½ pounds Oyster mushrooms, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
  • Pinch turmeric
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 4 fresh, warm pitas or slices of brioche
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Make the tahini sauce: Nick off a quarter of the clove of garlic and drop it into the bowl of a food processor. Add lemon juice and tahini, making sure to scrape all the tahini out of the container. Season with a good pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon cumin. Process until mixture looks like peanut butter, about 1 minute. With motor running, stream in ice water, a little bit at a time, and continue processing until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Make the hummus: Add drained chickpeas to tahini sauce and continue to process until chickpeas are completely blended into tahini and hummus is smooth and uniform in color, about 3 minutes. While blending, pause motor occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl, then proceed. Set hummus aside.
  4. Make the mushroom-pine nut topping: Toss pine nuts with a drizzle of canola oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Spread nuts across a small baking sheet and toast until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. Let pine nuts cool.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once pan is very hot, add 3 tablespoons canola oil. Stir in mushrooms and cook, undisturbed, until mushrooms start to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt, a pinch of cumin, a pinch of turmeric and a small pinch of cinnamon. Once mushrooms have browned all over, after about 2 minutes more, turn off heat and add Sherry vinegar to pan. Toss to combine. Return pan to medium-high heat. Cook until liquid evaporates and mushrooms crisp, about 2 minutes more. Toss in toasted pine nuts and minced parsley.
  6. To serve, smear hummus across 4 individual plates or a large platter, covering the base in a ½-inch layer of hummus. (Save any leftover hummus for another meal.) Top hummus with mushroom-pine nut topping and drizzle fresh olive oil overtop. Serve with warm pita or slices of brioche for scooping.
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