COOKBOOK WATCH

When you try a Viana La Place recipe, you know it will taste remarkable and you know it will be simple to make. A kitchen minimalist, she knows when enough is just enough.

Among the recipes in her newest book "Desserts and Sweet Snacks" (Morrow, $23), for instance, are cherry bruschetta, which is sweetened cherries on a slice of buttered country bread; sugared peaches served in a glass of red wine; figs filled with a simple blend of chopped chocolate and almonds, sugar and rum; and an unthreatening ricotta souffle that is more like a cake and easy as pie.

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