Leave it to Mark Bittman to inspire our return to baking after a long, hot summer. Not long ago, he grabbed our attention with his "Short and Sweet" article in the New York Times. The subject? Shortbread. Let us just say that Bittman's chocolaty, citrusy, sugary, and savory suggestions had us in the kitchen, softening our butter in no time. Admittedly, it doesn't take much convincing to entice our group's collective sweet tooth, but this time we made it interesting by inviting the whole home office to participate in a shortbread bake-off, with recipes inspired by Bittman's original. Cut to an afternoon cookie tasting that included everything from chocolate-coconut, maple almond, and white chocolate, to espresso, cinnamon sugar, and pumpkin. Needless to say, it was a lovely afternoon.
We can't have been the only ones tempted by Mr. Bittman's shortbread suggestions. Tell us, which version would you make?