Mark Bittman’s topic in today’s New York Times Magazine, “Short and Sweet,” presented a basic recipe for shortbread cookies, with a bunch of variations, from sweet to savory and in between. This is one thing I appreciate about Bittman’s approach: he gives you a base and several ideas on how to make it to suit your mood, your preferences, and your pantry contents. It’s learning to cook instead of just following a recipe.
I love shortbread–who doesn’t?–and this column reminded me of the pepper-cumin cookies I have been making since I first saw the recipe in the Times Magazine in 1996. I’ve been a recipe clipper for many years, and here’s what this one looks like now. These cookies really are fantastic, by the way. Easy to make, they have been a surprise hit at parties.