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Best of Chicago 2009 

Best Dessert

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Best Dessert: Shortbread at Mado

Best Dessert: Shortbread at Mado

The Reader's Choice: Mado

When Mado opened, Allison Levitt's simple, fragile, ethereally light shortbread cookies caused just as much commotion as husband Rob's house-made charcuterie. "People who have tried them before tend to order them again and again," she says. "But sometimes it takes some convincing to get that first order. 'They're just shortbread? That's it? Like, some cookies on a plate? Like Girl Scout cookies?'" The story of their origin is just as uncomplicated—she uses the recipe from Tartine, the cookbook published by Elisabeth Prueitt, owner of San Francisco's Tartine Bakery. "The thing about this shortbread, and I think most dessert recipes, is that the execution can really change a recipe," Levitt says. "Nobody's mom makes Toll House cookies exactly the same way, even though we all use the same recipe."  1647 N. Milwaukee, 773-342-2340, madorestaurantchicago.com. —Mike Sula

&Our readers' choice: Hot Chocolate

 1747 N. Damen, 773-489-1747, hotchocolatechicago.com.

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