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I raise this tricky question after reading Marian Burrosblog item today in the New York Times, which reports that the Ritz-Carltons in D.C. are replacing the traditional pillow mints with cookies based on a Family Circle magazine recipe by First Lady-to-Be Michelle Obama. Among other interesting bits of info, Burros drops this little grenade:

The magazine tweaked the recipe, the hotel tweaked the recipe and so did this reporter.

Never mind Burros’ alterations; that was just for the blog. But both Family Circle and the Ritz’s chefs tweaked the recipe? The question, for me, is, how much did they tweak? I mean, after a certain point, the recipe stops being Michelle Obama’s, right?

Unless, of course, you’re trying to market how special your hotel package is during the inauguration.

Photo by Flickr user JAGwired.