And the youngest one was Madeleine

The world is full of an amazing, wide variety of cookies.  From the humble yet wonderful chocolate chip to the regal macaroon and everything in between.  One of my personal favorites is the Madeleine.  It is not the most glamorous or complex cookie but there is something simple and satisfying about them.  I recently got some late Christmas gift certificates to Borders book store.  Because they are liquidating their business I decided to order some books ASAP.  You may be surprised to learn that I opted to order cookbooks ;).  One was “around my french table” which had a recipe for, you guessed it, Madeleines!

So much of cooking is the little tips and experience you pick up over the years.  A tip I picked up recently and which is mentioned in this book is to grate the zest onto the sugar and then work the mixture between your finger tips to get all of the oils out.  Here are my daughter’s hands after working the zest into the sugar.

And here is the sugar.  It gets a little damp and smells simply wonderful.

adapted from around my french table

1 1/3 c flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
two pinches salt
1 c sugar
zest of one lemon
4 eggs
12 tbsp melted butter, cooled
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vanilla paste

Also, this is a doubling of the recipe which would call for the zest of two lemons.  I didn’t want them too lemony so I only used one lemon which was nice for me but you may want more.  Mix the sugar with lemon zest and eggs in the bowl of a mixer until super light and fluffy.  Then pour in the vanilla.  If you don’t have paste just add another tsp of extract.  Fold in the dry ingredients and then mix the butter in.  The latter is a bit tricky to get worked all the way in.  The recipe then call for cooling off the batter for three hours in the fridge but I was pressed for time so I put it in an ice bath which worked well.  Butter and flour large madeleine trays.  These will expand nicely in the oven so I usually leave a little space in the mold.

This will yield 24 large ones which cook about 12 minutes at 400.  The first batch was a bit underdone and the second was a bit overdone when I used the convection but they still tasted marvelous.  Give it a go!

My daughter taking a break from swimming to eat a cookie.



Filed under Baking, Cookbooks, Cooking, Food

10 responses to “And the youngest one was Madeleine

  1. I love learning new tips, thanks. How fun to have your daughter bake with you too.
    🙂 Mandy

  2. Great tip! I’ve made tossed zest into sugar but didn’t know about crushing it into the sugar. Looks like your daughter really got into it and was nicely rewarded with a cookie! I’ve never made these cookies; I think I need to purchase one of those molds and try it out!

    • You can definitely tell it works since the sugar really smells and tastes lemony. I would recommend trying them. They are a nice light end to a meal if you can eat just one ;).

  3. Some fabulous pictures, but no point preaching to the converted. I love Madeleines and I love Proust’s description of the taste of them with coffee in the morning.

    • Thanks on both counts. I was not familiar with the Proust quote but definitely agree that food can cause memories to surface. Just one of the many magical qualities that keeps us cooks coming back for more.

  4. Pingback: The buck stops here | joshuafagans

  5. Pingback: Cookbooks | joshuafagans

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