Friday, March 26, 2010

Traditional Madeleines

As many recipes as I have made as a part of Tuesdays with Dorie, there are still recipes from the book that I can’t wait to make. I joined Tuesdays with Dorie in August 2008 and some really great recipes were chosen before I joined the group. I keep thinking that someday I will make all of those great recipes I missed, but there are only so many things that I can make in a week. As much as love to bake, my waistline tells me that I shouldn’t bake too much more than I already do.

Madeleines are one of those recipes on the list that I have wanted to make for so long. For this one, I had a legitimate reason to wait: they are my boss’s favorite cookie. I wanted to wait and make them for her, but the right time hadn’t yet presented itself. Well, this week is her birthday so now is the perfect time. Happy Birthday Boss!

I had made madeleines years ago, long before I had a baking blog. I really liked that recipe, but I had written the recipe down on a small scrap of paper, which I have no idea where it is now! I need to be more careful about keeping track of recipes. This recipe is quite different than the one I made before. You make the batter in advance, refrigerate for an extended period of time and then bake. For me this worked out great. I made the batter one day and baked them up the next morning before work. Fresh cookies, simple and easy.

I had no trouble making these, although folding melted butter into the batter was a bit tricky. I don’t know that I got it mixed in all the way, but in the end it didn’t matter since they turned out beautifully. I wasn’t sure if I had filled the pans enough or too much, but all looked fine, except one that was on the small side. I really liked the lemon flavor, it was just right. I’m excited the try some of the variations that are in Dorie’s book, and maybe I’ll take a look and see if I can find the other madeleine recipe I used to use.

2/3 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
confectioner sugar, for dusting

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Working in a mixer bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs to the bowl. Working with the whisk attachment, beat the sugar and eggs together on medium high speed until pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter.

Butter and flour the madeleine mold and spoon the batter, filling each one almost to the top, into the prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days. (Or just refrigerate the batter and spoon into the pans right before baking.)

Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake the madeleines for 11-13 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan from the oven and release the madeleines from the mold by rapping the edge of the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the madeleines to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.

Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners' sugar. Madeleines are best served the day they are made.

Recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

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