Friday, September 10, 2010

Mini Madeleines

You know you go to Starbucks way too often when your sons become cookie snobs. In other words, my boys are being brought up on Starbucks' delectable French madeleine cookies, these tender, cakey little beauties. Many times when I drag them in to get my morning coffee (or my afternoon coffee, or even my evening coffee...), they request a package of these cookies. Now, I've long been a fan of the madeleine, having started my Starbucks career back in 2000 and trying them shortly thereafter. I've been hooked ever since. They're fluffy, yet dense. Light, yet buttery. Pretty, yet not too pretty to eat! And now my kids are addicted, too.

When I was pregnant with my first son, I was not the cook in our household. My husband did pretty much all the cooking back then, and he did a bit of baking, as well. For Christmas that year, I had bought him a mini madeleine pan from Williams Sonoma, a nice fancy one. Maybe I was actually buying it for myself, since I knew he'd be baking me some yummy cookies! But either way, we were glad to have our own pan for creating madeleines.

Now that my sons are hooked on them, too, I get requests to make them every now and again. Nothing beats the homemade version of these cookies. However, they are a bit fussy, what with me only having the one little pan. I have to bake a batch, then let the pan cool, then re-grease and flour the pan to bake the next batch, and so on. Furthermore, these cookies need to be eaten the same day they are made. And although they are completely addictive and very easy to continuously pop into your mouth like pieces of popcorn, I don't always need that on my waistline! We've tried refrigerating them and eating them the next day, but it's really not the same.

In the past I've used a Martha Stewart recipe for madeleines, but this time I decided to try a Dorie Greenspan version. Hers had a bit of brown sugar and honey added in, so I was intrigued. Man, these did not disappoint. At all. Sure, I overfilled my little madeleine molds and caused my cookies to have some cute fringe around the edges, but so what? It hardly affected the taste. It gave them personality, I think! And this time I just kept the bowl of batter in the fridge and made my family a small batch at a time over the course of 2 days. It's perfect that you can chill the batter and keep it on hand. Now we don't have to worry about eating 3 dozen cookies in one day. Not that it's stopped us before...

Mini Madeleines
from Dorie Greenspan
makes 36 cookies

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
6 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. light brown sugar, packed
1/8 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
3/4 stick (6 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. honey
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugars until smooth. Gently whisk in the melted butter and, finally, the honey. You'll have a thick, smooth, shiny batter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 days.

3. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Generously butter mini madeleine pan(s), dust the insides with flour, and tap out the excess. Or, if you have a nonstick pan, just spray the interior with vegetable cooking spray. Silicone pans can be used just as they are. Put the pan(s) on a baking sheet.

4. Fill each little madeleine mold with about a teaspoon of batter; the molds should be about three-quarters full. Don't worry about leveling the batter - it will do it by itself in the oven.

5. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden brown around the edges. Remove the sheet from the oven and give the madeleine pan(s) a hearty rap against the counter. Gently pry out any cakes that don't want to leave their nests with your fingers or a butter knife. You can serve the madeleines immediately or put them on a rack to cool.

6. Repeat the process with any remaining batter, making certain to cool and rebutter and flour or respray the pan(s). Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners' sugar if desired.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I have yet to try these madeleines, because I don't have the pan...yet. Although I do have a Williams-Sonoma gift card I need to use up, so now you've given me an idea!

    I got my copy of Around My French Table when it was released last week - it came out earlier than expected. I got mine on Amazon, but I'm sure sure other stores have it too by now. I hope you'll cook along with us!