I apologize in advance that I only have one picture of these… I wasn’t expecting to write a post about them but they were delicious so I’m going to share them with the world.

Last year my grandmother gave me a book about madeleines (Barbara Feldman Morse’s surprisingly named Madeleines) and two madeleine pans as a gift. I had never had a madeleine before, but I had heard of their magical part cookie- part cake- wholly teatime qualities, and was therefore pretty excited to make some.

Unfortunately my apartment was tiny and ill-equipped for making such a precise and delicate cookie (read, no mixing equipment besides a broken spatula), so I didn’t really have a chance to make them until this week. It also just so happened that I would soon be visiting my friend Madeleine, so there was really no better time to bake a few. I decided to start off with the basics, so I made Barbara’s “Classic French Madeleines”.

As you can see from the picture above, they turned out perfectly, right down to the little bump on the top. From everything I’ve read (ha, the three pages on the internet) this is because I let them rest for a few hours in the fridge between mixing and baking. I haven’t tried to make madeleines without resting, so I cannot speak to the veracity of this, but it is pretty widely known that the best cookies are the ones left in the fridge.

beautiful and delicious original madeleines

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 8 Tbsp (1 US stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

Destructions:

  1. Make sure that a rack is in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Coat two shell pans with baking spray, or brush butter in the molds (melt 4Tbsp).
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
  3. Whisk eggs and sugar with a stand or hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes on medium-high speed.
  4. Add vanilla and lemon zest to the beaten mixture and beat for another minute until well combined.
  5. Gently fold the flour mixture into the beaten mixture until just combined, then drizzle the butter over the batter and thoroughly incorporate.
  6. Using a 1.5″ ice cream scoop or a teaspoon, fill shell molds with batter until almost full. Press batter down to smooth at the top, and redistribute if necessary to have even amounts in each mold.
  7. Cover the molds gently, and rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until just puffy and golden.
  9. Let pans cool on a wire rack for 2-3 minutes, then tap madeleines out onto the rack, or use a spatula to remove each.
  10. Lightly dust with powdered sugar if you’re about that life.

Notes:

  • I highly recommend grating the lemon before you start. Believe me, you do not want to be grating lemon zest while worrying about the mixer running and having batter on your hands. I can’t tell you how I know, but I promise it’s true.
  • You will also want to melt the butter before you start everything else, so that it has time to cool down before you add it in to the batter.
  • Serving suggestion: two madeleines and a cup of light, refreshing tea or coffee.
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