Have you ever had a Madeleine? Madeleines are somewhere between a cookie and a cake – they are high in egg content which helps give them that fluffy cake like texture, but they can get crisp and chewy on the outside like a cookie. The history of the Madeleine, like many desserts, has many unsubstantiated theories but not a lot of real concrete evidence to back it up. I am sure some king in some foreign land “created it” for a woman he wanted to woo. In any case, Madeleines are distinct because of the shell shaped pans they are made in, and their cake/cookie like texture. I could tell you Madeleines are great for tea time, but, lets be honest – who has time to sit down for tea time? I ate mine with my coffee at the office this morning, between a conference call and a power point presentation, and they were pretty fantastic.
A note on Madeleine pans:
You can’t make Madeleine cookies without a Madeleine pan. There are a variety of options out there from Nonstick to Silicon molds. Personally, I prefer the classic metal nonstick mold but that’s just me!
Basic Madeline Recipe:
7oz Unsalted Butter, Melted
2 Vanilla Beans
7oz Granulated Sugar
11oz All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 Madeleine Tray
2 TB Unsalted Butter, Melted
How the heck do I get that wonderful vanilla bean-ness out of the vanilla bean?
Simple! With a sharp knife, slice your vanilla bean lengthwise in half. With the back of your knife, run the edge of your knife starting towards you and going away from you, and drag it through, scraping the inside of your vanilla bean as you go. The inside of the bean is going to give you those pretty vanilla bean specks and flavor.
(Note: do not throw your pods away! They can be used to steep in creams or sauces. You can also place them in a container with granulated sugar and over time your sugar will transform into a vanilla sugar)
Preparing Your Cookie Tray:
1. Melt the two tablespoons of butter and using a pastry brush, coat each mold of the tray with a thin even layer of melted butter.
2. Place your Madeleine tray in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to firm up your butter.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 once, so that you have 2 layers of firmed up butter.
Making the Cookies:
1. Melt the 7 oz of butter, and let it cool.
2. Sift together your flour, salt and baking powder, and set aside.
3. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment, add your eggs, sugar and vanilla bean. Beat on medium for 3-4 minutes until the eggs start to get light in color and the mixture appears to thicken.
4. With your mixer on low, slowly stream in the melted cool butter. Mix until thoroughly incorporated, about 30 seconds.
5. Remove the mixing bowl and add half of your dry ingredients to your wet. With a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Once almost all the dry has been incorporated add your second half. Continue to fold until all ingredients are incorporated.
6. Place your dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes until it firms up.
1. Remove your butter cookie tray from the freezer. Using a 1 oz cookie scoop, fill each cookie shell about 3/4 of the way full with cold batter.
(keep remaining dough in the fridge until ready to scoop)
2. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8-10 minutes or until you can see the cookies starting to turn golden brown right around the edges.
3. Resist the urge to bother your Madeline, and let them rest in the pan for 3-5 minutes – you will be rewarded, and the cookies will pop right out!
4. Dust with confectioners sugar or eat plain.
Makes approximately 2-1/2 dozen delicious cookies. Enjoy!