I am a pretty skilled baker and have always wanted to try making madeleines, not that I had them many times but just because they looked so pretty and delicious. Actually I think the first time I had them was sometime last year from a company that asked me to do a review of their madeleines. Anyway, recently while browsing my daily obsession Zulilly; low and behold they were offering a madeleine pan and that was simply something I could not refuse. I was so excited with my purchase I quickly gushed to my business partner Carrie that I could not wait for the madeleine pan I just bought to arrive. Her response was, “What is a madeleine pan?” Now Carrie likes to bake and cook too, in fact it is she that gave me the courage to try and make fried green tomatoes this summer.
Lately she has been making very healthy recipes, the other night she was making some whole wheat, flax seed, gluten free, waffles. A few hours later she told me that her daughter came into her room, exclaimed that her stomach did not feel well, and proceeded to projectile vomit all over. I mentioned since this is not the first time, that perhaps it could be her “healthy” recipes and we both had a good laugh. I promise she is not my business partner in a bakery. Anyway, I digress, so back to the madeleines and time to step away from projectile vomiting.
My pan arrived the other day and I was scouring the internet for recipes. I found such a discrepancy in recipes, it really was confusing. There was one woman posting a recipe and before she started she was ranting about how she was doing this just to show that Americans do not understand how a madeleine should taste much the same way we do not understand scones. I looked at her recipe and found that it was full of mistakes, such as not listing eggs in the ingredients but in the directions telling the reader to make sure they beat the eggs in one at a time. A little ironic that she did not proof read given her rant. Anyway after finding recipe after recipe and not finding one I really liked, I decided to tailor one to my taste, which is always a risk, but one that I took.
Here is what I did:
Preheated the oven to 350 degrees. Greased the Madeleine pan generously with real butter and ignoring Carrie and embracing my inner Julie Child.
I mixed together:
2 sticks of butter
2 and ½ cups of powdered sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
The zest from one lemon
1 Tbsp. of Orange Juice
1 ½ Tbsp. of Honey
1 Tbsp. of Baking Powder
2 Cups of all-purpose flour
The batter was on the thick side but since I never made these and I did see one woman spooning batter in the pan in one of the recipes, I decided to give it a go.
I will admit I overflowed the pan with batter because I was not thinking how it would spread out and fill the molds and extra would overflow. It only took about 11 minutes in the oven to reach a nice golden brown on the edges. Since I overflowed the pans, the cookies were bigger and flatter than madeleines should be, but they were still very delicious and the buttery citrus flavor of the moist cake cookies was wonderful.
Now to just tweak some things to get the batter a bit thinner. I added a bit more vanilla and orange juice to thin out the batter. I filled the pans less than the first time but still too much. The second dozen was better but still not near what they should look like. Like the first batch though they were scrumptiously delicious.
Third time is the charm so they say. I filled the molds even less this time and remarkably we had some regular size madeleines.
The fourth dozen was pretty much spot on in size and so was the one after that. Had I used the right amount of batter in the first place I would easily had 2 more dozen cookies instead of some pleasantly plump madeleines. The family thought they were fabulous and it did not matter to them what they were supposed to look like because their taste won out over form. I originally was going to dip them halfway in milk chocolate and some in white chocolate but they were so delicious and sweet, they didn’t need that.
I will definitely be making them again and this will be a recipe I go to as well as experimenting with some fancier presentations for the holidays like dipping halfway in chocolate and maybe some fine nuts. Don’t be afraid and jump on the madeleine train and if you have some expert tips to share, we would love to hear them. Funny thing is one of my good friends is from France and I never thought to call her as I am sure she has probably grown up making these cookies which are more like little cakes.