Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TWD- Traditional Madeleines

This week’s TWD challenge, Traditional Madeleines, was selected by Tara of Smells Like Home. I have a serious crush on these cookies, but never thought to make them myself, because I believed the task to be far too daunting, given that a special pan is needed for those precious seashell shapes. Once I sprung for the metal pan at Williams Sonoma, the rest is easy. I believe I overfilled the shells of my pan, because there is very little definition so they just look like blobs. There is no "hump", to speak of, which is the defining feature of the madeleine. They still taste great, though. The possibilities are endless; I have seen so many variations, like this, or this, or this on the blogosphere, that I am so looking forward to getting my money’s worth from this pan! The traditional variety is flavored with lemon zest and vanilla extract. They are the perfect accompaniment to tea, especially once dusted with powdered sugar. Now that I know how easy they are to make, I won’t be buying the stale ones from Starbucks anymore, just to get my fix! Thanks, Tara, for a great selection! Please visit the other TWD bakers to view their creations!

Traditional Madeleines

Source: Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Working in a mixer bowl, or in a large 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, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar 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. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days. This long chill period will help the batter form the hump that is characteristic of madeleines. (For convenience, you can spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, cover and refrigerate, then bake the cookies directly from the fridge; see below for instructions on prepping the pans.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 12 full-size madeleine molds, or up to 36 mini madeleine molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Or, if you have a nonstick pan (or pans), give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. If you have a silicone pan, no prep is needed. Place the pan(s) on a baking sheet.
Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one almost to the top. Don’t worry about spreading the batter evenly, the oven’s heat will take care of that. Bake large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, and minis for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan(s) from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Gently pry any recalcitrant madeleines from the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.
If you are making minis and have more batter, bake the next batch(es), making certain that you cool, then properly prepare the pan(s) before baking.
Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners’ sugar.
Makes 12 large or 36 mini cookies

Serving: Serve the cookies when they are only slightly warm or when they reach room temperature, with tea or espresso.

Storing: Although the batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, the madeleines should be eaten soon after they are made. You can keep them overnight in a sealed container, but they really are better on day 1. If you must store them, wrap them airtight and freeze them; they’ll keep for up to 2 months.


Engineer Baker said...

Don't you just love easy recipe! What a relief after the past few weeks.

Bumblebutton said...

They don't look like blobs! Sprinkle them with a little sugar and they'll look just like the shell pan!

Anonymous said...

What a great cookie for your afternoon tea! I like how you added some depth to the picture by taking a few of the cookies out of the sheet. Can you do some that are half chocolate half something else? Yes, Starbucks does have some competition now.

ostwestwind said...

For Starbucks I have to drive one hour!

I agree, they taste great dusted with sugar.

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Melissa said...

Hey, if the blob tastes good... But really, they don't look like blobs!

noskos said...

Great looking madeleines!!

Jacque said...

They look delish! Plenty of room for experimention with these cookies.

Rebecca said...

Your Starbucks has madeleines? Mine isn't nearly as classy. ;)

mimi said...

i love that this recipe is easy. and that is no blob, your madeleines are lovely!

Dianne said...

They look great!

Christine said...

Gotta love this easy recipe! Perfect for an afternoon snack and I am sure one that will be enjoyed again and again! Great job!

Cheryl said...

I bought a pan a couple years ago (maybe even 3), but never used it until now. What was I thinking? They were so much easier than I had made myself believe. Like you, I'll definitely make them again!

Garrett said...

I agree, after making this recipe I'm definitely going to be making it more often. They're just so simple, so fast, and yet so delicious!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Very nice! How fun that they turned out great for you!

CB said...

can you come and convince my husband I need the pan too? haha. Glad you enjoyed the recipe! Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Jaime said...

great job!

Jayne said...

They don't look like blobs to me - they look like madeleines waiting for their sugar, is all. Nice job!

LyB said...

They look beautiful! And I can't wait to try the many, many variations out there too! :)