Thursday, May 07, 2009
There's nothing like a plate of Madeleines sitting on your counter top under a glass dome. It's like owning a French Bakery and getting to eat all the Madeleines you want for a day or two... that's all the longer they last around here. To me, Madeleines and croissants are the benchmarks for a French Bakery. If they can't do either of those well, then the bakery cannot succeed, or at least shouldn't succeed in my opinion. Important as they are, it is rare that I find a truly fresh, light, flavorful Madeleine. And, so I make my own.
I've tried other flavors like hazelnut and chocolate, but the following recipe for a classic lemon Madeleine is my all-time favorite. It produces a cakey textured cookie that is light and fluffy with just the right hint of lemon. Sprinkling the cookies with powdered sugar strikes the perfect balance as it off-sets the slightly sour lemony taste.
Special equipment: 2 Madeleine pans which make 12 large madeleines each
2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter and flour pans for 24 madeleines and set aside.
In a large bowl or bowl of electric stand mixer, beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon peel, and salt. Add flour, beating just until blended, then slowly add cooled melted butter, beating as you add it, just until blended.
Divide the dough amongst the 24 madeleines, using 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dough for each cookie. Bake until puffed in the center and browned around the edges, about 15 minutes, checking after 13 to ensure you do not overbake. Cool 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely before sprinkling with powdered sugar.