This past weekend we had all of our friends over to celebrate Josh’s new CD that is being released March 22nd. I baked all day Saturday while listening to Patty Griffin, 1,000 Kisses. She’s my favorite baking baking companion. I made lots of desserts so get ready for some mouth watering posts!
Also, last week I finalized my trip to Greece to visit one of my bestest friends, Kristin, who is living in Athens. So, I worked it out so that I would be able to go with Josh on His CD Release tour for half the time in Texas and Oklahoma and then hop on a plane to Greece for a week. I am so excited. Greece is a place I’ve always dreamed of visiting. I can’t wait to absorb all of the rich history and culture AND have some authentic Greek food!! Needless to say, now I have a countdown to my trip on my blog along with daily interesting Greek facts.
Here is my first dessert recipe from the party.
1. (mād’ə-lěn’) n. A small rich cake, baked in a shell-shaped mold. The type of cake (which loomed large in the life of Proust) is so called from name of Madeleine Paulmier, 19c. Fr. pastry cook.
2. something that triggers memories or nostalgia.
This small French cookie blew away any preconceived expectations that I had for it. I had read that these small cake-like cookies are “indescribable” and “loved by everyone.” I thought how could a small piece of cake be this good? At this point I had only read about Madelines and seen them for sale at the register in small packs of two at Starbucks. But let me be the first to tell you- this is a must have recipe in your back pocket for casual occurrences that you might need something sweet to entertain friends or really for any occasion that you can make up in order to eat these delightful treats yourself. My good friend Jacquey, who was studying and taste testing while I baked on Saturday, said they melt in your mouth. With a crispy outside and a light and fluffy inside, Madelines, are different from any other cookie or small cake than you’ve had before. You absolutely must try them. There are many different recipes out there. This is my first recipe to try out and it proved to be amazing. I will let you know as I try other versions but I think this one will be a staple in my kitchen for years to come.
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 ounces)
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter (for greasing pan)
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
a pinch fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cups sugar
zest of one large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a bit of extra flour for dusting baking pan
Special equipment: A madeleine baking pan, regular or small
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a small pot over medium heat until it’s brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma, roughly 20 minutes. Strain (using a paper towel over a mesh strainer) – you want to leave the solids behind. Cool the butter to room temperature. By doing the butter first you can complete the rest of the steps while it is cooling.
While the melted butter is cooling, use the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to grease the madeleine molds – get in there and make sure you get in all the ridges. Dust with flour and invert the pan tapping out any excess flour. I used “cooking spray” with flour to simplify this part. Buy at Williams Sonoma.
Put the eggs with the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until thick – you are looking for the eggs to roughly double or triple in volume – approximately 3 minutes. Continuing to mix on high speed, slowly add the sugar in a steady stream. Whip for 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and ribbony. Now with a spatula fold in the lemon zest and vanilla (just until mixed).
Sprinkle the flour on top of the egg batter, and gently fold in. Now fold in the butter mixture. Only stirring enough to bring everything together.
Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each mold 2/3 –3/4 full. I use a small cup filled with batter to keep things clean and manageable, it is easier than using a spoon.
Bake the madeleines for 12 – 14 minutes (7-10 minutes for smaller cookies), or until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown. Remove from oven and unmold immediately. Cool on racks and dust with powdered sugar.
Makes 2 -3 dozen regular madeleines.
I had heard to use a more traditional metal pan verses the new non stick pans because the metal created the more crispy outside. I bought my pan at Williams Sonoma for only $14…quite a steal considering I saw other metal Madeline pans for up to $59 at other kitchen stores.