Madeleines

MadeleinesConfession: I’ve been drinking a ton of tea lately. And when I say a ton, I mean at least a cup a day. (If I were a true Brit, I might say a tonne, which is 1000 kilos… but then it would sound like something less savory. Please, this is a family blog!) Some of you may not find my tea habit confession-worthy, but I’ve never been a real fan of tea. Ergo the new addiction which comes courtesy of new dishware, as is typical of me.

So what is one to munch on when drinking tea? On its own, it’s not a very satisfying “snack,” though comforting. Scones, love them, but not now thanks. Muffins, done. Biscuits, really? Cookies, yes please! (Suspend belief for a moment… I realize a madeleine is not truly a “cookie.”) Let’s take a moment and talk about the magic of dunking foods in hot liquid…

Have you ever had a fresh churro alongside a steaming chalice of rich melted chocolate? No?! Go correct this situation asap! How about a molasses-ginger cookie with a cup of dark roasted coffee? No again?! I feel for you (and sincerely apologize for not posting that recipe yet). At very least a donut for some Dunkin’? Alas, no one does that anymore. It’s alright, if you have nothing else, you can count that fondue or French Dip sandwich. Anyway, my point is hot beverages and sugary baked goods are made for each other, which brings me to madeleines…

Madeleines: perfection in a shell shaped buttery cake cookie. The perfect companion for tea! Yes, you could go out and buy them in a giant package at Costco, but let’s be honest, they aren’t even close to being fresh and right out the oven – and who needs so many? Besides, once you make a batch and demolish it with feverish intensity, you will never go back. Lack of self control is precisely why madeleines are meant for baking in small batches. And because, in this case, “fresh-baked” makes an enormous difference. There isn’t anything special about the ingredients here, but real madeleines require a special mold. If you are in the midst of a craving as I was when I bought my madeleine tin, don’t let me hold you back. You can thank me later… after you polish off your first dozen!

And finally, an obligatory shout-out to Marcel Proust, without whom only the French would know of our faithful treat.

Madeleines
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Ingredients
  1. 6 tablespoons butter
  2. Zest of 1 lemon
  3. 1 cup flour
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 1/3 cup sugar
  8. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  9. Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease molds with nonstick spray. In a small saucepan over low heat, just barely melt butter, stir in lemon zest and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and light in color, about 2-3 minutes. Add lemon juice and blend briefly. Sift half of flour mixture over eggs and gently fold in. Repeat with remaining flour mixture. Gently fold in cooled butter. Immediately spoon batter into madeleine tins filling the molds about 3/4 of the way. Bake until the edges are a golden brown, 8-11 minutes. Turn out onto a rack or towel to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar if you wish and serve with a steaming cup of tea for dunking.
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