Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Madeleines for Matilyn
When I heard that my cousin was naming her baby Matilyn, I instantly knew I had to help throw the baby shower and serve these amazing cookies. (Really, any excuse to try a new cookie recipe). I've never been to France and, prior to this weekend, I'd never had a madeleine so I can't vouch for authenticity here. But I do know that I followed this recipe from 101 Cookbooks and everyone loved the lemony, buttery cookies dipped in chocolate. These cookies do require a special pan for the scalloped effect, and people who know these things say metal pans are better than silicone.
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 ounces)
2 Tbs. softened unsalted butter (for greasing pan)
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
a pinch of fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cups sugar
zest of one large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat until it browns and gives off a nutty aroma, approximately 10-20 minutes. Strain the melted butter using a paper towel over a mesh strainer- you want to leave the solids behind. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature.
While the melted butter is cooling, use the remaining 2 Tbs. of butter to grease the madeleine molds- make sure you get it in all the ridges. Dust with flour and invert the pan tapping out any excess flour. (You could also use cooking spray made "with flour" instead).
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- 5 for my mom and I since we used a hand mixer.) Continuing to mix on high speed, slowly add the sugar in a steady stream. Whip for 2 minutes (again, about 5 with a hand mixer) 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. (Pouring the batter from a small measuring cup ended up being less messy).
Bake the madeleines for 10 - 12 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, if desired, dip in melted almond bark and allow chocolate to harden on waxed paper.
Makes 2 dozen.