Anyone who knows me at all knows that tea time is the most important time of day. Also, tea time usually happens around once every hour, I really LOVE tea. The thing is, it doesn’t really feel like tea time unless its accompanied by a sweet treat, so I always try to have something in the cookie jar. Enter these lil guys. Madeleines are a sweet french baked treat that’s half cookie-half cake, and can be flavored to your hearts desire, (plus they bake in 8-10 minutes, so it’s a win-win). They are traditionally baked in a special madeleine pan, which is delicately scalloped and makes each one look like a golden brown seashell. This recipe borrowed from Smitten Kitchen is a perfect base recipe to which you can add citrus, extracts, chocolate chips, dips, and what have you, but I have found that its light, vanilla flavor is well complimented by some lemon zest or almond extract. Also I apologize for the lack of photographic evidence here, its virtually impossible to take things out of the oven without my family descending and eating everything while it’s still piping hot, but you get the idea. Anyway, here goes!
Makes: around 12 Madeleines
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Time: 3 hours
Total: 3.5 hours
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp double-acting baking powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon (if desired)
1 tsp almond extract (if desired)
2 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer and large mixing bowl), beat together the eggs and sugar until they lighten to a pale yellow and thicken, it should take between 2 and 4 minutes.
2. Beat in vanilla extract, and at this point you can add some flavoring, I used the grated zest of one lemon in one batch, and 1 teaspoon of almond extract (in addition to the vanilla) in my second batch.
3. Sift the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture, and gently fold together using a rubber spatula, then add the melted butter and mix until smooth.
4. Cover the batter and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (or overnight).
5. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and butter and flour your madeleine pans. Divide the batter into your pans, filling each cup almost to the top, but not all the way full or they will bake over the sides (a lesson I learned the hard way).
6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown and spring back into shape when poked. Turn them out onto a cooling rack, and they can be eaten warm or at room temperature, preferably with a steaming cup of tea!