Vanilla Madeleines

I really can’t remember the first time I had a Madeleine but I do know that when I tried it I instantly loved it. What held me back from making them was not having the proper pan. But, before I go any further you may be wondering, what exactly is a Madeleine? Well, it’s the size of a cookie, but in actuality it’s a cake, a small cake that originated in France. What really sets this sponge cake apart and lets you know that you are eating the real deal is its shape – shell-like reminiscent of a scallop. To obtain that required shape you need a Madeleine pan, they can be a bit pricey considering you won’t use all that often, but luckily I was able to find two of them at a great price at my local Home Goods. This meant I could finally make Madeleines and also try out another recipe for Chocolate Dipped Bear Paws – but those are for another day.

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In the bowl of my stand mixer I whisked together six eggs with granulated and brown sugar on high until it was pale and fluffy – just shy of ten minutes.

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While the eggs were mixing, I combined flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and then sifted it in two additions over the egg mixture, folding it in after each addition.

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Next, I folded in two sticks of melted butter, once again in two additions, folding it in after each one.

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And finally I folded in honey and vanilla extract.

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After covering the batter with aluminum foil I refrigerated it for at least two hours.

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After a few hours I removed the batter from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for ten minutes. Meanwhile I preheated the oven to 350 F and prepared my Madeleine pans by buttering them, while most people use a pastry brush to butter their pans I am partial to using a simple sheet of paper towel so that I can be sure to get into all the nooks and crevices of the pan.

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I then filled a pastry bag with the batter and snipped the end so I could fill the molds about three-quarters full. I actually filled one of the molds with water and determined how much exactly was three-quarters so I wouldn’t overfill the molds – I tend to do that sometimes, especially when making donuts!

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I baked them in the oven for about ten minutes and per the instructions shook them of the pan out as soon as they were out of the oven. I’m happy to say that on my first try I was successful in getting the traditional bump on the back of the cake and also the scalloped design was clearly distinct on the front!

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I ended up making thirty-five Madeleines which was the perfect amount for keeping some and sharing. Overall they were hit with everyone who tried them. The texture was spot on – not too dense or light and airy – and the vanilla flavor was just right.  Definitely something I will be making again.

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Vanilla Madeleines

Makes 32-36 (or 160 mini)

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Coarse salt

6 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more, softened, for pans

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.

2. Whisk together eggs and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Sift flour mixture over top in 2 additions, folding in after each addition. Fold in melted butter in 2 additions, then honey and vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Let batter stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Generously butter 2 standard-size or 2 mini nonstick or aluminum Madeleine pans using a pastry brush (or your preferred method!)

4. Transfer batter to a pastry bag, and snip tip to create a 1/2-inch opening. Pipe batter into molds, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake on a middle rack until pale gold, 8 to 11 minutes (6 to 8 minutes for mini Madeleines.) Immediately shake Madeleines out. Wash and re-butter molds. Repeat with remaining batter.

Make Ahead: Madeleine batter can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Storage: Madeleines are best the day they are made. But they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

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