I have been thinking a lot about the passage of time as my son, my eldest, turned eight this week. What better way to celebrate memories than with a madeleine?
A staple in French cuisine, madeleine cookies are delicious and relatively easy to make. You will need a special pan to give the batter their typical shell shape. I got two pans, because it is more practical and my recipe calls for two anyway.
As he tasted the cookie, it reminded him of things in his past – which is why the Merriam Webster gives you a second definition of madeleine as “one that evokes a memory.”
I made madeleine cookies using this recipe. If you want to follow it, here are my tips:
- Use non-stick spray oil. I brushed canola oil on the cavities instead. My madeleines did not stick, but they did not come out by shaking the pans either. I had to use a spatula to gently unstick them from the sides.
- You might want to lower the temperature to 375F and keep them in there for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. They recommend 400F. If your oven is fast, you will burn the madeleines on the outside and have some undone in the middle.
- Melting and cooling the butter should be your first step, even before you pre-heat the oven. Critical path. Just sayin’.
- To fold the lemon zest, use a concave spatula. It mixes better, but still gently.
- Don’t pour madeleine batter into the cavities as they recommend in the recipe unless you are 150% coordinated. It’s very messy and you have to be extremely precise and ready to catch the drips with a spatula in your other hand. Instead, use a spoon or your concave spatula from tip #4 above.
- Dust some powder (confectioners’) sugar over them. They are good without it, too, but even better with it.
Just for fun, here’s Martha Stewart’s recipe. I am giving you options. Everybody loves options.
You can add all sorts of flavors to your madeleines. I will say that if you follow the recipe to the teeth, you should have a lot of success with it.