I have a confession. No, it’s nothing salacious. I’m here to tell you that I had never tasted the sweet, buttery cookie/cake hybrid that is a madeleine until very recently. If you are as aghast as though I confessed a tawdry affair or secret crime, you have the correct reaction.
Recently, Barbara Feldmas Morse’s beautiful cookbook Madeleines arrived at my door. With its plump cookies on the cover and thick pages filled with everything from sweet to savory madeleines, I was transfixed. The number of times I flipped through the pages boarders on obsessive compulsive.
I couldn’t help myself.
After many nights looking through the cookbook, I decided the only logical way to start was at the beginning. Classic French Madeleines. I love a good vanilla dessert. And these, my friends, did not disappoint.
The combination of vanilla, lemon and spongy cake is perfection. I ate my first plain—right out of the pan and still hotter than I should admit. The house smelled so wonderful, warm and sweet during their baking that I really couldn’t help myself.
The second, third and fourth, I had with a sweet milk tea and an occasional dip. It was heaven. I also felt wonderfully fancy with my petite teacakes and tea. In my mind, I could totally hold my own with Kate Middleton. She also thought I was a delight.
Now, the real reason we are here is because of Morse’s cookbook. I know that I have already mentioned the beauty of Madeleines but it’s overwhelming. It’s a cookbook lover’s kind of book. Thick page. Stunning photos. Simple recipes.
There are 70 recipes to choose from. They are divided into Not Just Plain Vanilla, Morning Madeleines, Dark and Deluxe Chocolate Madeleines, Fruit and Nuts, Savory and Appetizer, and Indulgent Madeleines. There are at least a few in each category that I can’t wait to try. A couple that caught my eye include chai tea madeleines, cheese Danish madeleines, brie-stuff madeleine puffs and banana foster madeleines.
Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
Madeleines: Elegant French Tea Cakes to Bake and Share by Barbara Feldman Morse
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup AP four
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the eggs and sugar. Beat on medium high until the mixture is light and fluffy--about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and continue beating for another minute.
- Fold in the flour mixture until just blended. Drizzle the cooled butter over the batter and incorporate completely.
- Add the batter to two 12-shell pans that have been sprayed with non-stick. Bake at 350 fro 10-12 minutes, until madeleines are puffed up and golden brown. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.