Madeleines – Not Your Average Butch Cookies with Chunks

madeleinesBaking madeleines has been in my yearly 365 Things To Do List for the past seven years. It remained unticked until last night when I finally, FINALLY made some – and it was a hit on the first try. The kids loved it; so did my parents.

The main hindrance to my baking madeleines in the past was the lack of tray. I found pricey ones at a kitchen specialty store and meant to buy a couple. It’s fortunate that I put off the purchase because I found really cheap ones at Saizen (since it’s Saizen, you know it’s about Php88 each). There are just five molds per tray, but even if you buy several (which I did) they’ll still be cheaper than the other ones I saw (a 9-mold tray was around Php800, and the 12-tray one was well over a thousand).

madeleine trays

Anyway, I’m really thrilled that I finally got to try baking madeleines; now, we can add them to our usual tea party spread. Madeleines originated from northern France. The small buttery scallop-shaped cakes are like a cross between a sponge cake and a cookie. I’m sure there are numerous references to them in pop culture, but the one that really stuck with me is from an episode of Friends. Freddie Prinze, Jr. guested as Emma’s male nanny. As it was, he was the ideal child care provider. He had a degree in Early Childhood Care. He was super sensitive. He played the recorder to lull babies to sleep. And he baked madeleines. It just so happened that Ross was very uncomfortable with the idea of a male nanny, so they had to fire him. This was his commentary on Sandy’s (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) madeleines: “What kind of a guy makes delicate French cookies, huh? They’re not even butch, manly cookies with, you know, chunks!” Also, that they were lighter than air – so I knew that my madeleines had to be just as delicate. 🙂

So here I am, many years after I got to see that episode for the first time, learning to bake madeleines and play the recorder (I can do a really shrill “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Ode to Joy”)… Obviously, Sandy is my child care hero, lol.

Here’s the recipe I followed:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t lemon zest or 1/4 t lemon extract
  • 1 C confectioners sugar
  • 1 C  flour
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 C butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
Beat eggs, vanilla and lemon zest/extract with an electric mixer on high speed for about 5 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, and continue beating for 5 minutes or until thick and satiny.
Mix the flour and baking powder. Sift the dry mixture a portion at a time over the egg mixture, and then gently fold in. Follow by folding in the cooled melted butter.
Grease and flour the molds, and then scoop batter into them (do not fill to the top).
Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes or until the edges darken to a light brown or golden color. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for a minute. Pry the cakes out of their molds (they would have eased off by themselves) or invert onto a rack and cool. Sprinkle some more confectioners sugar over the tops or dip the tips in melted chocolate.
This recipe gave us 24 madeleines. They were gone before you could say “C’est si bon.” Mark didn’t get to taste them. For every madeleine that Marguerite (6.5) had, Cameron (1.5) had 3.
"They didn't last long."

They didn’t last long.

Some random trivia: Madeleine was a close second to Marguerite as a name choice for our daughter.
Do you like madeleines? Do you think they make great petit fours? Do you think they taste like mamon?
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