Classic French Madeleines

I shop from Amazon a lot (usually in the middle of the night), and B, who gets all my purchase notification emails, has given up trying to rationalize my random orders. A set of 100 pastry bags. Fairy lights. Piping tips. And most recently, a madeleine pan.

I’ve been wanting my own madeleine pan forever – my French godmother gave a set from France to my mom (here are some prior madeleine recipes!).

My pan is a cheap one from Amazon (alas, not France), but it works. My pan is not as heavy / thick as my godmother’s, and I think the thicker pan does bakes the madeleines a little more evenly. My first batch here it was a little too browned, but once I reduced the bake time by 1-2 min, it turned out perfectly.

Legend says the first madeleine was first baked in the 19th century, although some think that the madeleine is much older, as early as the 1700s. A young girl called Madeleine stood in as pastry chef to the Duke of Lorraine and only knew how to make her grandmother’s recipe. Everyone loved them, and the ‘madeleine’ was born.

Louis XV then visited Lorraine and fell in love with madeleines. He gave them to his wife, Marie, who in turn, introduced them to the French court, and they became very popular and famous at Versaille (source).

I made these madeleines as a thank you gift for my letter of recommendation writers. I recently went on an interview for a hospitalist job in Philadelphia, and keeping my fingers crossed I get the job!

A few of my mentors actually wrote about my foodblog in their letter of recommendation, I was thrilled my interviewers were so excited about my passion for cooking and photography.

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking. Enjoy!

Classic French Madeleines

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

Melt your butter in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugars at high speed for about 5min, until thick and pale. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Slowly add the flour mixture and stir by hand until just combined (do not over mix or the batter will deflate).

With a spatula, gently fold the melted butter into the egg batter. You can store the batter in the refrigerator for up to two days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With a pastry brush, grease the molds of your Madeleine pans with melted butter. Then dust the molds with flour, tapping out the excess flour.

Drop a spoonful of the batter into the center of each prepared mold (making sure not to overfill). Bake the Madeleines for about 8-9 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the centers spring back when lightly touched (do not overbake these cookies or they will be dry / edges will burn)

Dust with powdered sugar before serving and serve immediately (they can be kept in airtight container at room temp for a few days or frozen for a month).

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