In a fit of culinary searching this week, I tried 5 different stores, including a Michael's and a Linens and Things looking for a Madeleine pan, to no avail. Apparently People around here aren't big on shell shaped french cookies. Amusing considering its a beach resort area.
While I'd never owned a Madeleine pan, I knew them to be fairly shallow, with a tapering edge to the shell. Michael's had every shape imaginable (Dora the Explorer Madeleine anyone?), so I finally settled on a 12 cavity shallow heart shaped pan.
In past weeks, I've been sticking to the recipes for the most part, trying to get a feel for Dorie's style before experimenting. This week, I threw caution to the wind with my hopes of finding a Madeleine pan.
Not only were these NOT going to be shell shaped, I wanted them to be GREEN! I'd recently purchased a tin of Matcha (Green tea powder) and was interested to give it a try. I figured a lime-green-tea combo would be tasty.
I set about mixing up the bright green dough and letting it chill, then buttered the heck out of the little non-nonstick pan, and crossed my fingers. Putting a little dollop of dough in each well, I learned after the first batch that 'less is more' in having them retain their little heart shapes and not overflow the lip of the pan.
In the end, they worked out pretty well. The green color is a little masked by the gently browned edges, but it still gives a nice punch of color and a subtle flavor to the buttery morsels.
I would definitely make these again, though I'd want to find a genuine pan first. While the hearts worked out, I had to quickly pry the cooked hearts out, lest they stick to the pan. The husband gave them two thumbs up as well.
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon Matcha (Green Tea Powder)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Working in a mixer bowl, or in a large bowl, rub the sugar and lime zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs to the bowl. Working with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days. This long chill period will help the batter form the hump that is characteristic of madeleines. (For convenience, you can spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, cover and refrigerate, then bake the cookies directly from the fridge; see below for instructions on prepping the pans.)
GETTING READY TO BAKE:Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 12 full-size madeleine molds, or up to 36 mini madeleine molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Or, if you have a nonstick pan (or pans), give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. If you have a silicone pan, no prep is needed. Place the pan(s) on a baking sheet.
Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one almost to the top. Don't worry about spreading the batter evenly, the oven's heat will take care of that. Bake large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, and minis for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan(s) from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Gently pry any recalcitrant madeleines from the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.
If you are making minis and have more batter, bake the next batch(es), making certain that you cool, then properly prepare the pan(s) before baking.
Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners' sugar.
makes 12 large or 36 mini cookies
serving: Serve the cookies when they are only slightly warm or when they reach room temperature, with tea or espresso.
storing: Although the batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, the madeleines should be eaten soon after they are made. You can keep them overnight in a sealed container, but they really are better on day 1. If you must store them, wrap them airtight and freeze them; they'll keep for up to 2 months.