Let’s talk about these cookies today. As most of you already know, I have been baking for a LONGGGGGGG time. But, there are two things that I have never tried until recently, popovers and madeleines.
Last week, I purchased a madeleine pan and was determined to try this recipe out. I can’t help but think of reading my favourite book series growing up whenever I hear the name MADELINE. But she has nothing to do with this recipe so let’s move on.
So, what exactly are these little French delicacies? A cookie or eensie weensie cake? That folks, is a big debate.
I’m going to say they are a delicate little butter cake that most people refer to as a cookie. When you analyze them, madeleines are known for their scalloped shell shape and are perfectly acceptable to serve with just a mere dusting of powdered sugar on top.
With this specific recipe I thought, hey…why not dip them in my favourite dark chocolate laced with sea salt? What could be bad here? NOTHING, because we are going to be knee deep in chocolate, cookies and yumminess.
Now, you’re probably wondering if you can make these cookies in something other than a madeleine pan. Sure, but the whole point of doing this type of recipe is to get the cookie to LOOK like a madeleine and not just another cookie. The scalloped edges are 100% worth the investment of this pan. I found mine at HomeSense Canada and it was $5.99, so come one, how could I say no?
Let me give you some quick tips on how to make the perfect MADELEINE (not that mine were so perfect but A+ for effort is what I’m going with here)
- The batter. There are three separate components to the batter. The dry ingredients, the beaten egg/sugar mixture and the melted butter. Always melt the butter first so it has time to cool slightly. You will also need room temperature eggs to ensure that they whip up to the correct volume. Nope, cold eggs just won’t cut it here.
- Chilling the batter. This is the point where I look at the recipe and wonder if it’s even worth doing. In this case, YES. The resting process in the refrigerator ensures that the madeleines rise up nicely in the oven when you bake them. I left mine in the fridge overnight but to be honest, I think I would have been okay with a one to three hour resting period. The batter was a bit too thick for my liking but thank GOD they baked up nicely. See?
- Prepping your pan. Most madeleine recipes call for generously greasing and flouring your pan – even if you have a non-stick like mine. Here’s what I did. I took a pastry brush and lightly buttered each well in the pan. The madeleines slipped out effortlessly and they had a wonderful buttery and crisp crust. Can you hear the madeleine angels singing here? I do. I rarely flour my pans anymore because I absolutley hate the taste and look of a cake or pastry that has a glurpy coating on it. I know. I know. Most pastry chefs grease and flour. I just don’t because I live on the edge. You can use softened butter or melted to grease the madeleine pan. Doesn’t matter which you choose.
- How much batter? I used a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop and it was PERFECT. You don’t want too little or too much batter in each section of the pan. I call this the “three little bears” syndrome. You need to fill it until it’s just right and a heaping tablespoon works just as well if you don’t have a cookie scoop.
- Always sift your flour. I went a step further with this and sifted ALL my dry ingredients before whisking them together. This will ensure that there are not weird lumps in your batter.
Ready to make these? Let’s go!
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour - sifted
- 3 tablespoons sweetened hot cocoa mix - I used Ghirardelli
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoon softened or melted butter for greasing your pan
- Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
- 1 bar sea salt chocolate, melted (for dipping) I used Lindt
- dried rose petals for garnish (totally optional)
- Melt butter and let cool while you make the rest of the batter.
- Sift all the dry ingredients and place in a small bowl, Whisk together, then set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer fitted with whisk beaters), beat the eggs on low speed for 1 minute, then increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add in the sugar. Continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes until soft peaks form. (You will want a pale yellow fluffy consistency here)
- Add the vanilla and beat on low speed until combined. Using a rubber spatula, GENTLY fold in the flour mixture until just combined, then fold in the cooled melted butter until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the batter. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to rest for at least 2 - 3 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a non-stick madeleine pan, with softened or melted butter.
- Remove the batter from the refrigerator. Spoon a heaping tablespoon (or use a tablespoon cookie scoop) of batter into each well of the madeleine pan.
- Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the madeleines are lightly puffed in the middle (you want to see a nice hump) and the tops spring back after a light tap.
- Remove the madeleines from the oven and let cool slightly (about 2 - 3 minutes).
- Remove them from the pan and place them on a wire rack to cool completely before garnishing.
- When completely cool, melt your chocolate in a double boiler and cool slightly.
- Dip one edge of each cookie into the chocolate and let set. Serve immediately or store for up to 3 days in an airtight container.