Perfect French Madeleines

I’ve been known to get a wild hair for baking an obscure recipe, and the day I baked madeleines was one of those days.

It was a Monday afternoon when I was not feeling particularly “worky” when it dawned on me that I should make a batch of French madeleines with the specialty pan we had received as a wedding gift. I’m not saying I advise this type of procrastination, but, that Monday will live in infamy as the best Monday ever with a perfect batch of first-time attempted French madeleines.

They were lemony, fluffy, sugary and the perfect indulgent breakfast, afternoon treat or after-dinner dessert. My only regret is that I didn’t organize a tea party to share my success others.

I owe everything about that procrastination filled and delightful Monday to this recipe with insanely detailed picture instructions. Enjoy this lovely recipe whenever you wish – although I recommend it with deadlines looming.

Recipe from The Kitchn.

What you need:

  • oz  (1 stick), plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • cup all-purpose flour, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • large eggs
  • teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • tablespoon lemon juice
  • tablespoon lemon zest
  • Powdered sugar

How to Proceed:

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the melted butter into a small bowl and set aside, then let the rest of the butter cool a bit.
  2. Prep the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls (thank goodness for dishwashers!). In a medium bowl, whisk together one cup of the flour and the sugar, and set aside. In another medium bowl, whisk the two eggs with the vanilla, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest until the eggs are frothy.
  3. Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Add the eggs to the flour. Using a spatula, stir until just combined. Add the 4 ounces of melted butter and continue to stir. It may take a minute for the butter to blend into the mixture but do not over mix.
  4. Rest the batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest at least one hour and up to overnight.
  5. Prep your pans. Add the remaining one tablespoon of flour to the 3 tablespoons reserved butter and stir to combine. Using a pastry brush (or paper towel), brush the interiors of the shells with the butter-flour mixture so that they are well coated. Place the pans in the freezer for at least an hour.
  6. Preheat the oven and fill pans. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the batter from the refrigerator and one pan from the freezer. Fill each well in the madeleine pan with 1 tablespoon of the batter. Remove the other pan and fill in the same way
  7. Bake the madeleines. Place both pans on a baking sheet for easy handling and place in the oven. Check after 8 minutes and rotate plans. Check again 5 minutes later. The madeleines should be browning around the edges and puffed up a little in the middle. Using your forefinger, press lightly on the center hump — when the madeleines are finished baking, it should spring back at your touch.
  8. Cool and dust with sugar. Remove the madeleines from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Using a fork, gently loosen the madeleines from their molds and then tip the whole pan out onto a cooling rack Once cool, dust lightly with powdered sugar and serve and try and stop yourself from eating the whole batch.
  9. To store. Store cooled madeleines in an airtight container for a few days or freeze them in a double wrapping of plastic wrap for several months (if freezing, do not put powdered sugar on them). Let the cakes defrost before dusting with sugar.
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