vanilla bean madeleines

April 25, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Posted in Dessert | 9 Comments
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I first tried these cookies about 4 years ago.  My kids and I were at Starbucks and I saw this little package containing three cookies.  “Perfect, one for each of us” I thought.  At first bite I became an instant fan of these little buttery cake-like cookies.  They are, simply put, a classic.

We were back at Starbucks again this morning, and we dutifully picked up a package of madeleines.  My daughter reminded me of the madeleine cookie tray that had given to me a couple years ago.  It had been sitting in the back of the baking supply cupboard collecting dust…until today.

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I found this recipe, fabulous!  Now I’m dreaming up different flavored madeleines.  This was my first attempt, vanilla bean, and I couldn’t be happier.

Vanilla Bean Madeleines (adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 ounces)
Pam for baking
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
a pinch fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar

Special equipment: A metal madeleine baking pan, regular size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Melt the 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a small pot over medium heat until it’s brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma, roughly 20 minutes. Strain (using a paper towel over a mesh strainer) – you want to leave the solids behind. Cool the butter to room temperature. By doing the butter first you can complete the rest of the steps while it is cooling.

Put the eggs with the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until thick – you are looking for the eggs to roughly double or triple in volume – approximately 3 minutes. Continuing to mix on high speed, slowly add the sugar in a steady stream. Whip for 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and ribbony.  Add the vanilla beans and vanilla (just until mixed).

Sprinkle the flour on top of the egg batter, and gently fold in. Now fold in the butter mixture. Only stirring enough to bring everything together.

Using a small cookie scoop, fill the mold about 2/3 of the way full.

Bake the madeleines for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown. Remove from oven and unmold immediately. Cool on racks and dust with powdered sugar.

Makes about 2 dozen regular madeleines.

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