Monday, June 13, 2011

How to make Madeleine’s - a quick trip to France

As most of you who actually read this may know I am currently planning a wedding. Well one of the cool things we are playing with is making something called Madeleine’s. They are a French cookie; made in a specific pan…the pan is in the shape of a shell basically.  My wedding has somewhat of a French theme.  However, they are not like a cookie, they are basically a soft cake. Furthermore they are somewhat difficult to make…not that you can’t do it, after all if you can read you can do it. Well let me tell you about my trip down learning how to make these cookies. Ok first of all they are a little cake, most recipes only make 18 of them, I wanted to make them for everyone at the wedding since we are inviting 200 people it’s not looking like this is going to happen, and locating a pan in a store was nearly impossible.  I went to several stores looking for them, yet low and behold the mega awesome place known as Jungle Jim’s came to my rescue, they had my pan.  Also five million other items at my disposal, and if you have no idea what Jungle Jim’s is, Google it…you will want to visit one soon! Moving along…what you will need:

A Madeline pan – purchase online or good luck finding one!
8 Tbs of butter, divided
4 eggs
1/2 c plus 2 tbs sugar
2 tbs light brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c of cake flour
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbs honey

Okay now we get to do something fun that I have wanted to do forever. Make brown butter. Also I would like to point out at this time that if it’s French food there is a lot of butter. So yeah…okay so medium sauce pan place 6 tbs out of the 8 of butter in the pan and basically let it melt and let it brown it will boil separate and then you will let it continue to cook all of this should be done at a low heat …at some point the butter will start to smell “nutty” this means it’s done! Do not overcook you’re butter!!  Let it sit for about 5 minutes to cool.  Now moving along once it is done cooling strain and let it sit in a bowl.  So now what? Well we are going to whip the eggs and sugars until they are light and fluffy! This should be done with a whisk or a mixer, preferably one with a whisk attachment. Luckily for me my mother has one! Okay so now we add the dry ingredients at a low speed to the egg sugar mixture. Now that all of that is mixed in pretty well add the liquids, aka honey, vanilla, and now cooled brown butter. Mix until combined and now we have two options. Either leave in fridge for up to three days or make it now…let go ahead and do it now shall we? Okay now we are going to use the other two tablespoons of butter. Grease the pans. Yes you have to use butter! If you don’t the cookie will not come out and will not taste right! Also it is a French cookie so lots of butter! So now fill the pans with the batter and bake at 375 for 5 – 8 minutes, maybe ten if your oven is like mine. Once it is done cooking flip the cookies onto a cooling rack immediately!!! Or else they will stick. Now sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy with some café au lait! Or some regular coffee.

Now if you are actually trying these, and if you have been following my blog you will recall the sugar cookies that my grandmother makes…yes they taste the same…so I spent all my time making these for my father to ask “Did you make your grandma’s cookies in this pan for a reason? Where is the frosting?” I have to agree with him…this was a monumental waste of my time. Therefore I went to confer with my all knowing high school French teacher…she said what makes the cookie is the pan. Great next time I spend forty minutes making cookies I’m making shortbread cookies instead and pressing them into the mold! (If you don’t know a short bread cookie is basically butter, flour, and sugar)  Were they tasty? Yes, am I going to make 400 of them, no way!
As always please send any recipes my way! My email address is Happy Eating! 

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