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I made a goal several months ago to be more adventurous in my kitchen. Originally my intention was to motivate myself to eat more vegetables—which was one of my goals for 2018—but of course it also extended into baking.
A few months back, one of my coworkers brought a box of madeleines cookies to work one day. They disappeared quickly, and naturally I thought to myself, could I make these at home?
The answer is, of course.
If you’ve never had madeleines before, they’re really light, cakey French cookies that are delicious with coffee or tea. They’re super versatile flavor-wise, so you can make them pretty much however you want. And since they’re a perfect match with coffee, it’s okay to eat them for breakfast. At least that’s what I tell myself.
I’ve made madeleines a few times times and this recipe is by far my favorite so far. I was a bit intimidated the first time—anything French just automatically sounds fancy and not something a home baker can pull off easily. Oh how wrong I was. Madeleines seem intimidating, but they really are anything but!
Madeleines require a special pan—the wells look like little shells (like this one). The best madeleines pans are dark and non-stick, and that’s the kind I use. Though if push comes to shove and you can’t find a true madeleines pan, you can use a mini muffin tin, too.
In my efforts to be a little more carb-conscious in my diet, I’ve been using almond flour in more of my recipes. I bought a giant bag at my wholesale club and have been substituting it into my recipes for the last month or so. Using it in this recipe was a bit of an experiment, but the almond flavor and texture worked great with orange, so I’m really happy with how they turned out.
Here’s my recipe for Orange Almond Madeleines!
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Zest of 1 orange (I like a strong orange flavor, so you can use less if you don’t want it as strong)
- 1 cup flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
* I used half AP flour, half almond flour. But use whatever kind of flour (or combination of flours) you’d like. I’ve made these with gluten-free flour, too, and they turned out great.
- Add eggs and sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk until they’re pale yellow. Gordon Ramsay has some great tips on the best whisking techniques and how to get the right texture and color for madeleines.
- Add orange zest and almond extract and whisk to combine.
- Add flour, baking powder and salt to the wet ingredients and stir gently until well combined.
- Slowly, carefully pour the melted butter into the batter and mix well.
- Cover bowl and refrigerate batter for at least an hour. Overnight is best, but the batter needs to be refrigerated for a minimum of an hour before baking.**
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lightly grease your madeleine baking pan: brush some melted butter or baking spray in each mold.
- Add a modest spoonful of batter to each mold. Beth recommends using a small ice cream scoop, but a regular ol’ teaspoon will work, too.
- Bake for 8 minutes.
- Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes after removing from the oven. Once cooled, pop them from the pan and let them finish cooling on a wire rack.
- Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
** The first time I made madeleines, I refrigerated the batter for only an hour, and they turned out okay. They tasted good, but didn’t have the “madeleine hump.” Every time I’ve made them since then, I always refrigerate overnight. So it takes a little more planning and time management, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.
If you’ve ever thought about making madeleines but been intimidated, don’t be! It takes a bit more planning if you want the “true madeleine,” but they are really not a difficult treat to make. In fact, they’re one of my new favorites and are now a frequent item in my baking rotation.
I hope you’ll try to make something new in the kitchen soon! It’s a really great feeling when it turns out well. And then you’ll be wanting to make it all the time.
What’s a new recipe you’ve tried lately? Is there anything you’ve always wanted to try to cook or bake but haven’t yet?