A couple of weeks ago, my friend, JR, came over and we made madeleines and fresh squeezed lemonade. Between his badgering that I wasn’t folding the butter in correctly or looking over my shoulder, they actually came out great. I enjoy baking immensely and my favorite would have to be madeleines. They are French butter cookies with sea shell tops. I use a recipe from 101 Cookbooks. It produces about two and a half batches or 30 cookies.
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 ounces)
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter (for greasing pan)
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
a pinch fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cups sugar
zest of one large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a bit of extra flour for dusting baking pan
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. Cool the butter to room temperature.
While the melted butter is cooling, use the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to grease the madeleine molds – get in there and make sure you get in all the ridges. Dust with flour and invert the pan tapping out any excess flour.
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. Now with a spatula fold in the lemon zest 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.
Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each mold 2/3 -3/4 full. I use a small cup filled with batter to keep things clean and manageable, it is easier than using a spoon.
Bake the madeleines for 12 – 14 minutes (7-10 minutes for smaller cookies), or until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown. Remove from oven and unmold immediately. Cool on racks and dust with powdered sugar.
The lemonade was a lot simpler.
1 cup sugar (can reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 cup water (for the simple syrup)
1 cup lemon juice
5 to 6 cups cold water (to dilute)
Make simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved completely.
While the sugar is dissolving, juice about 4 to 6 lemons, enough for one cup of juice.
Add the juice and the sugar water to a pitcher. Add 3 to 4 cups of cold water, more or less to the desired strength. Refrigerate 30 to 40 minutes. If the lemonade is a little sweet for your taste, add a little more straight lemon juice to it.
Serve with ice, sliced lemons.