Sunday, June 2, 2013

Madeleine Cookies

Madeleine cookies for my little girl Madeleine.

When I was a kid my mom used to make Madeleine cookies.  They were such a special treat.  Instead of simply dropping cookies on a cookie sheet, these cookies required their own special pans.  They look like small individual sized cakes in the shape of an elegant shell that has been lightly dusted with powdered sugar.  They are a French treat.  Little did I know then that I would be making those cookies with my mom's pans for my daughter, Madeleine.

Madeleine turns three this week.  I love remembering significant events by reliving and telling the stories of that day.  I do this with special days like birthdays and vacations.  But just ask my husband and kids, I also do this with a random Thursday.  I love remembering, appreciating, and celebrating the special in the everyday.

This week leading up to Madeleine's birthday, I have been telling baby Madeleine stories to the kids.  It is fun to watch their expressions and excitement when learning about themselves in the past --- the very close past -- like within the last three years.  To us adults, it seems like yesterday.  And yet in the short lives of our babies, these are memories that are so far in their past that they don't even remember. So reliving their beginnings with them is like telling them a wondrous story with very special characters (themselves).

I told Madeleine that the first time I made these cookies in her honor she was not able to enjoy them because it was for her Baptism party, and she wasn't eating cookies yet.  She said that makes her sad because she missed out on eating them.  I told her that she would make up for it this year for her third birthday; she can eat all the cookies she wants.

So this is my mom's recipe for the elegant Madeleine cookies from my childhood (there are a few changes I made).

10 Tablespoons of butter (melted and cooled)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar (I used 2/3 of a cup)
1 cup flour
1 Tablespoon rum
1 teaspoon vanilla
(this time around I added a little lemon zest ... it turned out great ... that is the fun part...making a recipe your own)

Melt butter and allow it to cool.  Heat eggs and sugar in a double boiler until lukewarm, remember to stir it constantly over low heat --- you don't want to scramble your eggs. Remove from heat and beat slowly until creaming and frothy.

When cooled, add flour gradually.  Then melted butter, rum, and vanilla. This is where I added the lemon zest.  Stirring constantly.

Spray Madeleine pans then scoop a teaspoon or so of the batter into each shell (about 3/4 full).

Bake at 375 degrees for 11 - 15 minutes.  When they come out of the oven use a small pairing knife to gently cut around the edges to help the delicate cookies pop out when you turn the pan over.  Lightly dust with powdered sugar while cookies are still hot.

Trust me ..... when you eat your first will be transported to a small cafe in Paris.  Until you hear your three year old in the background yelling at your other child.  Oooppps!  That is my story ... not yours. Bon Appetit!

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