If I didn’t already have a boyfriend and was in the market for one, I’m pretty sure these cookies would be my ticket in. They might not be enough to seal a long term relationship, but I think the memory of these would last for at least a good week. As I sit here, trying to resist cookie #4, I ponder just how easy it would be right now to ask me to lend you $20. Or tell me that my television is being taken away. Or my iPod.
I’ve never been one of those people who is obsessed with these little French cookies. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I ate one. But, ever since I read this recipe and saw a Madeleine pan on sale at Crate and Barrel, I caved in and bought the pan and subsequently thought to myself, “And now I need a hand mixer.” Trip to Target this weekend solved my dilemma and I was ready to take on the challenge. Why did I choose to bake on the only hot day in San Francisco this summer, you ask? Because I am stubborn and I have waited long enough. I perused many a Madeleine recipe in the the name of research (reviews of some of which warned me not to eat the batter as it would never make it into the oven).
Luckily, I waited until my pan was filled to get a little lick. Heidi’s recipe is dead on. The only things I modified (due to lack of proper equipment) was the straining of the butter. I simply used a plate to cover the top of the pan as I transferred the butter through a small slit into a bowl. The browning of the butter is essential for 2 reasons: a. a better Madeleine. b. the amazing aroma it will create in your house. If I could only have you sitting across from me right now, smelling browned butter, lemon zest and vanilla extract permeate my kitchen, it will make you forget all about Tartine Bakery and Magnolia and whatever other bakery has been elevated to storied proportions.
Texture-wise, imagine a spongy, light as air cookie with a crispy little shell. I am pretty sure I’ll never be able to eat another store-bought Madeleine again..