Lemon and Vanilla Madeleines

Delicious hybrid between a cookie and a little cake, these things are addictive. One batch gives me about 30 madeleines.

You will need the specialty pan to make them, but it’s so worth the investment. I prefer the silicone pan because they are so easy to use and clean.

4 eggs
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 stick of butter
2/3 cup white sugar
3/4 cup non bleached all purpose flour
about 1 tea spoon vanilla caviar (equivalent of the seeds of 1 vanilla pod)


1. In a small pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. We need to make brown butter. Resist the temptation of raising the heat or stirring the butter. Just let it melt.

2. There will be 2 phases of bubbling/foaming. After the second one calms down the fat solids will precipitate at the bottom and get some color. The butter will start smelling nutty and gorgeous. Wait a few minutes until the liquid itself is colored.

3. Put a strainer over a heat resistant container. Line the strainer with paper towels. We want to leave all the fat solids behind.

4. Carefully strain the hot butter. It will be very hot, so make sure the strainer is solid and won’t pour the butter on you. All the solids should get stuck in the paper towels. Throw the towels once the liquid has strained through. Set the strained brown butter aside to cool down.

5. Pre-heat the oven at 350F. In a large mixing bowl, put the 4 eggs.

6. Whip the eggs at high speed until they lighten in color and about triple in volume.

7. Add the sugar while beating until the mixture lightens again and becomes thick (ribbon stage). Stop beating. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and gently fold in.

8.  Sift the flour over the egg mixture and gently fold in.

9. Add the brown butter (should be around room temperature) and mix in until the butter is absorbed (avoid pools of butter at the bottom of the bowl). Try not to over mix, not to deflate the eggs.

10. Spoon into the madeleine pans. I put them on a cookie sheet to help put them in and take them out of the oven. Aim at filling the mold 1/2 to 3/4 full. More dough make for more cake like results, less makes for crunchier cookies.

11.Cook for 12-16 minutes. They are ready once the edges are golden and they slide right out of the silicone molds. Transfer to a cooling rack for a few minutes before putting them in a container.


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