French Apple Tart

I had the opportunity to celebrate my very first friendsgiving this weekend and I had such a good time! Any excuse to get together with friends and celebrate is a good idea in my book. I got together at my friend Lindsay's condo to eat good food, have great conversation, and just enjoy being together before the busyness of the holiday season really picks up steam. We had a lovely meal, the main event being one of my all-time favorites, roasted chicken with clementines and fennel. Of course I had to make a dessert, and I decided to try my hand at a simple and elegant French Apple Tart. seasonal and beautiful in an understated way. It was the perfect way to end such a wonderful meal. 

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Of course I had to use local Jonagold apples from my favorite stand at the farmers market and they were perfect. The whole thing came together quite easily, and was fun to arrange. I made a frangipane to place under the apples which I think was a nice touch, but you can certainly make this without. Whatever you decide, apples, butter and sugar are always going to be a winning combination. 

 
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French Apple Tart
Adapted from Alexandra Cooks
Ingredients
Pate Brisee

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water

Tart

  • 5 to 7 apples, peeled, cored, and halved (I used jonagold, but really any apple will do)
  • 2-4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Frangipane

  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 1 small egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla, rum, brandy or bourbon

For finishing:

  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions
Making the pastry: Combine flour, sugar, 8 tbsp. butter, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until pea­-size crumbles form, about 10 pulses. Drizzle in 3 tbsp. ice­-cold water and pulse until dough is moistened, about 3 to 4 pulses. (Do not pulse so much that the dough forms a mass — It will clump together when you form it into a disk.) Add more water if needed, but use as little as possible, just until the dough is just coming together. If you add too much water it will be tough and will shrink when baking. Transfer dough to a work surface and form into a flat disk; wrap it in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to three days. When ready to use, transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough into a 13″ circle and then transfer to a tart pan with a removable bottom; trim edges; chill for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile make frangipane: add all ingredients to a food processor and process until comes together into a smooth mass. This may take a little time and require some scraping down the sides of the food processor from time to time. Be patient and it will eventually come together. 

When ready to bake; heat oven to 375º. Spread a thin layer (about 2 tablespoons) of frangipane across the bottom surface of your tart shell. Working with one apple half at a time, thinly slice into sections, keeping slices together. Press sliced apple half gently to fan it out; repeat with remaining apple halves. Place 1 fanned apple half on outer edge of the tart dough, pointing inward; repeat with 7 more apple halves (or as many as you are able to fit — with a smaller tart pan, you won't be able to fit as many). Separate remaining apple slices. Starting where the apple halves touch and working your way in, layer apples to create a tight rose pattern. Fill in any gaps with remaining apple.

Sprinkle with sugar and dot with remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Place in the oven (I recommend placing a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil underneath the tart to catch any dripping butter that may otherwise fall to the bottom of the oven and burn) and bake until golden brown, about 70 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from pan and carefully transferring to serving platter. 

Baklawa

I'm officially back! After hundreds of hours of studying and thousands of practice questions over the course of the past 5 weeks I finally took my boards this past Wednesday. It is such a relief to be finished. This test has been in the back of my mind since last September and it is so wonderful to finally be free of that constant worry. 

So let's celebrate! How about some baklava? I've always liked baklawa, but I really learned to love it when I lived in Dearborn, MI for two years. In case you didn't know, Dearborn has a huge Middle Eastern population which, happily for me, meant some absolutely wonderful Middle Eastern bakeries. I was spoiled with some of the best baklawa you'll ever find. But trust me, this homemade version is pretty close to being just as good. It's flakey, buttery and sweet. If you've ever wanted to try making baklawa I highly recommend it. It's totally worth it!

I always thought that baklawa would be complicated to make, and although the recipe looks fairly long with a couple of different steps, it was surprisingly not as difficult as I thought it would be. The original recipe called for clarified butter, but I really didn't feel like dealing with that so I just used plain melted butter and it seemed to turn out just fine. I happened to have some mini cupcake liners and they turned out to be the perfect thing for the individual pieces of baklawa. It is really quite sticky, so having the liners to separate each piece was very helpful, but I would guess some wax paper would work well too, even if it wouldn't be quite as cute.

The recipe makes quite a lot of baklawa, it's so rich that you don't need a big piece. I think it would be great to take to a party, definitely something different and plenty to go around!

Baklawa

Adapted from 

Rose Water & Orange Blossoms

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. box phyllo dough, room temperature
  • 6 oz. (¾ cup) butter, melted 
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 3 cups walnuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Directions

Thaw the phyllo:

Refrigerate the frozen phyllo overnight, then bring to room temperature. Do not cut open the packages of phyllo until just before you are ready to assemble the baklawa.

Make the simple syrup: 

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water and lemon juice and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into a heatproof container and cool completely. It is essential that the syrup be at room temperature when you pour it over the hot pastry after it comes out of the oven.

Make the sugared nuts:

The nuts can be coarsely chopped in the food processor using pulses, but be careful not to go too far. Some nut-dust is unavoidable, but it is better to have a few nuts that need to be broken by hand than to process too much, which will produce nuts that are too finely chopped. Combine the toasted chopped walnuts and sugar stirring until all of the nuts are coated and appear damp.

Assemble the baklawa:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Open the phyllo and unroll it on top of the plastic it is packaged in. Keep the phyllo covered with a towel.

The size of the pan you use does not matter, but the pan should be metal (ideally not dark). For a 9”x13”x2” pan, trim the phyllo to fit. If you have the smaller box of phyllo, the two packages inside will need one inch trimmed off of the long side. If you have the larger box of phyllo, the one package of phyllo will need to be cut in half and trimmed to fit the pan. It’s better to leave the phyllo a little larger than the pan because it will shrink when it bakes.

Brush the bottom of the pan with melted butter. Lay one stack of 20 phyllo leaves in the pan. Spread the nuts over the phyllo in one even layer. Lay the second stack of 20 leaves over the nuts, taking care that the top layer is a sheet that is not torn. Take a layer from the center of the leaves for the top layer if necessary.

Brush the top layer with melted butter. Using the tip of a very sharp chef’s knife, cut the baklawa into diamonds by cutting six rows (5 cuts) lengthwise and ten rows (9 cuts) crosswise on the diagonal. Lightly score the top with your knife so you can see where the cuts will be.

Use your dominant hand to cut and the other hand to hold the top layers of phyllo down while cutting, and be sure to cut all the way through to the bottom of the pan. This is essential so that the butter will seep through all layers. The knife is held almost perpendicular to the pastry, cutting straight down into the phyllo and nuts. The top layer will lift and and fold, but just lay the phyllo back down where it belongs and move on. The sharper your knife, the easier the cutting will be.

Pour the melted butter over the baklawa evenly. Allow the butter to settle in, about 5 minutes. Bake on the oven shelf second from the top until deep golden brown, 50-60 minutes. Rotate the baklawa halfway through baking.

Remove from the oven and immediately pour the 1 cup of the cooled syrup evenly over the baklawa. Let the rest sit, uncovered, for several hours or overnight to allow the syrup to absorb. Cut and serve from the pan as needed, keeping the baklawa lightly, not tightly, covered with plastic wrap or waxed paper. The baklawa will keep, in the pan, for two weeks.

Banket: A New Favorite

Growing up in West Michigan in a family that is very proud of their Dutch heritage means that I grew up eating my fair share of Dutch goodies; boterkoek, Jan Hagels, oliebollen and windmill cookies to name a few. They're all delicious, but in my opinion there is nothing better than a stick of homemade banket, especially during the holidays. I've shared a banket recipe on the site before which was very good, but I was never completely satisfied with it, especially with the filling. I don't like my banket filling to be too dry, and while the previous recipe was delicious, the filling was just too dry for my taste, I wanted something else. 

This Christmas I decided to go on a search to see if I could find the banket recipe I've been hoping for. There are not the many banket recipes out there, so it took a bit of searching, but I finally came up with a recipe from The Lilypad Cottage that looked like it could be the one. It came together pretty easily so I was very hopeful when I put the first batch into the oven. I have to say, they turned out just about perfectly. Exactly what I was hoping for. A light, and flaky buttery crust wrapped around the perfect almond paste filling. I think I found it!

This recipe is a two day affair, or a long one day affair. The dough and filling need to chill up pretty firm before you use them. Another thing I love about banket is that it is so easy to freeze. I just shape it up and pop the unbaked rolls into the freezer for a few hours. Then I wrap them in plastic and keep in a bag in the freezer until I need them. You don't even have to thaw before baking. Just unwrap, place on a cookie sheet and bake from frozen. They might take a few extra minutes from frozen but other than that you can't even tell. Super easy!

Banket
Adapted from The Lily Pad Cottage
Ingredients
Dough

  • 4 cups flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pound cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • scant 1 cup cold water

Filling

  • 1 pound of almond paste
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

To Finish

  • 1-2 Egg yolks

Directions
For the dough, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the pieces of cold butter and cut into the flour mixture with a pastry blender (you can also use two forks or even your fingers, but work fast, you don't want the butter to get too warm) until the butter is about pea sized. Make a well in the middle and add cold water, mix until a shaggy dough is formed, don’t over mix. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

For the filling, break up almond paste in a bowl. Add eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day cut divide both the dough and the filling into 8 equal portions, use a scale if you have it.

Take one piece of dough and roll out into a long, thin rectangle, approximately 13x4 inches. Place one piece of filling on the rolled out dough, spreading it along the length of dough, a little closer to one side, forming an even line. Roll up the long way, folding the ends under. Pinch together slightly so the filling doesn’t ooze out.

Dock the rolls with a fork, brush with egg yolks.

At this point you can stick the pans in your freezer until the Banket is frozen hard. Then you can wrap them up and bake off as needed.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes (I do about 30 minutes when baking from frozen) until golden brown. Let cool before slicing into 1-2 inch pieces, enjoy!

Tiramisu

I don't know about you, but when I think of Italian desserts the first thing that pops into my mind is tiramisu. I actually made this tiramisu last summer, and just never had the chance to post it. I decided that this was the week to fix that problem.  Booze soaked lady fingers, coffee, mascarpone, heavy cream and a dusting of cocoa, delicious! I can't say that I'm much of a tiramisu connoisseur, but that doesn't really matter, all I know is that this tiramisu was so yummy! Cream and rich and full of flavor. If you are looking to make an impressive Italian dessert for a crowd, this is sure to fit the bill.

Just to warn you, this recipe makes a huge batch of tiramisu. It is quite rich so you don't really need a lot of it at once, not that I will judge you if you do! You do need to make it ahead of time so that it has time to chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours. This makes it a really easy dessert to serve to guest then, you don't have to do anything except cut it up when you are ready to serve. 

The whole process is quite simple, but it is a little time consuming. There are a lot of steps with making the custard, soaking the lady fingers and then layering everything together but none of it is technically difficult, plus there is a lot of opportunity for snooping! 

This is a fantastic dessert for crowd. If you happen to have some left (I had plenty leftover) I found that it froze quite well. I cut it up and threw it in the freezer. When you want a little snack all you have to do is pull it out. You can eat it straight from the freezer which I found turned it into kind of like an ice cream sandwich, or you can let it warm up a little bit and it will be as good as new! However you like it, enjoy!

Tiramisu

From America's Test Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups strong brewed coffee, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons instant espresso granules
  • 9 tablespoons dark rum (I used Kahlua, I didn't have any dark rum)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1-1/2 pounds mascarpone
  • 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
  • 14 ounces (42 to 60, depending on size) dried ladyfingers (savoiardi)
  • 3-1/2 Tablespoons cocoa, preferably Dutch-processed
  • 1/4 cup grated semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (optional)

Directions

Stir coffee, espresso, and 5 tablespoons rum in a wide bowl or baking dish until espresso dissolves; set aside.

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat yolks at low speed until just combined. Add sugar and salt and beat at medium-high speed until pale yellow, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once or twice. Add remaining 4 tablespoons rum and beat at medium speed until just combined, 20 to 30 seconds; scrape bowl. Add mascarpone and beat at medium speed until no lumps remain, 30 to 45 seconds, scraping down bowl once or twice. Transfer mixture to large bowl and set aside.

In now-empty mixer bowl (no need to clean bowl), beat cream at medium speed until frothy, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes. Increase speed to high and continue to beat until cream holds stiff peaks, 1 to 1-1/2 minutes longer. Using rubber spatula, fold one-third of whipped cream into mascarpone mixture to lighten, then gently fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Set mascarpone mixture aside.

Working one at a time, drop half of ladyfingers into coffee mixture, roll, remove and transfer to 13 by 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. (Do not submerge ladyfingers in coffee mixture; entire process should take no longer than 2 to 3 seconds for each cookie.) Arrange soaked cookies in single layer in baking dish, breaking or trimming ladyfingers as needed to fit neatly into dish.

Spread half of mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers; use rubber spatula to spread mixture to sides and into corners of dish and smooth surface. Place 2 tablespoons cocoa in fine-mesh strainer and dust cocoa over mascarpone.

Repeat dipping and arrangement of ladyfingers; spread remaining mascarpone mixture over ladyfingers and dust with remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons cocoa. Wipe edges of dish with dry paper towel. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 to 24 hours. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, if using; cut into pieces and serve chilled.

Pink Cake Pops

At the end of this past summer, a friend an neighbor of mine approached Lara and I and asked us if we would be willing to make her cake pops for her wedding which was going to be in October. We said yes and were very excited to help her our. After making cupcakes for my cousin's wedding in May I felt prepared to try something new for another wedding. There was only one slight problem with all of this though, I had never made cake pops before. I wasn't too worried about it, I knew I could figure it out, but there was still some apprehension about the whole process. After doing a test run in August on cake pop making, I felt ready to go and just had to wait until October. In the end the whole process went very smoothly, and the cake pops turned out great. Congratulations Stacey!

In case you don't know, cake pops are basically cake that you destroy and then mush up with frosting, form into balls, place on a stick and dip into chocolate. It's not a complicated process, but it is time consuming and somewhat labor intense, well at least when you are making over 200 at one time it is! The nice thing about cake pops is that they keep very well for at least a week or two meaning you can make them ahead and not worry too much about them losing quality. Because they are full of frosting they are super moist, and once you dip them in the chocolate this moistness kind of gets sealed in, they don't dry out or loose flavor very quickly. This was nice for me because I didn't have to make them all in the one or two nights before the wedding, I actually started about two weeks before the wedding and was done several days before they were needed. This took some stress off of me which was very nice.

When it was all said and done I think I ended up with about 220 cake pops. There was a little bit of a learning curve with how to dip them in the chocolate, my first few weren't so pretty, but by the end I was a pro at it. Stacey wanted white cake with pink white chocolate and pink sanding sugar, all of which I ordered online. I really had no idea how much of the chocolate or the sugar I would need. In the end I used about 6 pounds of the white chocolate and 2 pounds of sanding sugar total, and this was for cake pops that were 30 grams each.

To be honest, I never could have done this all alone. Having a built in baking partner at home was a must for this project. Trying to study the anatomy of the head and neck and make 200 cake pops all alone would have been difficult. But with a partner, it wasn't so bad at all! Thanks Lara, we make a good team!

After dipping, letting the chocolate dry

All lined up, ready to wrap

200 cake pops later

Cake pops, the perfect wedding favor

Simple White Cake
Adapted from Annie Eats
Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups (11 oz.) cake flour, sifted
  • 1½ cups (10.5 oz) sugar
  • 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 12 tbsp. (¾ cup) butter, at room temperature

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. In a liquid measuring cup, combine ¼ cup of the whole milk, egg whites,  and vanilla extract. Whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix briefly on low speed to combine, about 30 seconds.

Add in the butter and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles wet sand, about 30 seconds. Mix in the remaining ¾ cup of milk, then increase the speed to medium and beat for about 90 seconds more. 

With the mixture on low speed, add the egg white mixture in three additions, mixing for about 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

Pour the batter into a greased 9x13-inch pan. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Oven S'mores

It's been a little while since I've posted, but that is because I've been having fun vacationing. After spending some time up in Traverse City, I had a week off and then it was off to Grand Haven for a week of camping. My family and I have been doing this for about 15 years now, and it has been a great tradition. I love having nothing to do for a week except read a good book, lay on the beach, and eat good food over a campfire. With camping still on my mind, I thought I'd share these homemade oven s'mores. They're more of an idea than an actual recipe, but regardless, they are delicious. If you don't have the ability, or the time, or the inclination to start a fire, but you are still craving a good ole s'more, these will definitely hit the spot.

I've always liked eating s'mores while camping, but I have to admit that they have never been my favorite. The only reason I would make them is because they are fun to make and eat, and it's just what you do when camping. After discovering the joy that is a homemade graham crackers however, my thoughts about s'mores changed. I knew that they would make the absolute best s'mores ever, and I was sure right. Even when just using an oven instead of a campfire, these s'mores were lightyears ahead of their store-bought counterparts.

All you have to do for these mind blowing s'mores is to lay out 2 graham crackers upside down on a cookie sheet. Top one of them with a bit of marshmallow, and the other with some chocolate chips. Stick them under the broiler for a few minutes until the marshmallows poof up and turn a beautiful caramel color. Make sure to keep an eye on them when they are in the oven, because marshmallows can go up in flames rather quickly.

As soon as they come out of the oven, take both graham crackers and smoosh them together nice and tightly. Then just set them back on the cookie sheet and let them cool a bit. As they cool they will stick together nicely and make it easy to transport and eat these little yummies. At this point the s'mores are ready to eat. But I went a step further of course and decided to add a bit more chocolate. I just melted down some chocolate chips and dipped one end of each s'more in the chocolate. This extra bit of chocolate was probably my favorite part of the whole thing, I would highly recommend this extra step.

This is all there is too it, nothing too difficult. If you don't have any homemade graham crackers, store bought would also work fine. These little desserts are just a fun way to make sure you get your sugar for the day. Cute and also delicious.

And don't worry, when camping this week I got to make a s'more over the campfire on a homemade graham cracker. It was... To. Die. For. I want to go back to Grand Haven just for the s'mores!

Lay everything out

Ready for the oven

Mmmm...

Toasty!

Squeeze it all together 

And top it all off with some extra chocolate

Grab a napkin and dig in!

Chocolate Truffles

Making homemade chocolate truffles has been in my mind for over a year now, but for some reason I just never got around to just making them. A few weeks ago however, I buckled down and decided I had to just do it. Now, finally having completed my truffle making task, I'm asking myself what took so long? They turned out wonderfully, creamy and decadent, dark and rich. You also get a lot of truffles out of one batch which is really nice. I'm definitely not going to let it take as long to make them a second time.

I like my chocolate dark, so I used a nice mix of different kinds of dark chocolate that I've been accumulating to make truffles with. I thought they turned out perfectly, intensely dark, almost to the point of being bitter but not quite. If you don't like your chocolate quite so dark, go with something a little sweeter. Since truffles are mostly chocolate, use really good chocolate to make them. The better the chocolate the better the truffle.

The process was not difficult at all, but it definitely takes some time. You have to make the ganache, let it set for several hours, and then roll out each individual chocolate. I found it very rewarding, but I wouldn't try it if you're in a hurry. You can make the ganache a day or two ahead though and let it sit in the fridge until you are ready to shape the truffles. That's what I did and it worked out perfectly. Now having one batch of truffles under my belt, I'm ready to start experimenting with different toppings and different flavors, the possibilities are endless.

My mix of dark chocolate

Pretty, I almost didn't want to melt it

Break it all up in a bowl for microwaving

Nice and melted

Add the cream mixture

Let it sit covered for a few minutes

Then start stirring in the butter

Glossy and beautiful

Pour the ganache into the prepared pan

Then give it a few hours to set, first at room 

temperature and then in the fridge

When ready, remove from the pan

Time to create

Cut it up into 64 pieces

I could eat it as is

Roll each piece into a smooth ball,

yes it is kind of messy

Drop each truffle in the cocoa coating

and roll to coat

That's it, time to enjoy!

Chocolate Truffles
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Ingredients
Ganache

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream 
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into pieces 

Coating

  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa 
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar 

Directions
Start by making a parchment sling for an 8-inch square baking dish. Cut two strips of parchment paper as wide as the pan but long enough to hang over the edge. Lay them perpendicular in the pan so the bottom and sides are covered and the parchment hangs over all of the edges. This makes it easier to remove the ganache later.

Next make the ganache. First, microwave the chocolate for about 3-4 minutes on 50% power until mostly melted but a few small pieces remain. Then microwave the cream until warm, about 30 seconds. Add the corn syrup, vanilla and salt and pour the mixture over the chocolate. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for 3 minutes until it's nice and steamy, then remove the plastic and stir it all together with a wooden spoon. Finally, add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring until fulling incorporated and silky smooth.

Transfer the ganache to the prepared pan and let it sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before covering and refrigerating until firm, at least 2 more hours.

While waiting for the ganache to firm up make the coating. Sift together the cocoa and powdered sugar twice into a small bowl using a fine mesh strainer.

Using the parchment paper as handles, life the ganache out of the pan. Cut the block of chocolate into 64 pieces, if it's really hard and starts cracking, let it sit out for a few minutes before continuing. Roll each piece into a round ball. I found that pressing the edges of each square into a more rounded shape with the tips of my fingers first made it easier to roll each piece into a nice ball with the palms of my hands. Drop the balls into the bowl of cocoa topping and roll them around to completely coat. Store the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge.

Vanilla Madeleines

Until not that long ago, I'd never heard of a madeleine, but once I saw them and learned what they were I knew I had to try them. If you know me at all then you know that I love cake, it is probably my all time favorite dessert (although that's a very difficult thing to pick), so I knew I would love madeleines, how could I not? In case you are wondering, madeleines are little mini sponge cakes that are baked in special shell shaped molds. Because I didn't own a madeleine pan, I was never abel to give them a try, but thankfully this Christmas I received a madeleine pan from my sister-in-law (thanks Lindsey)!

After receiving my madeleine pan, I went online and just picked a recipe. I just wanted something plain and simple for my first try. This recipe sounded promising, no special add ins or funky ingredients, so I whipped it together in just a few minutes. They really were simple to make, and were ready to eat in less than half an hour, that's a win in my book.

So the verdict? I really do love madeleines, I knew I would but now it's official! They are light and fresh, a bite size cake, the perfect way to satisfy my cake craving without the labor involved in making an entire cake. I don't know how my madeleines compare with a 'true' madeleine but I don't really care. They were delicious which is all that really matters. Now I can't wait to try lots of different variations, this is only the beginning.

The new pan

Beating together the eggs and sugar 

Sift in the flour

Fold in the butter and zest

Fill the molds up

All done!

Sugared and ready to eat

Vanilla Madeleines
Adapted from All Recipes
Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest (optional)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour madeleine molds; set aside.

Melt butter and let cool to room temperature. In a small mixing bowl, beat eggs, vanilla and salt at high speed until light. Beating constantly, gradually add sugar; and continue beating at high speed until mixture is thick and pale and ribbons form in bowl when beaters are lifted, 5 to 10 minutes.

Sift flour into egg mixture 1/3 at a time, gently folding after each addition. Add zest and pour melted butter around edge of batter. Quickly but gently fold butter into batter. Spoon batter into molds; it will mound slightly above tops.

Bake 8-10 minutes, or until cakes are golden and the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertip.

Use the tip of the knife to loosen madeleines from pan; invert onto rack. Immediately sprinkle warm cookies with powdered sugar. Madeleines are best eaten the day they're baked. Leftover madeleines are wonderful when dunked into coffee or tea. 

Yields 16-18 madeleines