I think there is a little girl lurking somewhere, deep inside every woman, who loves the idea of a fancy tea party. I just love to break out the fancy china (well, not literally break out), make some beautiful little teatime treats, and sit there sipping tea and thinking deep thoughts. What kind of deep thoughts, you ask? Ohh . . . like, which of those cute little cookies should I eat, next? 😉
If you are planning a sweet tea for a bridal or baby shower, a Mother’s Day surprise, or just a cute afternoon activity with your friends, these adorable little cookies should be on the list. Madeleines are hard to describe– picture the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you see a puppy, and combine that with the smell of funnel cakes at the fair, and you’re somewhere in the right area. 😉 They are best eaten fresh, right out of the oven, with a light dusting of powdered sugar. They have an effortlessly light taste with just a kiss of sweetness, combined with a buttery crunch around the outside. The adorable shell shape and powdered sugar dusting are just eye candy– because these mini cookies are about as cute as they come. The best part is how easy they are to make! I will walk you through every step, and I guarantee that, at your next get together, you won’t have any trouble deciding which cookie to grab, next.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
(adapted from Allrecipes.com)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
powdered sugar for dusting
Beat eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and salt until combined. While the eggs are whipping, slowly add the sugar and beat for about 5 minutes on high speed until the batter is almost white and extremely light and airy. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold in with a spatula. Fold in melted butter and place into buttered and floured madeleine molds. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until the shells are just starting to get brown around the edges. Invert onto a cooling rack and dust with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.
To begin with, get 2 pretty little eggs and put them, your vanilla, almond, and salt, together, in the bowl of your mixer. Everything moves pretty quickly, in this process, so read through the steps to make sure you know what’s coming so you can have the materials ready, when you need them. Go ahead and preheat your oven to 375. It took me about 7 minutes to make these, and it takes my oven 7 minutes to preheat. How perfect is that?
While the eggs are beating, slowly add in your sugar. By adding it gradually, instead of all at once at the beginning, we help those eggs to stay nice and light. Let the mixer do its magic for about 5 minutes– the eggs need to whip for about that long so that they will be filled with air and be as light as possible.
While your eggs are beating, let’s get those madeleine molds ready. I used a paper towel to grab a little bit of butter, and then I smeared each shell mold with butter. Make sure you get butter in all the nooks and crannies so that the cookies don’t stick. Dust the molds (and all hands, utensils, and clothing within reach of your sifter, apparently– hey– why does my toddler have white hair?) with powdered sugar. Try not to inhale. Hehe.
Check on your eggs. By now, they should be very light in color and full of air bubbles. Yesssss. That’s just what we want. To test to make sure your batter is right, dip a spatula into it– the batter should “ribbon” off the spatula. This just means that it will flow, steadily, without breaking or dripping, from the spatula, like in my picture. Yep. You did it. Perfect. See? You’re a natural at this.
Fold in your flour (sift it into the bowl, if you have a sifter– this just keeps the batter as light as possible), and then fold in your melted butter. Folding just means that you kind of slide the spatula along the sides of the dough, rather than mashing and stirring it. This helps the ingredients to get mixed in without killing all those air bubbles you worked so hard to create. When your flour and butter have been folded in, go ahead and pour enough batter into your madeleine molds to almost go to the top of the mold, but not quite. I was using mini madeleine molds, and I found that a heaping teaspoon of batter was perfect.
Bake these little cuties at 375 for about 10 minutes, or just until the edges start to become golden brown. You don’t want to overbake these cookies, and each oven is different, so keep an eye on them. You might have to taste one . . . or two . . . or three . . . to make sure they truly are right. 😉 hehe. It’s a sacrifice, but someone has to do it (pious face).
When the cookies are done, use a plastic spoon (I used a handy dandy baby spoon, since that’s all I seem to be able to find, these days, in the drawer), to loosen the shells. Flip them out onto a cooling rack and lightly dust the shells with powdered sugar. To get a nice, light coating, use a sifter or fine mesh strainer to “tap” the sugar over the cookies. The light dusting looks so much prettier than just trying to spoon the sugar or roll cookies in it. Bleck. We are making art, here! Let’s do it right.
The cookies are amazing right out of the oven– deliciously sweet and effortlessly light, with just a hint of golden crunch around the edges. YUM. As they cool, they will get a little more firm, but, like donuts, they may taste best fresh, but no one’s gonna’ spit ’em out cold 😉 The cool Madeleines can be dipped halfway in chocolate and dried for a pretty contrast if you like. They are perfect for dipping into a steaming cup of tea or coffee. And they just look so cute on the plate.
See? They are cute as a button . . . er, shell. You did that. You made shells out of flour. Amazing.
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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