What do you do on a bumpy plane ride?
I’ll tell you what I don’t do. I definitely don’t freak out. I do NOT insist on staring out the window while counting slowly to one hundred in my head. And by no means do I start listening to Will Smith songs because of the comfort that knowing 100% of the words to “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” brings.
That just doesn’t sound like me.
(But you gotta, Prada, bag with a lotta, stuff in it, give it to your friend let’s spin…)
I’m on my way to Philadelphia! To see my parents and do a little book promoting. I’m excited to chat up Sheet Pan Suppers and also tell everyone I come in contact with about the little veggie garden we planted in our backyard last weekend. Look at this!
It’s growing real, actual vegetables! Butter lettuce, spinach, sweet peas, onions and beets! Also some strawberries, raspberries and chives. I’ve never had my own garden before, but last year Ben and I managed to kill every single one of our apartment-sized potted plants, so here’s hoping things are on the up and up for us, green-thumb-wise.
But what am I saying? You guys are here for the cookies, no? Let’s talk about madeleines! I broke in my madeleine pan with these bad boys. (If you don’t have one, not to worry – you can bake these in a muffin tin instead – they won’t have the same shape, obviously, but they’ll be just as delicious.)
I loosely followed Daniel Boulud’s recipe, the one that was published in Bon Appetit a few months ago, and it seems the man knows his madeleines. These are infused with browned butter and orange zest, and they’re soft, cakey and just perfect with a cup of hot coffee or tea. Their one downfall is that they depreciate quickly, losing their light, fluffy texture after just one day at room temperature, but the good news? I found the solution.
…Now excuse me while I eat every single one.
Brown Butter Citrus Madeleines
Adapted from Daniel Boulud, by way of Bon Appetit (Feb. 2015, p.8)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon or orange zest
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- powdered sugar, for dusting
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugars, honey, and zest until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and whisk gently, just until incorporated. Set batter aside.
Place the butter in a small, light-colored pot or pan and melt it over medium high heat (you’ll want a light-colored pot, not a dark one, so that you can see when the butter is nice and brown, and not burn it). Once melted, the butter will start to foam and pop – when the boiling butter bubbles become small and tight, start swirling the pan around on the heat, and watch for the color to turn from white/bright yellow to reddish-brown/amber. Once it’s reached a toasty amber color, remove the butter from the heat and slowly whisk it into the waiting madeleine batter. Make sure to include all those tasty brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag (or ziplock) and chill it at least 1 hour (and up to overnight).
Preheat the oven to 400°F, and lightly coat a 12-cake regular madeleine pan with nonstick spray and dust with flour, tapping out excess (you could also use three 20-cake mini madeleine pans).
Snip the end of the pastry bag or ziplock and pipe the batter into the madeleine molds, filling each 2/3 full (you may have some batter left over).
Bake madeleines until the edges are golden brown and the centers are puffed and lightly spring back when gently pressed, about 8-10 minutes for regular cakes (5 minutes for mini).
While still hot, carefully invert and tap the pan against the counter to release the madeleines. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.
Makes 12 large or 5 dozen mini madeleines.