These traditional French cookies could not be any more beautiful. They are a really more of a tiny sponge cake and are light in texture and buttery in flavor. They are best baked in a Madeleine pan, which will give them their lovely seashell shape as well as the right size and thickness.
A traditional Madeleine is flavored with butter and lemon zest. I also frequently add vanilla bean paste or almond, but I love to play with infusing other flavors into them depending on the season. This recipe is filled with cinnamon, ginger and allspice, which is enhanced by browning the butter.
(This recipe was developed for a larger group, so just half it if you need to.)
Cinnamon Spiced Madeleine’s
1 ½ sticks butter
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
¾ cup AP flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp allspice
In a small saucepan, melt the butter until it begins to brown and is fragrant. Cook over very low heat for up to 15 minutes or until the butter is very brown but not browning. Strain through a very fine meshed chinoise into a bowl and set aside to cool.
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the eggs. These should be beaten on high to ribbon stage, (which means they will be pale yellow and fluffy, increasing about 3 times in volume.) This should take about 3-5 minutes. Then add the sugar and continue to whisk another 2 minutes.
While the eggs are beating, sift together into a bowl the flour, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Make sure there are no flour lumps.
When the eggs are ready, remove the bowl from the mixer, and using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour into the eggs about ¼-1/2 cup at a time. When that is combined, gently fold the mostly cooled butter into the batter about ¼ cup at a time. Be gentle when doing all of this folding!! The batter should not be over mixed and you do not want to deflate all of the lovely air that you beat into those eggs!
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before baking.
When you are ready to bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare two (12 mold) Madeleine pans with baking spray. Place 1 generous tablespoon of batter in the center of each Madeleine mold.
Bake them for 10-12 minutes or until they are golden and springy and just browning on the edges. If you have a convection oven, keep a close eye on the first batch to get the timing right- they may need fewer minutes in the oven. When they are done, cool them on a rack or serve immediately. Repeat baking with the second half of the batter. They are delicious served dusted with powdered sugar.
** Cooks note: If the weather is particularly rainy or muggy, it may not be the best time to make this recipe. I have noticed that they can turn out kind of soggy and as though the butter has separated. Just keep the weather in mind if they don’t turn out as you expect on a rainy day!Print Recipe