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Friday, April 26, 2013

Orange Madeleine

French Madeleine cookies also referred to as tea cakes have been on my mind for years.

Since these cookies require a specialty Madeleine pan I have only been able to dream about making them.

Thanks to modern shopping techniques and help from a more expert internet shopper than me, two beautiful Madeleine pans were dropped off at my door step less than twenty four hours from ordering.

Purchasing the pans proved to be a lot easier than choosing a recipe for these cookies.  The recipes I came across were considerably different from each other in method, baking temperature, baking times and ingredients.

This recipe requires simple ingredients and are very easy to make.  It's actually the Madeleine pan that does all the work in making them beautifully presentable.

Having never baked nor tasted these before it was a matter of trying out at least a couple of recipes and hoping to find one that looked and tasted as described in the recipes.

The first recipe I tried called for flour, granulated sugar, butter, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla extract.  I tried baking them in a 375 degree F. oven for 15 to 17 minutes as instructed.  At the six minute mark they were overdone and almost burnt.  I was overly disappointed!

The second recipe was quite different.  Confectioners’ sugar replaced the granulated sugar and orange extract and zest replaced the lemon zest and vanilla. A small amount of baking powder was also an ingredient, totally missing in the first recipe. The lower oven temperature of 350 degrees F. and shorter baking time of 6 to 8 minutes resulted in a remarkable difference from the first recipe.

Similar in taste and texture to the better known Lady Finger Cookies, these slightly sweet little sponge cakes are fragrantly orange and a pleasure to eat.

However, the classic scalloped shell shape makes them what they truly are… French Madeleine!

Orange Madeleine
2/3 cups flour
1 cup confectioners' sugar
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
½ cup butter (melted and cooled)
½ teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray pans with nonstick spray.
  3. Sift together flour and baking powder into a small bowl, set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl beat together eggs, orange extract and orange zest at high speed for about 5 minutes.
  5. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until light and thick.
  6. Gently fold in flour then melted butter.
  7. Spoon mixture into molds filling about ¾ full.
  8. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are light brown.
  9. Cool in pan for 1 to 2 minutes, remove from pan and cool on rack.
  10. When cool, sprinkle tops lightly with powdered sugar.
  11. Yield 24 madeleine.


Notes, Tips and Suggestions
  • Nonstick Madeleine pans work really well for easy removal of cookies.
  • A few drops of orange oil instead of orange extract will really bring out the orange taste, orange oil can be purchased in Bulk food stores.
  • Cookies can also be glazed with a sugar glaze made of ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon of orange juice and 2 tablespoons of water.  After mixing, brush on cookies and allow to set.
  • Fold orange zest in along with flour and butter as it seems to stick onto the beater whisks when added with the eggs.
  • Madeleine are best eaten the same day they are made but also freeze well.  It's not recommended to dust with confectioners' sugar or glaze them before freezing.  These steps can quickly be done after defrosting.
  • Bon Appetit!


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