Like everyone else in the country, my life is finally getting back to normal after early December’s subzero weather. Although the holiday season is certainly not ‘normal’, at least the major forces in my world are getting back on track.
One of the first items on my agenda was to jump into the holiday baking. As a prelude to that, I pulled out my old madeleine pan (for new nonstick version check out the Fox Run Madeleine Pan) and baked off a batch of these sweet treats.
I’m with Proust and his effusive recollections of the delights of a madeleine shell over a cup of tea:
No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin.
―Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time
Yes, these are the things of which memories are made. Happy holidays.
Often made with ground nuts, I prefer this simple version.
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour, sifted
- ½ cup butter, melted
- ¼ tsp. vanilla
- 2 tsp. lemon zest, or 1 tsp. ginger, freshly grated
- Beat the eggs well and slowly add the sugar until mixture is thick and fluffy. Add the flour.
- Gently stir in the butter and grated lemon or ginger until completely blended. Chill if time permits, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter the shells well or spray them well with oil.
- Scoop about 1-1/2 tsp. batter into each mold. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on rack about 5 minutes then remove from pans. Wipe out pan and continue. Yield: about 30.
- Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Best eaten the same day.
Chocolate variation: Add 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa with flour; instead of lemon peel use 2 oz. grated semi-sweet chocolate.