I love cakey cookies, and madeleines are simply the best there are. They have a small, beautiful shape and a plate of three of them with a cup of black tea with honey make a wonderful afternoon snack. There are, of course, many variations on the recipe but the one closest to authentic that I’ve found is in “Classic French Cooking” by Elisabeth Luard. Luard specifies orange-blossom water as a light flavoring agent, but I suggest vanilla as an acceptable alternative. Madeleines are typically baked in a shallow elongated shell-shaped tin, but really they can be baked in any shallow baking tin.
Butter for greasing the baking tin
1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
1 ¾ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon orange blossom water OR 1 teaspoon vanilla
1.) Lightly grease the baking tin with butter while preheating the oven to 400°.
2.) Cream the butter and sugar until well combined.
3.) Add the eggs one or two at a time until well combined.
4.) Fold in the flour and baking powder as well as the orange blossom water or vanilla.
5.) Drop teaspoonfuls into the wells of the tin. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies have spread into the molds and are lightly golden brown around the edges. They should also have risen slightly.
This recipe makes about 30 cookies. Most madeleine tins have 12 wells, so if you have only one tin, you’ll have to bake two and a half batches. They typically store in an airtight container for a few days, if you don’t eat them all immediately.