January 19, 2013

Madeleines / Shell-shaped Cookies

           This is my first post welcoming the new year- 2013. As some of you might know I was out-of-pocket for a month, on a nice but hectic vacation to India for my sister-in-laws wedding.We all had a gala time in India with family and though I was there for close to 3.5 weeks I will always feel that it was a short holiday. Now that I am back in the US, I am still taking baby steps working up to my old routine of doing all the cooking myself. The past week I got through, cooking the bare minimum possible. Deep down I wanted to cook something worthy enough to post on the blog, but after the 8 hours at office and an hour-long commute, I was just totally zapped. The inertia was really kicking in and I really needed that push to get myself started and that’s when I saw the sign-up sheet for my little daughter's Cookie Party at school. I promptly signed up as I knew right away what I was going to make. It was time to put the Madeline baking tray that I bought at the Christmas sale last year to rightful use.

          Madeleines are cookies baked in a special shell-shaped mold pan. You can find the pans in very large and very small mold sizes. According to The French Cookie Book by Bruce Healy, the varied shapes of the Madeleine cookie family come in shell, ovals, gem pans, turbans, barquettes and tartlet shapes. Madeleines are great for tea pastry cookies, and since they are decorative, are nice for dessert buffets for your holiday events. The traditional shell-shaped cookies are known for their distinctive 'humps' on the opposite side of the shell decoration. Look for this in all Madeleines since when served the humps are usually up, except when pictured below for the benefit of the shell shape.

According to another story or legend, during the 18th century in the French town of Commercy, in the region of Lorraine, a young servant girl name Madeleine made them for Stanislas Leszczynska, the deposed king of Poland when he was exiled to Lorraine. This started the fashion for madeleines' (as they were named by the Leszczynska). They became popular in Versailles by his daughter Marie, who was married to Louis XV

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking
Yields: 24 – 3 inch (8 cm) madeleines.

1/2 cup (113 grams) - Unsalted butter
1 cup (130 grams) - All-purpose flour
1/2 Tsp - Baking powder
1/8 Tsp - Salt
3 - large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (133 grams) - Sugar
1 Tsp - Pure vanilla extract
1 Tsp - Lemon zest

  • Grease the madeleine pans with butter and dust them with flour; tap out the excess.
  • Melt butter and keep it aside to cool.
  • Wisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
  • With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture has tripled in volume to form a thick ribbon. This would take approximately 5 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest; beat to combine.
  • Sift a small amount of flour over the egg mixture and, using a large rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the beaten eggs to lighten it.  Sift the rest of the flour over the egg mixture and fold in, being sure not to overmix or the batter will deflate.
  • Fold in the cooled melted butter. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or several hours, until slightly firm.
  • Preheat the oven to to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Position a rack in the center of the oven
  • Drop a generous tablespoonful of the batter into the center of each prepared mold, leaving the batter mounded in the center.  (This will result in the classic "humped" appearance of the madeleines.)
  • Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the centers spring back when lightly touched.  Do not overbake these cookies or they will be dry!!
Notes and Tips
  • If you do not have a madeleine baking tray, then use the cupcake tray and drop 1 tablesppon of batter per cup. You will have circular cookies 
  • The Madeleines are best served the same day but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 1 month.
  • Prior to serving, you can dust with confectioners sugar.
Linking this recipe to Bobbi's Manic Monday Party


  1. I would not mind these with tea.. so crispy and delicious!

  2. looks cripy outside and soft inside.. Love to have it with my tea

  3. welcome back :)
    have always wanted 2 try madelines, but dont have a tray and strangely havent found it anywhere here. so its a distant dream now. I love that 1st pic

  4. Welcome back :)
    I keep telling myself that I need to get a madeline pan!
    These cookies seem like the perfect companion for the afternoon tea :)

  5. Awesome clicks....delicious cookies...

  6. loved the 1st click...so beautiful :)

  7. I love madeleines! I need to buy a pan so that I can make this! Perfect for tea time. :)

  8. welcome back. nice clicks of the madeleines with the tea cups. i have been wanting to make them, but don't have the madeleine pan :-(

  9. Lovely cookies with cute shape..Beautiful clicks Shema...Loved ur cups too..

  10. These are cute looking cookies. They are perfect to impress kids. Hope you are getting back into the normal schedule after the vacation.

  11. That's what I am going to bake this weekend! Very nice color. Welcome back, I am glad you had a good time, weddings are always so much fun!

  12. luks yumm.... :)
    the original recipe ask for brown sugar, but here u dint use, does brown sugar makes any diff?

  13. I haven't tried this recipe with brown sugar. You will not get golden color if you use brown sugar


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