This very special rendition of the traditional madeleine is made with browned butter and the scraped pulp of a vanilla bean. Its flavor is reminiscent of butterscotch (when I first noticed that, I decided to play it up and included a splash of booze in the recipe). Its texture is precisely what you want in a mad: light when it’s warm (the most delicious temperature for a madeleine) and much like your favorite buttery sponge cake a day later (the most wonderful texture for dunking).
I love a good madeleine so was excited to try these! I browned my butter but didn’t have a vanilla bean so I used pure vanilla extract and while the flavour was excellent (European-style butter helps there!) I can’t say I tasted “butterscotch”. Maybe because I didn’t use the vanilla bean?
While you can make madeleines in small molds of any shape, the classic molds are shell-shaped. By baking the batter in these shallow molds, you get cookies that are beautifully brown on the scalloped side and lightly golden on the plain side. Actually, the plain side isn’t so plain — it’s normally mounded. I say normally, because hundreds of madeleines later, I’ve discovered that the “bumps” can be perfidious — you can’t count on them to turn up reliably. It’s annoying but not tragic, since the flavor and texture are consistently as they should be despite the occasional, always puzzling flatness.
I’m wondering if maybe I didn’t cook these quite long enough because I actually found the plain side to be more golden than the scalloped. And yes, you see some “puzzling flatness” in some of them (gotta love Dorie for telling it like it is!). In any case, these were DELICIOUS – one of my absolute favourite French “tea” or “goûter” treats! I might just always used browned butter in my mads from now on!
(for those wondering, I use a metal pan for these as I find I just don’t get the same results with silicone)
Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Vanilla-Brown Butter Madeleines on page 316 of Dorie’s Cookies.
Want more cookie recipes? Buy Dorie’s Cookies on Amazon (this link should bring you to the Amazon store in your country) or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Then join us over on Tuesdays with Dorie and bake your way through the book!
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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “Dorie’s Cookies” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.
MY BOOK! In the French kitchen with kids releases July 31, 2018! Click here for pre-order details!