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The cookies make the holiday

So I’m going to come out of the holiday closet on this one: I like Valentine’s Day. Who doesn’t love love? And indulging themselves? Check, check. So in honor of my big indulgence, sugar, I decided to test drive my new Madeleine pan that I bought on a whim. These French sponge cake-cookies are delicious, delicately sweet and a touch of food coloring makes them good for any holiday, so I figured I’d give it a whirl and make them pink. Santa gets his cookies, so I’ll throw Cupid a few too.

As I was reading up on them for this post, there was a lot about how Proust wrote about Madeleines in Remembrance of Things Past and made them famous. His were apparently super dry and crumbly and needed to be soaked in tea to really make them good. I think that’s stupid (sorry Proust) — I like my cookies to be independently delicious. If you want them to be super crumbly like Proust’s ideal, then just let the batter rest for a while, which I did inadvertently waiting for the oven to be freed of the pork loin roast for our dinner party. They were still tasty though, which I’m attributing to the extra dash of sugar I added to the batter.

I have a ways to go when it comes to actually making pretty, picture-perfect Madeleines (putting less batter in each mold and taking them out of the oven earlier!), but for a first batch they were pretty fucking tasty (a good cookie deserves the F-word in appreciation). Having a KitchenAid mixer like my friend also makes them relatively simple. I’ll have to wait until her kitchen is ready to receive me again before attempting Round 2! Next Madeleine challenges: Rosewater  and Ombré.

Anatomy of a Madeleine [Source: Slate]

Pink batter ready for flour to be added.

Dusty pink yummy Madeleines. First batch was left in the oven a touch too long, but they were still damn delicious.

Basic Vanilla Madeleines (adapted from Mochi Thoughts and Martha Stewart)

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter, melted and left to cool to room temperature

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Place shelves close to the center. Grease two Madeleine cookie sheets (24 molds) with butter and lightly flour.

2. Beat eggs, vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Beat for 5 to 7 minutes or until thick and satiny. Add in any food coloring here (follow box instructions to achieve desired color).

3. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Sift 1/2 of the flour mixture over the egg mixture, gently mix in. Mix in the remaining flour. Then add in the melted and cooled butter.

4. Fill molds three-quarters full (either spoon it in, or transfer batter to a pastry/Ziploc bag, and snip tip to create a 1/2-inch opening).

5. Bake 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees. Bake 5 to 8 minutes more, until body is lightly golden, edges are golden and the tops spring back.

6. Cool in molds for 1 minute. Loosen cookies with a knife. Invert cookies onto a rack (so the fan is up) and cool.

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