MAK­ING MADELEINES

The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - FOOD - • Text, pho­tos and styling: PAS­CALE PEREZ-RU­BIN

Here’s a rid­dle: What are small, yel­low, flaky, but­tery and fluffy, and are shaped like small clams? Why, madeleine cook­ies, of course! This pop­u­lar French cookie be­came fa­mous af­ter French nov­el­ist Mar­cel Proust wrote in his book In Search of Lost Time how af­ter tak­ing a bite of a madeleine cookie that had been dipped in tea, he was in­stantly taken back in time to de­light­ful child­hood mem­o­ries.

There are a num­ber of the­o­ries about the ori­gin of madeleine cook­ies, which are tra­di­tion­ally made in the shape of Saint-Jac­ques shells. Some peo­ple say they are named for a young woman named Madeleine who lived in Com­mercy, in North-Eastern France, in the 18th cen­tury, and who’d pre­pared cook­ies for the Pol­ish king, Stanis­laus Leszczyĕsk­i, who was liv­ing in ex­ile in the Lor­raine re­gion. Oth­ers be­lieve they are named for Mary Mag­da­lene from the New Tes­ta­ment.

The cook­ies are made from four main in­gre­di­ents: flour, but­ter, eggs and sugar. The re­sult is a spongy cookie that can also in­clude vanilla, orange, lemon or cho­co­late.

One of the most im­por­tant steps when pre­par­ing madeleine cook­ies is pre­par­ing the dough the day be­fore. And they should be eaten the same day if pos­si­ble, or at least frozen for fu­ture use. Then, all you have to do is take them out of the freezer and heat them in the oven for a cou­ple min­utes. They will taste as if they are fresh out of the oven.

VANILLA MADELEINES

You can en­hance this recipe with any ad­di­tions you want. Also, they are nice with a dust­ing of pow­dered sugar on top.

Makes 12 to 15 cook­ies.

100 gr. but­ter (or oil if you pre­fer the cook­ies to be parve) 2 eggs

¾ cup (120 gr.) sugar

1 packet vanilla sugar

cup (100 gr.) flour, sifted

1 tsp. (5 gr.) bak­ing pow­der lemon zest from ¼ lemon pinch of salt

For pan:

But­ter-fla­vor oil spray

Sifted flower

Melt the but­ter in the mi­crowave by heat­ing for a few sec­onds at a time. Let but­ter come to room tem­per­a­ture.

Whip eggs with an egg­beater on high speed. While whip­ping, grad­u­ally add sugar and vanilla sugar. Mix un­til yel­low and fluffy. Re­move egg­beater and fold in flour, bak­ing pow­der and lemon zest. Mix well and add salt and melted but­ter.

Mix and then cover with plas­tic wrap. Store in the fridge overnight or at least 12 hours.

Grease a muf­fin pan and then dust with flour. Fill the muf­fin pa­pers 2/3 full. Bake in an oven that has been pre­heated to 180° for 12-15 min­utes. Re­move and let sit for a minute or two be­fore re­mov­ing madeleine cook­ies and plac­ing them on a wire rack to cool down. Serve im­me­di­ately or store in an air­tight con­tainer.

Level of dif­fi­culty: Easy.

Time: 15 min­utes on first day. 30 min­utes on next day. Sta­tus: Dairy or parve.

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