In wintertime, I often think of two things to keep my spirits up; Paris in the Spring and ocean trips yet-to-be-taken. These French-style cookies shaped like seashells are the best tangible manifestation of where I’d rather be when it’s January, and things such as breezy street awnings and hot sand are as far away as May seems to be.
This recipe was inspired by a similar version from Dorie Greenspan. I turned the orange into a star ingredient by substituting orange blossom honey for the regular kind and using orange extract instead of vanilla. I simplified some of the original steps and also doubled the recipe as best I could, because a) zesting only half an orange seemed a waste of a perfectly beautiful fruit and b) I’ve never met anyone who felt only 12 madeleines was ever quite enough.
24 large madeleines
ground black pepper
zest of one orange
orange blossom honey
pure orange extract
unsalted butter (1+1/2 sticks), melted and cooled
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter two madeleine mold pans (the 12 mold ones).
Using a wire whisk, combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and pepper in a bowl and set aside.
Using an electric mixer with the wire attachment, beat the granulated sugar, orange zest, and the eggs on medium speed until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Add the honey and orange extract and continue beating on medium speed an additional minute.
Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold all of the dry ingredients into the batter. Add the melted butter and continue to fold until the batter is smooth.
Spoon the batter into the molds and bake for about 11 minutes or until the madeleines are golden.
Immediately transfer the madeleines to a wire rack to cool ever so slightly (they are best eaten warm – just ask Marcel Proust) and dust with powdered sugar.