Meyer Lemon Petites Madeleines

Yesterday was my neighbor's birthday and I wanted to make her a little treat. I knew I wanted to flavor the goods with the Meyer lemons James and I picked from my girlfriend's tree last week, and I wanted to make something that was feminine and sweet and would make the birthday girl feel special. Being such a sucker for specialty kitchen goods, I had bought a madeleine pan a few months ago and it had just been sitting there. Lonely. Unpurposed. It was time for it's kitchen debut.

I turned to the blogging hemisphere for madeleine recipes and ended up choosing and adapting Heidi Swanson's. Heidi's recipes are always pretty simplified and generally yield fine results. I feel confident and secure when going by her instructions. She's a wonderful partner in any culinary effort. You do need a madeleine pan to make these, of course, but if you don't have one, or the idea of buying one never entered your mind, I encourage you to go get one. If you like madeleines, that is. And make sure it's metal, and not the newer silicone kind. It will make much prettier cookies.

                    1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 ounces)
                    2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter (for greasing pan)
                    3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
                    4 large eggs
                    a pinch fine-grain sea salt
                    2/3 cups sugar
                    zest of one large lemon
                    3 tablespoons lemon juice from the lemon
                    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                    powdered sugar
                    a little flour for dusting the pan
         Special equipment: A madeleine baking pan, any size
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Melt the 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a small pot over medium heat until it's brown and smells nutty and fragrant. About 15 to 20 minutes. Strain with a mesh strainer and discard the solids. Cool the butter to room temperature.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and use it to brush the madeleine molds. Dust with flour and invert the pan tapping out any excess flour.

Whisk the eggs and salt on high speed with the whisking attachment in an electric mixer until thick, and the eggs have doubled or tripled in volume (about 3 minutes). Continuing to whisk on high speed, and slowly and steadily add the sugar. Whisk for 2 minutes or until the mixture is thick and ribbony. Then, fold in the lemon zest, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and vanilla with a rubber spatula, just until combined.

Sprinkle the flour on top of the egg batter, and gently fold it in. Next, fold in the butter. Stir gently, only enough to bring everything together.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each mold 2/3 -3/4 full. I used a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon for the petites madeleines and it worked perfectly.

Bake the madeleines for 12 - 14 minutes (7-10 minutes for smaller cookies), or until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown. Remove from the oven and invert the madeleines onto a cooling rack immediately. Cool on racks and dust with powdered sugar.

Makes 2 -3 dozen regular madeleines.

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks.

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