Mad about Madeleines

France has given us so many wonderful things: French Fries, the Eiffel Tower, and berets—just to name a few—but one of the things we love most of all from France is the madeleine—and Champagne, of course. These soft little cake-like and shell-shaped cookies are truly a god send—probably from Eros or Cupid—because after one bite you too will be in love. The cookies were created somewhere in France and Spain but how the cookie got it’s name is still undecided. However, it seems they were brought into vogue by, of all places, Versailles, by Louis the XV and his bride Marie. For Valentine’s Day, what could be more romantic than France, Versailles, and madeleines?

I twisted the traditional madeleine recipe with two different flavors—lemon and raspberry. My inspiration came from a few different sources. First, my good friend Ingrid started blogging at Sweet Comfort Kitchen and Madeleines were her first post, then there’s Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen with her raspberry lemon curd interpretation, and finally while googling I stumbled across Coffee and Crumpets’ Red Strawberry Madeleines.

If you’re making dinner for your loved one(s) this Saturday night and don’t want to serve the ubiquitous chocolate lava cake for dessert, but want something easy, light, and a little fun in the kitchen, give these a go. The batter should be made in advance and allowed to rest in the fridge, which means these are ready to go when you are. The only special equipment you’ll need is a set of cute Madeleine pans which you can find at most kitchen supply stores or Amazon, because they have everything. You can also use a mini muffin pan if you’re in a pinch.

Raspberry and Lemon Madeleines

1 1/2 cups plain or all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 stick of unsalted butter, 8 tablespoons melted and cooled
2 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup raspberry puree (1 cup raspberries with 2 tablespoons dehydrated raspberries, 1 tablespoon sugar and a pinch of salt, pureed in a blender and strained)
1-4 drops of red food coloring (optional, but necessary for dramatic contrast)

Lemon Glaze (optional)
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Whisk together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Melt the butter and honey together, add the salt and cool.

In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment add the eggs and granulated sugar; whisk on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5-8 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and sift flour mixture over the top in 2 additions, folding in after each addition. Add the melted butter and honey mixture and stir until all flour is combined.

Divide the batter in two; add lemon zest and juice to one and raspberry puree to the other. Pour the mixtures into two zip lock bags and refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let batter stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Generously butter 2 standard-size or 2 mini nonstick or aluminum madeleine pans using a pastry brush and dust lightly with flour; tap out any excess flour.

Snip off a very small corner of the zip lock bag. Pipe some of the raspberry batter into molds   and then some lemon in the same molds. Being creative in the process and filling each about three-quarters full. Bake on middle rack until pale gold, 8 to 11 minutes (6 to 8 minutes for mini madeleines). Immediately shake madeleines out. Wash and rebutter molds. Repeat with remaining batter. Dust baked madeleines with confectioners’ sugar or cover with a simple lemon glaze.

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Snap, Crackle, Crunch AKA Last Minute No Bake Holiday Cookies

We did it again. The holidays are fast approaching and here we are with only a day left until Christmas and we procrastinated posting our annual holiday cookie blog. This blog is dedicated to all those last minute bakers that want to make something semi-homemade. Cheers to all.

Rice Krispie ™ treats are yummy, gooey, cookies that we have loved for years. While most of our blog posts are dedicated to food made from scratch, we have tried to replicate these goodies before using puffed brown rice and homemade marshmallows with depressing results. Since it is the holiday season (we believe in many different holidays during this time of year, not just Xmas!) we decided to get off our food crate – er, soap box – and work with the classic, time-tested recipe as a guide.

Our current infatuation with the Rice Krispie treat can be blamed on our recent trip to Yountville and Bouchon Bakery. The bakery sells beautiful Neapolitan Rice Krispie treats featuring decadent layers of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. They are delicious! But like most of the recipes that inspire us, we like to alter them, just a bit, and after finding Bouchon’s recipe online (these treats are very popular at Easter) and seeing the ingredients list, we knew that this one would be a very fun and delightfully easy challenge.

All the makings of snowball treats.

Coconut and White Chocolate Snowballs

Kellogg’s Rice Krispie website features a recipe for their version of “snowballs.” Home cooks rate the recipe a paltry 3 out of 5 stars and we knew that with a little help we could make them better. Using white chocolate, coconut extract, chocolate extract, and Valrhona white chocolate pearls (inspired by Bouchon’s crispies) we knew we could boost the chocolate and coconut flavors without going overboard. They turned out great rolled in sweetened coconut flakes and placed in individual paper cups. Of course, a few of the items used to make them so special are not so easy to find in most grocery stores. Lucky for us our, neighborhood grocery store is Andronico’s and as fate would have it, Jason found Valrhona pearls on display at the store. We doubt the average Walmart or town grocery store carries these candy treats, so feel free to omit them if you can’t find them.

Coconut and White Chocolate Rice Krispies Snowballs
7oz Marshmallow
1.5oz Butter
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon chocolate extract (optional)
3oz white chocolate chips
3.5oz Rice Krispies
2.7oz Crunchy White Pearls (these are dark, milk and white chocolate covered cereal from Valrhona)
4oz sweetened coconut flakes

Bring 2” of water to a boil in a saucepot and place a bowl on top to create a double boiler. In the bowl, melt the white chocolate chips and then stir in the butter, marshmallow and extracts until the mixture has completely melted together. In a mixing bowl, fold the Rice Krispies and crunchy pearls into the marshmallow mixture. When cool enough to handle, shape the Rice Krispies mixture into small snowballs. Place the coconut on a plate and roll the balls in the coconut, gently pressing the coconut into the balls.

Cordial cherry treats in the making.

Cordial Cherries

Our other Holiday recreation is an updated Cordial Cherry. Again, taking inspiration from Bouchon’s Rice Krispie recipe we have made a part candy, part chocolate Krispie treat that we think is kind of cleaver. Using Bouchon’s recipe for their strawberry Krispie we changed the dried strawberries to dried cherries and added a little Maraschino liquor adding a little kick to them. The chocolate version is completely Bouchon’s recipe. To make the cookies we rolled small balls of cherry Krispie and then covered those in the chocolate Krispie. The results were cute, fun and very festive.

Cherry Rice Krispies
1oz dried unsweetened cherries, chopped
2oz Maraschino Liquor
7oz Marshmallow
1.5oz Butter
4.5oz Rice Krispies
4 drops Red Food Color

In a heavy bottomed saucepot add the chopped dried cherries and Maraschino liquor, cook over medium heat until the liquor is almost evaporated. Add the butter, marshmallow and food coloring whisking together until everything is completely melted. In a mixing bowl, fold the Rice Krispies into the marshmallow mixture. When cool enough to handle, shape the Rice Krispies mixture into small tablespoon balls.


Chocolate Rice Krispies
14oz Marshmallow
3oz Butter
7oz Rice Krispies
5oz Crunchy Pearls (these are dark, milk and white chocolate covered cereal from Valrhona)
4.2oz 64% Cocoa Chocolate
1oz 100% Cocoa Chocolate
0.7oz Cocoa Powder

Bring 2” of water to a boil in a saucepot and place a bowl on top to create a double boiler. In the bowl, melt the chocolates together and then stir in the butter, marshmallow and cocoa powder until the mixture has completely melted together. In a mixing bowl fold the Rice Krispies and crunchy pearls into the marshmallow mixture. When cool enough to handle, take one of the cherry Rice Krispie balls and cover it with some of the chocolate Rice Krispie, leaving the bottom of the balls with only the cherry Rice Krispie.