Madeleine pans aren't the most universal or necessary baking tool one could have in their arsenal.
Therefore you won't be surprised to know that I actually own two.
How I rationalized to myself that having a regular madeleine pan as well as a nautical seashell madeleine pan was necessary to go on with my life is still a little beyond me. It's possibly due to the fact that I'm a marketers dream and a nautical seashell madeleine pan just seemed so different and necessary at the time.
As long as I haven't cracked and bought the miniature pan yet, I figure I'm still safe.
It's true I don't whip these particular pans out as much as I do my standby-s such as baking sheets, silipat mats, and kitchen scales. But sometimes a light and airy cookie, one that doesn't leave me feeling as though getting off the couch is far too big a feat for the afternoon, is just the thing I'm craving.
And for that, in my opinion, the madeleine cookie can't be beat.
One positive about madelines is that there are so many variations of them on the market. Therefore if you do decide to invest in a pan, you'll have almost limitless options for flavor combinations to try.
This particular variation pairs a citrus orange punch with the subtle deep flavors of cardamom.
Never used cardamom before?
The best way I can describe it is as spicy, yet sweet, with a super distinct flavor that tends (at least in my mind) on the side of earthy. I personally have loved cardamom since I tried it a few years ago in an apple cinnamon coffee cake. It gave it a little something extra, a little uumph.
Cardamom is one of those spices that you won't necessarily use everyday, but is great to keep around if you find yourself in the kitchen once in awhile.
So if you find yourself with a craving for a cookie that screams summer, and maybe is a little bit different, look no farther. More cake-y than dense, citrus-y, and fun. And pretty.
And if you do happen to run into me when I have a miniature madeleine pan in my cart, probably best to let it run its course.
What's meant to be will be.
Orange Cardamom Madeleines
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp honey (of any variation)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
- 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice, strained
To make batter, melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Take off heat and stir in honey and vanilla, allowing to cool at least 10 minutes. Whisk together all dry ingredients flour to salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl stir together sugar and eggs until well combined. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture until no streaks remain. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Butter the molds of a madeleine pan, making sure to get into all the crevices. (I used baking spray and it worked just fine for me.)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spoon batter into prepared pan, filling each mold halfway up. If you have extra batter don't be tempted to overfill. Keep for a second batch.
Tap pan on work surface to release any bubbles. If any bubbles rise to the top of batter, break gently with a knife. Bake until cookies are puffed and edges are lightly brown, approximately 7-9 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack, cool slightly. Remove cookies and cool completely.
Continue until all batter has been used.
To make glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, orange zest, and juice until well combined and smooth. Dip the tops of each cookie once (or twice - we know I went with twice) and set on wire rack to set. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart's Cookies