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Madeleines

The Lovely Lisa - and her boyfriend, Lenny - is home for the weekend to celebrate Father's Day. So, I've been baking. Just a bit.

It's a Jewish Mother thing.

I baked Madeleines for Lisa. Lisa loves Madeleines.

Baking Madeleines takes a little planning - and of course, a Madeleine pan. The butter needs to be melted, then cooled to room temperature, and the batter needs to be chilled for about an hour before the cookies are baked. Some cooks like to add the zest of one lemon to the batter, but I like my Madeleines with vanilla only. I use a hand mixer when making this easy spongy batter.

After struggling for years with a plain aluminum pan, I finally purchased a nonstick Madeleine pan and couldn't be happier with the results. If you do purchase a non-stick Madeline mold, do me a favor and hand-wash the pan. (If using a plain aluminum Madeleine mold, you will need to butter and dust the pan with flour before filling.)

1½ sticks unsalted butter (6 oz)
(additional soft butter for greasing the pan)
4 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Melt the butter and leave to cool to room temperature. Place the eggs, salt and sugar in the mixing bowl and whip on medium speed to blend, then whip on high speed for three or four minutes, until the batter is very thick. Stir in the vanilla, then sprinkle the flour over the batter and mix on low until just incorporated. With beater on the slowest speed, pour the cooled butter into the batter and mix a few seconds more until batter is well blended. Refrigerate batter for at least thirty minutes, or up to two hours.

Heat oven to 350°. Use a pastry brush or a paper towel to smear soft butter into the Madeleine mold, carefully covering all the little ridges. Spoon the chilled dough into the Madeleine mold, filling each shell about 3/4 full.

Place the filled Madeleine pan on a baking sheet. Bake for about 13 minutes or until shells are nicely browned around the edges. Remove baked cookies from oven and unmold immediately. Cool on wire racks. This recipe makes 3 dozen Madeleine cookies. If using the same pan to bake each dozen, don't forget to grease the pan again before baking the next dozen.

Madeleine cookies are best the day they are baked. Serve plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or use chocolate frosting (or lemon curd) as the filling for a Madeleine sandwich.

Until my next update, where I will hopefully post a few photos of Our Girl, I remain, your motherly correspondent.