Ho!Ho!Ho! I made my first madeleines back in 1994. How do I know – well I saved this May, 1994 recipe from Bon Appetit and wrote “great – G’s favorite”. G of course is Gene, my best friend, hubby and companion for so many years. I made two other recipes at the time from Chocolatier and wrote only “good” next to the recipes; so there was no question as to which madeleine I would make again.
Madeleines are French tea cakes with a sponge-like texture and a distinctive shell shape. I have three different pans; the traditional pan, a wider and shorter shell pan and mini pans. Madeleines are so much fun to make because you can flavor them with so many different ingredients and then dust with confectioners’ sugar or dip in chocolate and sprinkle with nuts. This is a special version I have made for the holidays as it brings back good memories of times past some 20 years ago when I first made these for Gene.
The pictures below show the recipes from Bon Appetit, Better Homes and Gardens and Chocolatier that were stapled together. I used the Bon Appetit recipe for the madeleines. These are heavenly with the orange blossom water, zest and I even used orange blossom honey. Thirteen years later this cute idea of making Santas out of the madeleines appeared in 100 Best Cookies 2007. The timing was perfect to make these again for the 2015 holiday season. Combined with a sweet, but not too sweet, icing makes for a delicious Christmas treat.
Honey-Orange Madeleine Santas
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup honey (I used orange blossom honey)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp. orange zest, grated
- 1/2 tsp. orange flower water
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush mold with melted butter and dust with flour. Combine eggs, honey, sugar and orange peel in bowl of electric mixer. Set over saucepan of simmering water (do not let bowl touch water); stir just until lukewarm (90-100°F), about 2 minutes or so.
Remove bowl and beat using a stand mixer until pale yellow and tripled in volume, about 12 minutes. Add orange flower water and vanilla. On low speed, gradually mix in flour. Transfer 1/3 of batter to medium bowl. Gradually fold 3/4 cup melted butter into batter in medium bowl (do not fold in water at bottom of butter. Gently fold mixture into remaining batter which will thicken slightly.
Spoon batter into madeleines, filling almost to top. Bake until cookies are springy to touch, turning pan after 5 minutes then cooking for another 5 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes, then pry out cookies and allow to further cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar when ready to serve, or perhaps dip in chocolate or caramel (unless you’re making these cute Santas).
Turn cookies over and use rounded part for Santa’s beard and the narrow end for his hat. Use your favorite icing recipe, canned icing for a shortcut or use my recipe below.
Royal Icing for Santa Madeleine Cookies:
- 3 tbsp. meringue powder
- 1 lb. confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 cup water (approx.)
- paste food coloring; red and blue
- drop of flavored oil such as lemon or almond (optional)
- confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- small open star and round tips
- decorating bags
Sift the first three ingredients; add the vanilla and 1 to 2 tbsp. water at a time until the icing is of glazing/piping consistency.
Tint the icing red (you need a lot of the “no-taste” red) for Santa’s hat and mouth, blue for the eyes, and white for the beard, mustache and pompom on hat.
Piping icing for outlining or adding details will be stiff; flooding icing is thinned out (hat)
Recipe by cookingwithauntjuju.com