I was running out of inspiration for this week I must admit. Well, that’s not totally true, I sadly have a notebook that’s half filled with ideas and things I want to do/ make at some point. But, you know, it’s kind of the baking equivalent of looking into your overflowing closet and declaring you have nothing to wear. So of course there are things I could make, but nothing that was really moving me. Then I remembered that it’s almost bookclub meeting time, so I thought I’d see if there was any inspiration to be had from our choice for this month. We were reading “What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty (which I must say I thoroughly enjoyed, so if you’re looking for some literary sustenance to enjoy alongside your tea and crumpets…or whatever…I highly recommend). In case the title’s not a dead giveaway, this book deals with a women who gets a knock on the head and essentially forgets/loses the last 10 years of her life. The topic had me thinking about memory, which in turn made me think of Proust and his “In Search of Lost Time” (which I will use to allow my braggyness+snobbery to say that I read it in University in the original French) and the memories conjured up by the simple madeleine cookie.
“Hey” I thought to myself (I know you’re extremely interested in the inner workings of my mind, so I thought I’d share the literal play-by-play of how this all went down 😉 ), “I don’t even know if I’ve ever even eaten a madeleine before!” (which is really just sad since I was in Paris only a couple of years ago and that would’ve been the obvious place to sample one for the first time). Decision made, madeleine’s for everybody! Much to my chagrin, I did actually go out and buy the fancy scalloped tin so that my madeleines would have the required seashell look. I did very seriously consider going the much lazier (and obviously cheaper) route of just making them in mini muffin tins instead (which you are more than welcome to do yourself), but I gave in to my mentally imagined peer pressure since I’d be taking pictures of them, and thought they’d look a little prettier if I made them “properly”.
For some reason I can never just leave something alone. I start out thinking to myself that this time I’ll just make something basic (in this instance, the intention of course being to just make a simple madeleline cookie). Then, as I’m making them I have to start going all mad-scientist about it and start adding things. And thus, my basic madeleline cookie, morphed into a chocolate-pistachio dipped orange-rosewater cookie. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this was a mistake in any way whatsoever, I was supremely happy with how these turned out. I’m just saying that simple is not my strong suit apparently. Maybe that’s the challenge I should give myself 🙂
How did they turn out you ask? To give you a hint, I made them another 2 times within a matter of days (and not just because I wanted to justify the purchase of said madelein baking tin…well not only for that reason 😉 )
Yield: 12 madeleines
- 2 Egg replacer
- 1/3 cup cane sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon rosewater extract
- 3/4 cups pastry flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoons coconut oil
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ¼ cup finely chopped pistachios
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease madeleine pan (or mini muffin pan if using). If using a cooking spray, I would highly recommend holding the can about a foot away from the pan when spraying, you don’t want to over saturate the cookie molds. Dust the molds with flour, tilting the pan to coat the surfaces evenly (if you failed to hold your cooking spray at a bit of a distance from the tin, you will notice a certain amount of undesirable flour clumping at this point). Turn pan upside down, tap to discard additional flour.
2. In a small to medium sized bowl, combine the egg replacer, sugar, and salt. With an electric mixer, beat on medium high speed for about 5 minutes, or until mixture thickens ever so slightly. Beat in the Grand Marnier and the vanilla and rosewater extracts. Sprinkle the flour over the wet ingredients and mix in by hand with a spoon, or on very low speed.
3. Using a rubber spatula or mixing spoon, fold in the orange zest and half of the melted butter until just blended, then fold in the remaining butter.
4. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 molds. It should fill the 12 molds pretty much to the top.
5. Bake the cookies until the top springs back when lightly touched, 10-12 minutes. The very edges should be just barely starting to brown.
6. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes before removing madeleines and allowing to completely cool on a wire rack.
7. Once cookies are completely cooled you can coat them in chocolate and crushed pistachios if desired. To coat: Melt 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or butter) with 1/2 cup chocolate chips in the microwave for 30-45 seconds, remove and stir until chocolate has completely melted. Dip ends of madeleines in the melted chocolate then in crushed pistachios. As you can see in the photo above, to avoid smudging the chocolate, I stood my madeleines up by wedging the bottoms into my wire cooling rack. Obviously this isn’t necessary, but they’ll probably look a little nicer 🙂
8. Allow chocolate to solidify and enjoy! I found these tasted better at room temperature, and from my readings online, you should apparently consume them within a couple of days because they stop being as good after that. Unfortunately, that’s something I cannot comment on because all 3 times I made them, they didn’t last that long 🙂