Almond and Honey Madeleines
Red Hat on the River - Irvington, NY
Most distinctive about these cookies, which date back to the court of King Stanislas Leszczynski in the early 1700s, is their shape. They must be baked in madeleine pans, sheets with shell-shaped indentations, or they risk being called financiers (a round butter/almond cake with a similar taste) or, sacré bleu, muffins. You can serve these small cookies for dessert, but as Proust would attest, they are equally a treat on their own, with a pot of tea or coffee.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup blanched almonds, chopped fine (by hand or in a food processor)
- 6 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2/3 cup (about 1 1/3 sticks) salted butter, melted and cooled
- 4 tablespoons honey
- Additional 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
Sift the flour, sugar, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer. On low speed, add the almonds to the other dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolks together with the almond and vanilla extracts and the lemon zest. Add to the dry ingredients. Mix until combined. Combine the melted butter and honey. On low speed, add the butter mixture in a slow stream to the other ingredients, making sure it gets completely incorporated into the batter. Let the batter sit for 1 hour in a cool place.
Preheat the oven to 400º. Brush the madeleine molds with the softened butter, making sure they are completely coated. Fill the molds 3/4 full with the batter, and bake the cookies in the center of the oven for 8–10 minutes, or until light brown. As soon as the madeleines are done, loosen the edges with the tines of a fork and turn them out onto a baking rack to cool. They taste best warm.
4 dozen cookies