Friday, July 10, 2015

Coconut Madeleines

With Bastille Day coming up next week, I thought I'd make a favorite cookie of mine--the Madeleine. 

Madekeines are little cake-like cookies that are baked in special molds that give them a delicate, shell shape. According to the story, the name "Madeleine" was given to the cookies by Louis XV to honor his father-in-law's cook, Madeleine Paulmier. Louis first tasted the cookie at the Chateau Commercy in Lorraine in 1755. Louis' wife, Marie, introduced them to the court and they soon became all the rage at Versailles. Whatever the origin, they are inextricably linked with author Marcel Proust, who described them as "...little shell of cake, so generously sensual beneath the piety of its stern pleating."

It's been a while since I've baked Madeleines, but when I saw a recipe from one of my goddesses, Ina Garten, with that coconut twist, I decided it was time for a celebration.

Yield:  24 cookies

1 1/2 tbs melted butter, to grease the pans
3 extra-large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sweetened, shredded coconut, coarsely chopped

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp coconut flavoring

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Thoroughly butter and flour the Madeleine pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light yellow and fluffy. Add the 1/4 lb of melted butter and mix thoroughly. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt and stir into the batter with a rubber spatula. Stir in the coconut.

With a soup spoon, drop the batter into the prepared pans, filling each shell almost full. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they spring back to the touch and are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and immediately tap out onto parchment paper and allow to cool.

Make the glaze by adding water to the confectioners sugar and coconut flavoring until it has a pourable consistency. Place the Madeleines on a wire rack and spoon the glaze over them, allowing excess to drip off. Let air dry for 2 hours or until glaze has set.
I've never had Madeleines with a glaze, but must admit that this was a wonderful addition. These cookies (or little cakes, if you will) had just enough coconut flavor to make them special. I liked them very much, but am looking forward to my next batch of regularly-flavored Madeleines, which I intend to glaze with dark chocolate. Vive La France!