Raspberry Brown Butter Madeleines

 The first time I ate a madeleine, it was neither in France nor a fancy bakeshop, it was at Starbucks with my best friend, and it tasted like heaven. My best friend is, by the way, the person that made this blog all possible. She worked so hard to be able to get a nice camera for my birthday and has taste tested about a million pounds of dessert for me.  Madeleines happen to be one of my best friend’s favorite desserts and since finding that out five years ago, I’ve been on a quest to perfect the madeleine.
Madeleine’s are hard to get right. Over bake them and you end up with a crusty and dry product.  Under bake them, and the characteristics hump of a madeleine is actually a secret hangout spot for raw dough (don’t ask me how I know…). Now that I’ve probably scared you away from making madeleines, let me add that, with a few tips and tricks, you’ll have the most delicious madeleines in town.


One of the reasons why madeleines are so special are because they require fancy-ass pans.  Mine are mooched from my boyfriend’s mom, but you can pick up madeleine pans from stores like Sur la Table or Home Goods. I recommend getting two pans, because most recipes will make 2 dozen and you don’t want to be caught between trying to grease and flour a previously used madeleine pan and having to deal with slowly softening batter.


RASPBERRY BROWN BUTTER MADELEINES | Makes 16-18 large madeleines or 24 small ones
INGREDIENTS

  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Scant 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries – chopped

IMPORTANT: Browning butter gives the butter a nutty and caramel flavor. When you brown butter, it will seem as if you are burning the butter because caramel colored bits will start appearing at the bottom of the pot.  These pieces are what carry the flavor, so you want to make sure to scrap all this off the bottom of the pot! Sifting flour make sure that you don’t incorporate clumps of flour into the batter, which will result in dense and tough madeleines, not the light, buttery goodness that you want. 

DIRECTIONS

  1. To brown butter, melt butter on medium heat in a small sauce pan.  When butter begins to brown, you will start hearing bubbling and start seeing bubbles appear on the surface of the liquid. The bubbling should intensify and you should begin to see copper-colored flecks appear on the bottom of the sauce pan.  The butter should start turning a light golden color. Once the bubbling begins to die off, remove from heat source and stir mixture with spoon to scrap dark bits off the bottom of the pan.  Set butter mixture aside to cool.
  2. Either with an electric mixer or by hand, beat eggs for 2 minutes in a large bowl.  Then gradually add in sugar and then beat until mixture is frothy (meaning lots of white bubbles on the surface!)
  3. Add vanilla and salt into mixture and mix thoroughly.
  4. Sift in flour and using a spatula, gently fold in flour until it is fully incorporated – mixture will be quite thick.
  5. Add browned butter into the mixture in 3 batches. With a spatula, mix the butter fully into the batter with each addition. Stop mixing when the last batch of butter has been just blended in.
  6. Refrigerate batter for at least 4 hours so that the dough has a chance to rest and you will be able to achieve the traditional hump that madeleines are known for having.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375 (F).
  8. Butter and flour the madeleine pans by melting 1-2 tbsp of butter and brush butter on pans.  Dust pans with flour and shake the pans over the sink or trash can to get rid of excess flour.
  9. Spoon batter into a sandwich bag or pipping bag.  If using a pipping bag, fit with a 1″-tip, otherwise snip corner off a sandwich bag.
  10. Fill each indent 3/4 of the way full (it will spread and puff during cooking)
  11. Take about 1 teaspoon of chopped raspberries and press gently into each dough mound to make sure raspberries stay put during baking.
  12. Bake for 10-12 minutes until madeleines are gold brown and puffy. Invert pans immediately after removing from oven so madeleines will not stick in pan.

Enjoy!

Old-fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits

As a kid, did you ever pretend rocks were “cookies” or “cakes” while playing outside in the yard? I remember that my sisters and I would always throw extravagant tea parties full of “mud pies” and “rock cakes”, and then come home covered in mud and pebbles, much to my mom’s annoyance (sorry, mom!). Well, I’m not sure if it was because I missed these tea parties so much, or if I was just a terrible baker, but for the longest time, my biscuits were truly as hard and tough as rocks.
I recently tried my hand out at making biscuits again because I’ve had a hankering for some biscuits and homemade jam (more to come on the jam!). After scouring the internet, I came across Bon Appetit’s buttermilk biscuits but then realized that I didn’t actually own a food processor… which you know, like any good cook does, I proceeded anyway. Turning this food processor needing recipe into one that doesn’t has been quite the adventure (picture 3 butter knives in each hand whirring in circles in an attempt to simulate a food processor, among other hilarious ideas).
I promise you the final recipe does not require 6 arms and it definitely can be done in under 20 minutes.  Pair them with jam, butter, honey, gravy or honestly just plain, everyone will be happy. Trust me, give them a go!

IMPORTANT: Do NOT over work this dough, otherwise biscuits will turn out like my childhood rock cakes. Also, frozen butter is MUCH easier to grate and will not melt into the dough while you are working with it. Cold butter is essential for creating pockets of steam while baking ==> soft and fluffy biscuits.

OLD-FASHIONED BUTTERMILK BISCUITS | Modified from Bon Appetit | Makes 12
INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter – frozen
  • 1 tbsp butter – melted (for brushing on top of biscuits)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk

DIRECTIONS

  1. Using grater, grate 2 sticks of butter on the coarser setting. If you don’t have a grater, simply take a knife and chop the butter into 1/4 inch cubes. Put butter back into freezer if it is starting to melt.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and baking soda. Mix well with a whisk.
  3. Place grated butter into flour mixture. With hands, gently work butter pieces into flour until mixture looks like coarse sand and the largest pieces of butter are smaller than peas.
  4. Make a well in the mixture and pour buttermilk in well. Use spatula to incorporate dry and wet ingredients until a shaggy dough as formed.
  5. Turn dough onto floured surface and pat into a 1″- thick square. Using a knife or bench scraper, slice dough into four equal pieces and place on top of each other (this creates more flaky layers!). Gently press to flatten the layers.
  6. Roll dough into a rectangle 1″-thick. Take knife or bench scraper and cut into 12 equal slices – there should be no leftover scraps.
  7. Place dough pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet and place in freezer for 15 min.
  8. Preheat oven to 425 (F).
  9. Right before baking the biscuits, liberally brush the top of each biscuit with melted butter
  10. Place biscuits in oven and reduce heat to 400 (F). Bake for 20-25 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.

Enjoy!