Spring Time Madeleines

For me it’s not uncommon for my cravings to align with how I’m feeing or rather how I want to feel. That’s the case for the inspiration for this recipe.

Awhile back I’d bought a madeleine cookie sheet, for mini ones, the perfect size to accompany a nice glass of tea. (Or for you to indulge on several and not feel TOO bad about it.)

I wanted something that felt beachy and tropical. A mini-getaway for my taste buds if you will. Looking around my kitchen on what I could use to make this happen, it came time to utilize my stock of coconut flakes and key limes!

 Coconut Key Lime Madeleines
[ Adapted From: David Lebovitz’sThe Sweet Life in Paris ]

3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 rounded teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 4-5 key limes
2 1/2 tbsp ground (finely) coconut flakes
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds

Prepare the madeleine tin with the melted butter, dust with flour, set aside in the freezer to chill until you’re ready. (Now would be a good time to also melt the butter for the batter.)

Using a mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, and salt until the mixture is thick.

Combine the flour, coconut flakes, and baking powder. Sift into egg mixture and fold in using a spatula.

In the cooled melted butter add the lime zest, then drizzle into the batter, slowly, still folding with the spatula.

Cover the batter completely and let it rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Fill the molds 3/4 of the way full and then bake for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown. (This time may vary since I used a mini madeleine tin mine required a shorter period. These cook quickly so I recommend setting a timer for 5 minutes and then just hanging in the kitchen and keeping an eye on them until their golden brown. Plus those dishes have to get washed at some point, right?)

Once their golden brown, remove them from the oven pop them out onto a rack to cool.



Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m a big fan of the chocolate chip cookie. I’m not really a fan of milk, but somehow whenever I bust out the cookies, out comes the milk. I think I weary from milk because it always turned my cereal soggy as a kid. It takes a certain kind of cookie though, not just any cookie, that necessitates milk to complete the experience. For me this has always been with chewy chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven, complete with that crunchy edge that I’m convinced seals in the deliciousness.

For a long time I’ve been on a quest for the perfect chocolate chip cookie and I think I might have found it. I was perusing recipes when I discovered this famed recipe that was originally published in the New York Times. It was adapted from no other than Mr. Chocolate himself, Jacques Torres.

This cookie comes out so perfect I literally did a happy dance I was so proud of myself. Usually I fight with cookies, either they poof to much or they’re not that perfect gooey to crunchy ratio. It’s been a long war, but there is now hope on horizon.

While these do take a bit of foresight, as you have to let the dough rest for 24hrs, it’s well worth the wait.

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour
1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Definitely make sure to cream the butter until its super light and fluffy.

Make sure to press the plastic tightly around the dough before you let it rest in the fridge. You don’t wan sneaky flavors sneaking in and you don’t want the dough to become brittle due to exposure to the air.

Following these directions will help you create cookies that will bring a smile to your face and boost to your confidence. Please note, I didn’t have any cake flour on hand so I just doubled up on the all-purpose. As well I think this recipe is a great base for any cookie as it just comes out so well, with it’s seductive wrinkles filled with tastiness.