Monday, January 7, 2008

Just Barely

Aahhh! I was so worried that I wasn't going to have time to bake tonight. I had it all planned out, right after I got into work and saw that my mini madeleine pan had come - mini madeleines from Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home to Yours! They just look so cute (I'm a sucker for mini things) and poppable. Unfortunately, I haven't really begun keeping eggs, milk, butter, and other things like that stocked in my kitchen. Well, I did... but that was bad for my waistline. As long as I force myself to stop after just one or two and send the rest off to the office, I'm safe. So there were ingredients to buy after work. Also, I did not manage to get up in time to go swimming before work, so I needed to go to the cardio kickboxing class after work.

Okay, so I'm totally for everyone making New Year's resolutions to eat right and get fit... just as long as it doesn't keep me from finding a parking spot at my local Y! Seriously! And then I walk into my normal Monday evening Cardio Kickboxing class, which is just so much fun, except that it's full! Full of people who've never been before, won't be back after another week or so, and have no clue as to what's going on. I swear, I'm not territorial about that class, but if they keep me from my Tuesday night spinning class, heads will roll. I LOVE that class. The instructor is fun, cares, and yet still loves to inflict pain upon everyone who attends. Good stuff. Wow - I got sidetracked... Oh right, so the instructor for tonight's class tones everything down so that the newbies can keep up, which means that Alicia and I had to weightlift and run afterwards to feel like we had gotten in a workout. That put me even more behind my baking schedule, and then I realized that I should also pick up the books that I had put on hold at the library that had come in this weekend. Off to that, finally to the store for the necessary items, and I got home at 8p without any dinner, baking to be done, and books that I desperately wanted to read! Torture I tell you!

But no worries, I did manage to get my baking in. As much as I admire all of the pretty photography that goes on amongst all the blogs that I read, I don't believe that I, or my baking, are quite up to that yet. So, instead I'll just give you the recipe because it was so good. And easy, which is a definite plus when you don't have much time and ended up having crackers and malted milk balls for dinner. Can you tell I made no New Year's resolutions concerning diet? Hey, I'd rather die happy earlier than die deprived a few years later. It's all about priorities, and let's face it, food is meant to taste good.

My notes on the recipe: I used a silicone mold, which I had gotten mixed reviews on. They definitely didn't brown quite as much as the madeleines in the book, but I can't complain about the faintly honey colored hue that they ended up with. I ended up making 48 little madeleines, even though the recipe says that it makes 36 - and that was after probably overfilling my molds. I wonder if maybe there are differently sized "mini" madeleine molds? I also love easy batters, and this one was pretty difficult to screw up. All in all, rather successful. They were also quite tasty, which is why there aren't quite 48 little cookies left... Oops! I'm sure my coworkers won't notice :-)

Mini Madeleines (Makes 36 cookies)

2/3 c. AP flour
1 t baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
6 T sugar
1 T brown sugar
1/8 t vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
3/4 stick (6 T) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 t honey

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugars until smooth. Whisk in the dry ingredients, followed by the vanilla and lemon zest. Gently whisk in the melted butter and, finally, the honey. You'll have a thick, smooth, shiny batter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate for at least 30 min or up to two days.

Getting ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425F. Generously butter up to three mini madeleine pans, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Or, if you have nonstick pans, just spray the interiors with vegetable oil cooking spray. If you've got silicone pans, they can be used just as they are. Put the pans on a baking sheet.
Fill each little madeleine mold with about a teaspoon of batter; the molds should be about three-quarters full. Don't worry about leveling the batter--it will do it by itself in the oven.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 min, or until they are puffed and golden brown around the edges. Remove the sheet from the oven and give the madeleine pans a hearty rap against the counter. Gently pry out any cakes that don't want to leave their nests with your fingers or a butter knife. You an serve the madeleines immediately or put them on a rack to cool.
Repeat with any remaining batter, making certain to cool and rebutter and flour or respray the pans.
Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners' sugar.

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