Sunday, December 16, 2012

The twelve days of Christmas

Well, I'm a day late or so....

Nonetheless, I needed an opportunity to post some new Christmas cookie recipes and here we are.  Being the francophile that I am, I wanted to make as many french cookie recipes as I could this year.  I'm really not much of a baker, so this has been an even bigger challenge for me than you might think.

However, I'm happy to announce that I've had great success with my first attempt at making madeleines - which are these yummy little shell shaped cakes.  Finding the madeleine baking pan was the hardest part.

I adapted an Emeril recipe, and made mine with almond extract.  You can leave them plain or ice them.  I decided to make a very simple orange glaze, which goes nicely with the almond.

Almond Madeleines:

4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 stick of butter

Set oven to 350.
Beat eggs, vanilla and almond extract on high until creamy - about 10 minutes.  Separately, mix flour and baking powder.  Add 1/2 of flour mix to egg mixture and mix on medium speed until blended.  Add the rest of the flour mix.  Melt stick of butter, and let cool.  Slowly add melted butter to mixture and blend well.  Let batter sit for 10 minutes.
Spray pan w/ non-stick and dust with flour. (Trust me, you should do both.  I tried skipping the flour dusting and it didn't turn out so well.) Fill little shells 3/4 full (these babies rise quite a bit), and bake for 18-19 minutes.
Let cakes cool completely before icing.

Orange glaze:

1/2 cup of milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tsp orange extract
powdered sugar

slowly bring milk to soft boil and then reduce heat. Add butter and extract.  Add in powdered sugar and whisk.  Continue to add sugar until icing is slightly thickened.  Brush icing onto cakes.  Store on parchment paper in an airtight container - otherwise they will stick to each other.


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