Category Archives: Cookies

Madeline Recipe and Bake and Share Challenge #2

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Chocolate Dipped Madeline Recipe. Absolutely Delicious!
Chocolate Dipped Madelines
Lemon Glazed Madelines. Beautiful dessert for any occasion or perfect with coffee and afternoon tea.
Lemon Glazed Madelines

Madeline Recipe

Lemon glazed and chocolate dipped madelines. Absolutely delicious
Madeline tray ready for the fundraiser

Madeline Recipe

Last week, I challenged my readers to Bake and Share Challenge #2. I encouraged you to bake for someone suffering from an illness including their caretakers and families throughout the month of March. Just in the last week, a few people have told me of friends  dealing with cancer. We hear about these things all too much these days. We can help out by spreading kindness and sharing smiles for those victims of illness by baking something for them. I chose to bake for a fundraising event at my local salon. It is the second year the salon has hosted this fundraiser. This year, it was bigger and better than last year! Five salons in my local area participated in the event, which is two more than last. Last year, they rose around $10,000 to donate to the BrainUp Foundation to support brain cancer research. The foundation was founded by the Kresach family and the Roz Bernstein family of New York to achieve the goal of a brain cancer cure. The Kresach family lost their daughter to brain cancer. Their daughter was a client of my friend and stylist at the salon. I was thrilled to be able to bake for this event. I also donated a basket filled with my favorite baking tools and ingredients to be raffled off.

Raffle Basket

When I arrived at the event with this basket and three trays of baked goodies, Mrs. Kresach thanked me, gave me a hug, and told me how much it meant to her that I donated the basket and trays. I had never met her before, and her genuine thanks touched me in a way that I cannot describe. It truly brought me so much joy to be able to do something so small as baking and putting together a basket and know that this small act of kindness made a difference in someone’s life. It showed that mother who lost her only, beautiful, precious, child that someone cares. As I walked around the fundraiser and saw photos of her daughter she lost to the awful disease we all know as cancer, I couldn’t help but get emotional and want to weep for her and her family. I hugged and kissed my three precious children many extra times yesterday. I am looking forward to hearing how much the fundraiser raised this year! For the two other trays, I made salted caramel macarons, and chocolate chip cookies. A dear friend of mine made chocolate chip scones and vanilla bean scones to add to my cookie tray. She also came over the morning of the fundraiser to help me bake. She baked the cookie dough I prepared while I baked the madelines. She was not only extremely helpful in the kitchen, but her presence kept me calm as I tend to get anxious and nervous when I am baking for such an important event. Plus, baking with a friend is always so much more fun than baking alone!!!! There is plenty of time left this month to make a difference in someones life. I encourage to get out there and bake and share!!!!

Chocolate chip cookie and scone tray for fundraiser
Chocolate Chip Cookies, Vanilla Bean Scones, And Chocolate Chip Scones for Fundraiser
Salted Caramel Macarons
Salted Caramel Macarons
Salted Caramel Macaron Tray for Fundraiser
Salted Caramel Macarons for Fundraiser

Madelines….oh yummy yummy madelines! I did a little bit of research on Madeline recipes for this occasion. I have made them one other time in the past and thought they were just ok. They had a bit of a spongy texture. I came across a recipe by David Lebovitz. He is a renowned pastry chef who left the restaurant business to live in Paris and pursue writing books. He has a few cookbooks I am dying to get my hands on including “The Sweet Life in Paris,” and “My Paris Kitchen.” I ended up settling on his recipe for lemon glazed madelines. I doubled the recipe and dipped half of them in lemon glaze and half of them in guittard dark chocolate. Yes, the chocolate is a bit more expensive, but oh so worth it. I about fainted and swooned when I ate one of the madelines dipped in chocolate. I will be making these again to bring to my family Easter celebration just because I cannot wait to eat another one! The lemon glazed madelines were also delicious. I love how the outside is just a tiny bit crisp and the inside had a lovely cake texture. Dave Lebovitz brought up the debate of using baking powder in the madeline batter. Some say use it, and some say don’t. So I looked up the recipe from my other favorite french pastry chef, Pierre Hermes. He used the baking powder so I decided I would use it too. The only issue with using the baking powder is that your madelines may have humps on the back. Indeed, mine DID have humps. At first, I thought that was a bad thing. Then, I decided to trim the humps ever so slightly so the madelines could lay flat. I think the humps are worth having because I really enjoyed the cake-like texture. I made my madeline dough the evening before I baked them, then baked them off in the morning. The batter needs to chill for 3-12 hours. You will need a madeline pan. I use this pan from chicago metallic and love it.

Madeline Pan
Madeline Pan

I actually have two pans so I can have one prepped and in the freezer while one is in the oven. I also used my small cookie scoop to fill the molds. I used one rounded scoop per mold.

Small Cookie Scoop
Small Cookie Scoop

 

Madeline Recipe

Lemon-Glazed Madeleines

Ingredients

 

3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar
rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup (175g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
zest of one small lemon
9 tablespoons (120g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds

For the Glaze
3/4 cup (150g) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water

1. Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer.
2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.
3. Spoon the flour and baking powder, if using, into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter. (Rest the bowl on a damp towel to help steady it for you.)
4. Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter, then dribble the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.
5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)
6. To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
7. Plop enough batter in the center of each indentation with enough batter which you think will fill it by 3/4’s. Again, I used a rounded scoop of batter using my small cookie scoop.  Do not spread the batter.
8. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set. While the cakes are baking, make a glaze in a small mixing bowl by stirring together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water until smooth.
9. Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack. The moment they’re cool enough to handle, dip each cake in the glaze, turning them over to make sure both sides are coated and scrape off any excess with a dull knife. After dipping, rest each one back on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up.

Storage: Glazed madeleines are best left uncovered, or not tightly-wrapped; they’re best eaten the day they’re made. They can be kept in a container for up to three days after baking, if necessary.

Yield: 24 Madelines

Adapted from The Sweet Life In Paris by David Lebovitz

Chocolate Dipped Madeline Recipe

Tempering the Chocolate

To dip the madelines in chocolate, you will need to temper it. Why do you need to temper the chocolate? Tempering the chocolate assures that your chocolate will harden and look shiny. If you do not temper it, it will look dull and will not completely set. I was so afraid of tempering chocolate until I learned how in a baking class I took. It is actually quite simple. I got this awesome infared thermometer for Christmas which makes tempering the chocolate a breeze!

  1. Melt 9 oz of high quality chocolate wafers (do not use chocolate chips) in the microwave until it reaches 115 degrees. Reserve 3 oz of chocolate wafers to use as seed chocolate. To melt the chocolate, I microwaved it for 30 second at a time on half power until it reached 115 degrees.
  2. Add half of the reserved chocolate wafers to the melted chocolate and stir until It melts. Check the temperature. You will need the chocolate to be between 90-92 degrees to be in temper. Continue to add chocolate wafers, stirring until they melt until you reach 90-92 degrees.
  3. Once you reach the proper temperature, you can now dip your madelines. If your chocolate dips below 90 degrees, warm it back up to 90-92 degrees to keep it in temper.

Baking Tips:

*If you use baking powder, they may take another minute or so to bake since the batter will rise higher. They’re done when the cakes feel just set if you poke them with your finger. Avoid overbaking them.

* Bake these in the upper-third of your oven, so the tops get slightly-browned. The lemon glaze is delicious, but you can omit it if you want your madeleines plain. Or you can dip them in chocolate!

Bake and Share Ideas:

  1. Bake the madelines for your Easter celebration
  2. Invite a few friends over and see the madelines with coffee and tea. They are delicious with both!
  3. Bake and share with a friend or family who needs a boost of love and kindness!!

My favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and a houseguest

Last weekend, we had the pleasure of hosting a friend and her two kids for a night.  They had recently moved away, and my daughter was really starting to miss her old classmate and friend. It was perfect timing for their visit.  I wanted to make a treat that I knew all of the kids would enjoy. I immediately thought of my chocolate chip cookies! It makes a large batch, which would leave me plenty to send some with our friends for their long ride home.

 

cookieandmilk

I have been making this recipe for at least 14 years. Almost every time I make them, someone requests the recipe. They have a slight crunch on the outside and are chewy on the inside. I was never a big fan of chocolate chip cookies until I tried these!

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Back in 2001, I coached boys volleyball for a local high school I taught at. Every time we had a weekend tournament, one of the boys’ moms would make these cookies. I took one bite and became hooked! They were the best chocolate chip cookies I had ever had, and I was now a chocolate chip cookie fan for life! I immediately asked the mom who made the cookies for the recipe. She told me that they were her specialty and didn’t seem like she wanted to give me the recipe, so I dropped the subject. At the end of the volleyball season, we had an end of the year banquet/awards ceremony. I walked into the room and the cookie mom handed me this recipe on a hand written note card. I still have that card in my recipe box! It’s one of the best gifts I have ever been given. The first time I made them, they did not turn out like the cookie mom’s cookies. It took me a few tries to figure out the proper method to make them. I have included some photos in this recipe that will help you make the perfect chocolate chip cookie!

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My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie 

Ingredients

3 Sticks of melted butter, cooled
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Dark brown sugar
1 Cup Light brown sugar
2 Whole eggs, room temperature
2 Egg yolks, room temperature
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
5 Cups Flour (see my tips and techniques page on how to measure flour)
3 Cups Chocolate chips (see baking tips at the bottom)

Directions

Combine butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla in mixer until light and fluffy. This will take 2-3 minutes.

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This is the batter after 30 seconds of mixing on medium high in a stand mixer

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This is what the batter should like when this step is complete. This took another 2 minutes in my stand mixer on medium high. It should turn light in color and become a little thicker and fluffy.
Add salt and baking soda.
Add flour one cup at a time and mix just until all the flour is incorporated.
Stir in chocolate chips.

? See the note under “baking tips” below about chilling your cookie dough at this point. Use a cookie scoop to scoop cookies onto parchment lined baking sheets.

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I slightly flatten the tops of my cookies after they are scooped onto the baking sheet.

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Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets at 360 for 12-14 minutes. The edges and top of the cookie should just slightly begin to brown when they are done. Do not over bake.

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Let the cookies cool on the pan for two minutes, then remove them to a cooling rack.

Baking Tips

*Use the best quality chocolate chips. I typically use a 2:1 mixture of Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips and semi-sweet chips.

*Be sure to use parchment paper on your cookie sheets. This will prevent the bottoms of your cookies from burning.

*I purchased my cookie scoop at Sur La Table but they can also be found at Michael’s, Williams Sonoma, and Amazon. Target may carry them as well.

*? I often prepare my cookie dough the day before I bake them. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator over night. The next day, let the dough rest on the counter until it is room temperature, then bake as directed. (I have broken a few cookie scoops trying to scoop cold dough.) Chilling the dough helps the cookie dough to prevent spreading too much when baking. It also produces a chewy cookie with a more pronounced flavor.  At the very least, chill your dough for 30 minutes.

Cookie Blessings…

Leave a box of fresh baked cookies on a bedroom dresser for your house guest

Bring a plate of cookies to your next party or gathering

Bake a batch of cookies to surprise your kids and significant other for a special lunch dessert

Box or bag a few cookies for your child’s teacher with a tag that says, “Thank you for making me one smart cookie.”

Bake of batch of cookies. Invite a few friends over for a special dessert. Place one cookie in a bowl and top with ice cream to make chocolate chip cookie ice cream sundaes

Bake a batch of cookies for a friend or family member who just had a new baby, is celebrating a birthday, or as a get well/feel better gift.

Christmas Baking Ideas

What are you baking for Christmas this year? Now that my shopping is complete, my homemade gifts are made, and my kids are off school for winter break, I can finally focus on my Christmas baking! Here are a few things I will be making for our holiday parties.

Funfetti Shortbread Bites from cookingclassy.com

I made one batch of these adorablly delicious shortbread bites with my daughter. They didn’t last long, so we will be making another batch to bring to our family Christmas parties.  This recipe comes from a wonderful blogger at Cooking Classy. I have been following her for the last couple of years. Every recipe I have tried from this blog is fantastic! These are a wonderful treat to bring to your Christmas party or to hand out to neighbors and friends. It is a very quick and easy recipe, and it makes a lot at once. Click on the caption above for the shortbread bites recipe.

 

Italian Ricotta Cookies from cooking classy.com

These Italian ricotta cookies look so delicious. I love trying new recipes, and I cannot wait to try this one! Click on the caption above for the link to the recipe from Cooking Classy.

 

Twix Thumbprint Cookies from cookingclassy.com

These Twix thumbprint cookies from Cooking Classy also look wonderful. I know my family will love these as well! Click on the caption above for the recipe.

 

Holiday Butter Cookies from King Arthur Flour

I have been using this Holiday Butter Cookie recipe for my cutout cookies for the last couple of years. I use fiori di sicilia to flavor the cookies. It is a wonderful blend of citrus and vanilla that makes these cookies so delicious. If you cannot find it, you can use any flavor you prefer such as vanilla extract or almond extract.  I do not roll my dough quite as thin as the recipe suggests. I like my cutout cookies on the thicker side. This cookie has the perfect combination of crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside. The cookies also hold their shape after being cooked. I also like the cookie icing recipe. It dries shiny and adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the butter cookies. I will be making quite a few of these cookies this weekend. I am bringing them to my families annual cookie decorating day at my mom’s house. I am also hosting a cookie decorating party for my girlfriends. I provide the baked cookies and icing and the girls bring the wine and appetizers!

I would love to hear what you are baking this year. Let me know in the comment section below! Happy holiday baking!!!

Look for my next post soon…my make ahead cinnamon rolls. Not only do they make a quick and easy breakfast for Christmas morning, but they are also the perfect gift for my mommy friends! What better gift for a busy mom than a quick breakfast that she doesn’t have to cook!