Grumpiness is trending on Facebook. Northern California just got its first rain of the season.
To combat this fall malaise, I decided to throw a mini-tea party. The British are experts on bad weather, after all. As they are not, in my opinion, experts on the tea cookie, I chose a French madeleine to pair with my cuppa. Unfortunately, my kitchen did not possess a fresh lemon to zest, and I had to get inventive to replace this vital ingredient. So I dug around for inspiring substitutes and came up with Orange Blossom water and lemon vodka. That’ll do!
So, here’s my recipe, adapted from French Butter Cakes (Madeleines). I hope they banish the weather grump for you, too!
Orange Blossom Madeleine
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Orange Blossom Water
1 tsp Lemon Vodka
1/8 tsp Salt, Kosher
1/3 cup White Sugar
1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Butter
1/3 cup White Sugar (to sprinkle on finished cookies)
Start by heating the oven to 375°F. Liberally butter and flour your madeleine tin. If you don’t have this specialty tin, you can get probably get away with a muffin tin and muffin liners (no need to butter those).
Next, melt the butter and cool to room temperature as you assemble your other ingredients.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine eggs, vanilla, orange blossom water, lemon vodka and salt. Beat on high speed for 5-10 minutes. Stop once the mixture has thickened, lightened in color and the batter forms a ribbon as it falls from the beater when lifted. The mixture will look substantially different.
Sift half of your flour into the thickened egg mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold the flour into the egg mixture, taking care not to over-mix (you want to keep all the light, fluffiness you’ve just mixed into the batter). Sift the other half of the flour and fold in gently.
Pour the melted and cooled butter around the edges of the batter. Gently fold the butter into the batter. Using a spoon, mound batter into the molds. The batter should just mound above the top of the tin.
Bake 10-14 minutes. The top of the cookies should be golden and springy. Once you remove the cookies from the oven, gently use a knife to loosen them. Dump them onto a wire rack. Sprinkle the cookies liberally with sugar as soon as they are out of the pan.
Serve these with your favorite cup of tea. I chose my favorite: African Green Rooibos. Enjoy!