Chocolate Bourbon Swirl Meringues for #CalmandBrightCookieNight
I wasn't always a meringue fan, but I sure am now. Chocolate and bourbon will do that!
Cooked up on September 12, 2011
Filed under: baking
A few weeks ago Dave and I had the distinct pleasure of hosting my good friend Mary, and her great idea was for the three of us to make madeleines together as a weekend project.
These delectable French cookies are almost like little tiny cakes, rather than cookies. They are downright adorable and seriously addicting. Now I just need to find an excuse to make them again. These specialty pans can be found on Amazon, of course, but also at Sur la Table and Williams Sonoma. Not sure about Crate and Barrel.
Here’s another glamour shot, just for good measure:
We made four variations, using recipes from Martha Stewart Living, but I would be totally remiss to not give Mary credit for these recipes as well. I’ll start with the recipe for vanilla madeleines and stick the variations on the back end of this post. Sound good?
You will need the following:
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and 3/4 tsp. salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Then, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar and brown sugar together in a mixer on high for about ten minutes. It will eventually become light and fluffy, reaching what is called “ribbon stage,” like so:
The “ribbon” part is the very smooth ribbon of batter that flows down when you take the whisk out of the bowl. When you’ve reached this stage, sift the flour mixture over the top in two parts, folding in very gently. You’ve just whipped a ton of bubbles into the batter – part of the way ribbon stage behaves the way it does – so be very gentle. Add the butter in a similar fashion – two stages, and very gently, and lastly the honey and vanilla.
This is a good example of folding from the chocolate ones – you can see by the trail of the chocolate that not many stirring strokes have been made.
Refrigerate the batter for at least two hours. Then, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and take the batter out of the fridge to bring down to room temperature.
Next, and this is important, nonstick spray the crap out of your madeleine pans. I mean it. You think you have enough, but you don’t.
Ok, now the fun part: fill a pastry bag OR a ziploc bag with part of your batter and cut the corner off. Err on the side of conservatism, because even though you might be making small cut, it’s actually only half the size of the hole. I would say make the cut no bigger than 1/2 inch, but play around and see what works for you. Also, welcome to a guest appearance by Mary’s hands:
Then, use your bag of batter to fill the madeleine pans 3/4 full.
Yes, there is a lot of nonstick spray in there. Yes, you need it! Trust me, you don’t want to take these out one at a time with a fork. 🙂
Too pretty. Once you’ve filled your pans, bake on the middle rack for ten minutes. There will be some browning on the edges of the cookies – this is a good thing! You want them to have a little bit of a crunch on the outside. Immediately after you take them out, turn the pan upside down and shake. If you’ve used enough Pam, the cookies will fall right out. If not, get out your spoon and start prying! The cookies will still be ok.
Dust everything with a lovely blanket of confectioners’ sugar.
They were exactly as good as they look.
Here are the variations we also made:
Chocolate: Using the vanilla recipe as a base, add 2 Tbsp. of cocoa to the dry ingredients and fold 8 oz. bittersweet melted chocolate into the batter before baking.
Maple: Same story with the vanilla base, but omit the honey and reduce 1/2 cup of maple syrup over medium heat for 15 minutes and add it to the melted butter. Make a glaze by whisking together 1/2 cup maple syrup, 4 tbsp. melted butter and 2 tbsp confectioner’s sugar. Let cool before drizzling over scalloped side of baked madeleines.
Lemon: With the vanilla base, reduce 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice by half and add it to the butter along with 1/4 cup of finely grated lemon zest (about 4 lemons’ worth). Add a lemon glaze by whisking 2 cups confectioners’ sugar and 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice. Drizzle over scalloped side of each baked madeleine.
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