From the kitchen ofOne Perfect Bite...I have a weakness for cakes or cookies that combine chocolate with a bit of orange. Having said that, it will come as no surprise to learn that one of my contributions to the bake sale I mentioned to you earlier in the week, would be a cookie that used them both. Many will argue that madeleines are small sponge cakes rather than cookies. Traditionally, they are baked in molds that have a shell-like depression which gives them their distinctive shape. The original versions of these petit cakes were made with a genoise cake batter that is somewhat lighter than a sponge but no less delicious. This version is heavier and has a more compact crumb that its classic cousin, but the flavor is so sublime that you will not miss the lightness. I found this recipe why scanning through the cookies on the Food52 website. The photo of the madeleines was arresting and caused me to give more than a cursory glance to the recipe. If the orange and chocolate combination had not stopped me, the recipe's minimal use of sugar was a clear sign that this cookie had to be tried. And try I did. And did. And did. I, obviously, really loved these cookies and recommend them to all of you who favor things that are not too sweet and border on sophistication in their simplicity. You will like these. Be sure not to over-bake them. I pulled mine from the oven at the 12 minute mark to assure they would retain some moisture and not be too dry. I have only one madeleine pan, so I made 12 of the cookies in the molds and used miniature muffin cups for the rest of the batter. I think these are best eaten the day that they are made but they keep reasonably well if they are frozen or stored in an air-tight container. I hope you'll give this simple recipe a try. You won't be sorry. Here is how the chocolate-orange madeleines are made.
Chocolate-Orange Madeleines...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Food52
1 stick of unsalted butter
3/4 cups sugar
zest from 1/2 an orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange liqueur
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 ounces of good semisweet chocolate
1) Position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 360 F degrees.
2) Place butter in bowl of an electric stand mixer and whip on high speed for 2 minutes.
3) Add sugar and orange zest, and keep mixing for another minute or so on high speed. Add eggs one by one. Add another one only after the previous one is well mixed. Add salt, vanilla and orange liqueur and mix for a little longer.
4) Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder in a separate bowl. On low speed, add flour mixture to wet ingredients in 3 batches, mixing just until incorporated. Over beating will make dough tough.
5) Cut chocolate into small pieces. Melt chocolate in the microwave for about 1 to 1-1/2 minutes, or until it just starts to melt. Mix well to melt all pieces. Cool for few minutes and then incorporate into dough with a spatula.
6) Oil a Madeleine pan and sprinkle a bit of sugar in each indentation. Put a very full tablespoon of batter into each indentation to just fill it. The dough is very sticky, but try to flatten it a bit.
7) Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cookies have risen (mostly in the middle) and springy. Let pan cool for 15 minutes and then turn cookies out onto a cooling rack, shell side up. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Yield: 18 cookies.
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