Madeleines: Savoring Every Bite of 2011

orange scented madeleines

Usually about this time of year I’m deep into deprivation mode. Eschewing ice cream, banishing butter, avoiding alcohol… not fun.

But 2011 will be all about fun.  If I learned anything in 2010 it was that life is about living in the moment.  Why put off for tomorrow would could be fun today? This isn’t an easy lesson for me. I’m a planner at heart.  My husband jokes that I have more fun planning a vacation than going on vacation. But life is full of uncertainties, so this year my New Year’s resolution is simply to enjoy.  To enjoy everything, especially food.

orange flower water madeleines

I pledge to savor each and every bite as if it were a chocolate truffle. You know the way you pay attention, really experience a morsel of quality chocolate? Or the first sip of a full-bodied Cabernet? Roll it around in your mouth, enjoy the aroma.  What if you could devote that much attention to each and every bite?

When was the last time you really tasted a whole meal?  Maybe you take the time to appreciate the first bite, or even the second, but before you know it the sandwich is gone and your belly is full.  Which is why 2011 is all about the pleasure of food.  The mindful enjoyment of dining is taking a bit of adjustment for us.  Jeff isn’t thrilled about no longer eating in front of the television (except popcorn, which is so much more fun when accompanied by a movie). But dinner at the table, with candles and wine, feels wonderfully decadent.

As do these adorable petites madeleines.  These simple little cakes are the poster child for mindful eating.  Has any bite ever been more examined, more considered than Proust’s tea-soaked madeleine? If the feel of soggy cake on the tongue brought about a memory powerful enough to rock the literary world, imagine what paying a bit more attention to your supper might do for you. 

petites madeleines

I love the faint floral aroma of these tea cakes.  The orange flower water enhances the sensory experience of the madeleines, and the pleasure of the snack.  Delicate, spongy cake, beautifully crowned with browned scalloped edges makes a wonderful tea-time treat, or a cute gift tied with a ribbon. While you will need a madeleine pan (with scallop-shaped depressions), there is really no trick to these cakes.  Simple ingredients make for simple flavors and an honestly pleasurable experience. Food doesn’t have to be fancy to be fully and completely enjoyed. 

Enjoy these madeleines; have fun making them, have fun eating them. And savor every bite of 2011!

Orange Scented Madeleines

Makes about 18

Nonstick cooking spray

2/3 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon orange flower water

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the madeleine pan with the nonstick cooking spray. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Using a wisk, whip the eggs, orange extract, and orange zest until very frothy.  Gradually beat in 1 cup of powdered sugar, until the mixture thickens slightly.  Stir in the melted butter and then fold in the flour mixture.  Fill the madeleine cups about 3/4 full.  Bake about 8 minutes until the edges are lightly browned.  Remove from the pan with a butter knife and cook on a rack.  When cool, dust with remaining powdered sugar.

Published in: on January 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm  Comments (18)  
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18 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I adore madeleines! Keep thinking of getting myself a mould…maybe I really should just buy one. These look fantastic!

  2. I love madelenies. Thanks for reminding me of how good they are. Love yours so much. Should try to make it very soon. Beautifully done.

  3. These look like they’d be perfect with a nice cup of tea, which is how I end every day this season. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Thanks for this. I never would have considered baking madeleines…they’re just not on my radar. But now I think they’d be fun to make, and much more chic than yet another batch of oatmeal raisin cookies.

    Looking forward to giving this recipe a try.
    PS: Also love the blue gingham patterned cookie plate!

    • Thanks, I love the plate too! It was part of the set my in-laws got as a wedding gift 35 years ago. It’s the last one we have left. It’s so cute!

  5. I was in such a bad mood when I opened your post.But after reading it I feel so inspired.What u said about living the moment is so true.I m like u..worrying,thinking & getting sad all the time 🙂
    These madeleines look so beautiful..I love orange in baked goodies!Happy New Year!

  6. These cookies are my daughter’s namesake, so naturally I must know how to make them! Yes, that slightly floral note is unmistakeable—your recipe, and the results look absolutely perfect! Happy New Year–and yes, let it be one of joy, savoring the moment. Nancy

  7. I’m totally intrigued by this orange water. I’m not sure where I’d get it or really what I’d do with it but I still want some! I’d also take some madeleines 🙂

    • I buy it at a local Middle Eastern store. It’s so fragrent. I’ve been adding it to everything from madeleines ro rice pudding to espresso!

  8. I have to say that is the best NYR I have heard of, might just have to adopt it myself!!

    Your madeleines look delicious, I would have no problem eating them mindfully!

  9. I love your thoughts about the new year as much as I love your madeleines. This was my first read of the day and you’ve set a high bar for the blogs that will follow yours. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  10. I’ve always wanted to make madeleines but never have because I don’t have a tray. Maybe I should get one…but my kitchen is already so full! Hmmmm….

    • I got mine as a Christmas present and I love it! Always room for one more pan or gadget, right?

  11. I have a fond history with the madeleine and hopefully one day I’ll post about it with a recipe of my own. In the meantime, I’ve been acquiring different recipes and yours is certainly one that I will try.
    BTW…I’m also the crazy detailed vaction planner in the couple. I know the destination inside out before we step foot on international land (mostly Europe). Our Hubbies are very fortunate…don’t you think?

    Katie, Here’s wishing you the very best that you can bring yourself to enjoy and savour ;o)

    Flavourful wishes,

  12. I am not a planner, so I like to savor everything that comes along; these madeleines for one, are the perfect little treat for this weekend, I decided. They look amazing and would be lovely with a cup of hot coffee.

  13. Such an inspiring outlook for the new year! I definitely need to take some of this advice to hear and try your recipe soon! Lovely blog!

  14. […] Although my resolution this year is to simply enjoy, to eat for pleasure, and to savor every bite, n…For the moment I’m content to hide these extra few pounds under bulky sweaters and puffy jackets, but I know that I’ll have to pull out that bathing suit soon enough. So while I may not make it to the gym every day, I’m trying for some balance. […]

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