Wednesday, January 18, 2012

BabyCakes's Madeleines

Instead of normal Christmas gifts, I had thought it would be nice to give my friends some tummy warming baked goods. For my friend Tana, I had decided to make her something out of the latest BabyCakes cookbook: BabyCakes Covers the Classics by Erin McKenna. We've really taken to this adorable little bakery, which happens to feature a lot of gluten-free and (GASP!) vegan delicacies. I got this cookbook a couple of months ago, and I've been itching to make something tasty from it. After many hours of page turning, I finally decided upon the adorable looking madeleines.

Madeleines are basically little plump cookie cakes. Most recipes are usually flavored with lemon or vanilla, but when I worked at Balthazar Bakery, they rotated pistachio and chocolate too. All of them were incredibly moist and delicious. And who could resist its cute scallop shell shape? Just waiting to be dunked into a hot cup of chocolate or tea.

Now, the ingredients list did look a little daunting, but you can find all of this stuff at Whole Foods or any well stocked supermarket/health food store. Personally, I used all three resources, and got everything I needed at a reasonable price.

Makes 24 Madeleines.

1/2 cup melted refined coconut oil or canola oil (I used canola oil because it's less pricey. I used a great coconut baking/cooking spray to grease the pans. You can use the canola to do that too. Refined coconut oil doesn't have a strong coconut flavor, so don't worry if you're not a fan.)
1 1/4 cups white or brown rice flour
1 cup vegan sugar
1/2 cup potato starch (NOT POTATO FLOUR)
1/4 cup arrowroot
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup vegan powdered sugar (I couldn't find this for the life of me. So I didn't use it.)

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Brush 2 madeleine trays with coconut oil (or you can use the canola oil, or in my case, your trusty coconut oil spray) and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, vegan sugar, potato starch, arrowroot, baking power, salt, xanthan gum, and baking soda. Add the 1/2 cup coconut oil (or canola), applesauce, and vanilla and stir with a rubber spatula until the batter is smooth. Gradually add the hot water, stirring constantly, until incorporated.

Drop a rounded tablespoon of the batter into each mold, gently spreading it to fill the mold (make sure you fill them so they'll rise up nice and plump). Bake for 12 minutes, rotate the trays, and bake for 6 minutes more, or until the tops of the madeleines are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand in the trays for 15 minutes. Place the cooled madeleines on the prepared baking sheet and dust the tops with the powdered sugar.

Look at how beautiful and brown they came out! The coconut oil gives the cookie a beautiful, crunchy, buttery crust. Next time, I'll use coconut oil in the batter, too. Inside, the cookie was moist and fluffy, with a fragrant vanilla aroma.

A dozen of these were nicely packed away in a holiday box for Tana...and the other dozen? Well, those stayed right at home with me. And they were delicious dunked into a big cup of hot cocoa. Try them!

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