For a recent macaron recipe I made, which requires a lot of egg whites, I had just as many egg yolks that couldn’t go to waste. Enter the madeleine — part cookie, part cake, all lovely. Madeleines are said to have originated in France during the reign of Louis XV and they traveled to his court at Versailles. You need a special pan to make these spongy little shell treats. My favorite version is made with lemon.
Adapted from a Williams-Sonoma recipe, yields 16 madeleines
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour, sifted
2 teaspoons lemon zest
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled, plus softened butter for pans
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 375°F. With a pastry brush, brush each mold with softened butter making sure to cover every crevice. Dust the pan with flour and turn over to tap off excess flour.
In a stand mixer, combine eggs, sugar and salt on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Sprinkle in the sifted flour and beat on low until incorporated.
With a rubber spatula, gently fold lemon zest and half the melted butter until blended. Blend in the remaining butter.
Use your spatula to scoop the batter into a disposable pastry bag with no fitting. Snip the end and pipe the batter evenly into each mold, about a tablespoon each.
Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, 8 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack and dust with powdered sugar.