Yesterday was Saturday and around our house, we love Saturdays! It’s typically the one day in the week when we put our chores and daily responsibilities aside and enjoy filling up the day with fun activities and experiences with The Redhead. Sometimes, we’ll visit the park, go to a festival, go swimming or have friends over – yesterday, though, The Redhead was very excited that we were going to do two things: paint and make her favorite cookies!
We set up a painting party out on the porch with a giant tarp, a canvas and about a million brushes and let her go to town!
In the meantime, I made these simple cookies as a treat after all her hard work! The ingredients for Madelines are really simple – not a lot of fuss or special trips to the store needed if you have eggs, sugar and flour around.
I use a Madeline pan that I bought very inexpensively at Home Goods a year or so ago – it’s a special pan that holds the dough, which is actually the consistency of thick cake batter, and forms the dough into a classic Madeline shape – kind of seashell looking mold.
Madelines are a light, kind of spongy cookie that isn’t too sugary – it’s a great base for getting creative with flavors and additions because the flavor of the madeline, itself, is so mild. I’ve made these in an orange and a lemon version, using a little juice and zest, so today when I opened the pantry I just grabbed and used what I had a lot of – coconut – and threw some in!
Madelines are simply delicious in their plain state, but I like to make them a little extra-special by dipping the tips in chocolate. I use my own half and half mix of milk chocolate and a bittersweet, dark chocolate but really any type of chocolate that you enjoy will work fantastically!
The Redhead loves getting in on the blog photo-action…especially when cookies are involved, so of course, I had to let her give them the final taste test and critique (and by the expression and the chocolate on her cheek, I’m guessing she like them!):
Here’s the Recipe!
- 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, to grease the pans, plus 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- Confectioners’ sugar, optional
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Thoroughly butter and flour the madeleine pans.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light yellow and fluffy. Add 1/4 pound of butter and mix. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, and stir into the batter with a rubber spatula. Stir in the coconut.
With a soup spoon, drop the batter into the pans, filling each shell almost full. Bake the madeleines for 10 to 12 minutes, until they spring back when pressed. Tap the madeleines out onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper and allow to cool.
For chocolate tips, melt 1 cup of your favorite chocolate over a double-boiler. Remove chocolate from heat and dip the tip of each cookie in the warm chocolate. Set cookie on parchment until chocolate cools and hardens – approximately 1 hour.
My very, very favorite cookie is, by far, the classic Oreo cookie. I’ve tried lots of really yummy cookies in my day, but it all comes back to that amazing, fun, simply deee-licious chocolate sandwich cookie!
And if they’re good in a plastic package, how much better would they be right out of the oven? I almost found out with this recipe! Almost, because this recipe isn’t quite as good as the Nabisco option, but it comes darn close.
The cookie itself was so crispy and crunchy and had such a deep chocolate flavor, it was irresistable all by itself! In fact, we thought of a lot of other uses for just the chocolate cookies – crumbled on ice cream, baked super thin and stacked in a fruit and whipped cream Napoleon, topped with crushed peppermint before baking…man, I’m craving one right now!
I figured out an easy trick to flattening out the scoops of cookie dough on the pan before baking – I wrapped the flat bottom of a wine glass with a piece of plastic wrap, making sure to keep the plastic wrap wrinkle free, and then just pressed each cookie to roughly the same size. It worked great – no sticking!
Then comes the icing on the cake cookie!
I used Martha Stewart’s caramel sauce recipe and added some ingredients to make it into an icing for a delicious, filling that tasted like homemade, buttery caramel instead of the vanilla icing in my original recipe, which wound up tasting really sugary and lardy (not great!).
The caramel icing was far easier to make than I had anticipated and made double the amount of caramel than was called for in the icing recipe, so I have some extra tasty caramel in the refrigerator to use in/on something else!
After all of the cookies had been baked, I sorted them according to size, iced one and topped it with another – then promptly helped The Redhead host a tea party with her best pal, Elephant (I love a good tea party!). Oh, and notice how she’s snazzed up her “furniture” with original artwork…
These cookies keep well in the refrigerator – it keeps the cookies crunchy.
Here’s the Recipe:
Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Set 2 racks in the middle and upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
In a food processor or the bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar.
While pulsing or on low speed, add the butter, then the egg. Process or beat until the dough is thoroughly blended and massed together.
Drop rounded teaspoons of batter onto nonstick or parchment-lined cookie sheets at 2-inch intervals. With moistened fingers, round out the cookies and flatten them a little.
Bake for 9 minutes, turning the pans once for even baking, until the cookies are set. Set the cookie sheets on a rack to cool.
In a medium saucepan, heat sugar over medium-high until melted and brown at edges, 3 minutes. With a heat-resistant spatula, pull melted sugar toward center until all sugar is melted and caramel is deep amber in color, 3 minutes more
Immediately whisk in butter, coarse salt, and pure vanilla extract (take care as mixture is extremely hot and will bubble).
Whisk in heavy cream
Pour into a heatproof container and let cool. Make frosting: In a bowl, beat together caramel and butter with a wooden spoon until smooth; gradually beat in confectioners sugar until smooth. Spread frosting on flat sides of half the cookies and top with remaining cookies.
To store, refrigerate, up to 3 weeks.