I’ve mentioned before that Martin and I are really terrible at bringing back souvenirs when we travel.  I always keep my eye out for some amazing item that will remind me of sitting at a street-side cafe in Paris or lazy afternoons on Puget Sound, but all we ever come back with are snapshots, good memories and a few extra pounds.  That’s never a bad thing and now the New York Times is telling me I had it right all along.

But that’s neither here nor now.  Here and now is all about madeleines.

When Martin and I were in Paris, I wanted to bring back an authentic French madeleine pan.  One with maximum street cred, so I valiantly searched for French bake shops where no one spoke English or even flea markets with no luck.  Too soon, the last day of our trip was upon us and I was pan-less so I made one last desperate attempt and dragged Martin to the French equivalent of Nordstrom’s and that’s when I discovered beautiful furniture (omg!  the prices!), Panetone mugs (omg!  the colors!) and nothing but silicon madeleine pans.  What the crap, French equivalent of Nordstrom’s!  Where are the French blue steel ones that Mark Bittman assures me is “the key to distinctive browning on the bottom and the crispy edge”?

Needless to say, I went home pan-less.

Funnily, we had madeleines as our “wedding cake” and yet I had never made a madeleine before in my life.  And it was looking like I never would, especially once Martin found out the only thing that made a madeleine different from everyday genoise cake besides their awesome bite-size-ness was the distinctive shell shape.  He just doesn’t understand – the shell shape is the key to the magic of madeleines!  Little genoise cakes … just not the same.

Then Leslie surprised me with one for my birthday and even made my first batch of madeleines with me.  I have the most amazing friends.  🙂

My medium cookie scoop plops the perfect amount of batter into each depression.  There are lots of reasons on why cookie scoops are useful (evenly baked cookies, etc.) so I won’t justify my kitchen gadget sickness here.  I definitely have gotten a lot of use out of mine.  I tried just now to think about what I use it for besides cookies and I don’t think I use it for anything else besides portioning batter (so cupcakes, cookies and madeleines).  Apparently, I just bake enough to make it worthwhile.

Our little secret?  I kind of want the mini version too.  I mean, everything is better in miniature, right?  Then I’d make these, because they are so cute, they just make me want to curl up into a ball.

For my first attempt, I used David Lebovitz’s recipe with baking powder.  I did not notice an overwhelmingly baking powder-y taste but I don’t think my palate is as sensitive as some (coughMichellecough).  I think they (and Michelle’s chocolate chip ones!) were delicious and I wish I could have one now.  I am looking forward to trying other madeleine recipes so please send me any favorites you may have!  The only downside is that I can’t control myself when they are around.  It’s true that they’re best the day of and I think I downed at least 4 shortly after this picture was taken.  And did you see the butter content?  Oh my.