Anyone who has traveled to France will tell you the Madeleines are worth the trip alone. Dense, buttery, scalloped-shaped tea cakes with a nutty, crisp outside are legendary both as a snack and in French literature (Marcel Proust). My version uses fragrant and rich creme brulee sugar from S&T. They are the Madeleines of my son’s childhood. Savor them with your favorite S&T tea blend on a rainy day.
Recipe for Creme Brulee Madeleines
3 eggs, room temperature 1 and 1/4 stick of butter, melted then cooled 1/3 cup S&T creme brulee sugar 1/3 cup sugar 1 cup of flour 1/4 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp almond extract zest of 1/2 orange 2-3 tbsp orange juice
Combine 2 beaten eggs, both sugars, almond and vanilla extracts. Incorporate flour and baking powder. Beat the batter for a good 10 minutes to create elasticity.. Add the 3rd beaten egg, orange juice and zest. Melt the butter to the boiling point (brown butter) and cool to room temp (reserving 2-3 tbsp). Add the cooled liquid butter to the batter. Coat the shells of the Madeleine pan with the reserved butter. Chill the pans and the batter (covered) in the fridge for at least an hour (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drop batter by rounded tablespoon into each shell of the pan (it will bake to fill out the shape). Bake for 13-15 minutes on middle rack of the oven, until the edges are nutty brown and the “hump” appears.
Happy Crepes Day! Chandeleur (from Latin candela or candle), the Feast of Light, is one of the oldest French traditions. It occurs exactly every February 2nd (40 days after Christmas). Candles are lit, crepes are served and people wait to see if the hibernating bear has seen its shadow to determine if winter will subside or last longer. Sounds a bit like Groundhogs Day in the US, no? Chandeleur is also a religiious holiday for Christians since 472.Crepes have actually been cooked since 7000 BC — although too bad they did not have butter, Nutella or S&T flavored sugars then! Legend has it that crepes, being round, yellow and warm right from the crepe pan, evoke solid images of the sun. So let’s hope spring is on the way and fire up that crepe pan! This crepes version has a cognac-laced, apricot jam filling and a luscious whipped cream topping fragrant with S&T lavender sugar and cardamom. For extra luck and prosperity, make sure you hold a golden chocolate coin in your other hand wihle you count and flip the crepe…..et un, et deux et trois!
Recipe for Apricot Crepes with Lavender Cardamom Cream
1 cup of flour 2/3 cup milk, room temp 2/3 cup water, room temp 3 eggs, beaten and room temp 1/4 tsp salt 5 tbsp melted butter, cooled
Combine flour, milk, water, eggs, salt and 3 tbsp of melted butter. Whisk rapidly until all incorporated and somewhat frothy. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Heat a 10-inch non-stick skillet with 1 tsp of remaining melted butter on medium-high heat. Pour 2-3 tbsp pf batter in middle and tilt pan to swirl it to cover the full skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown on bottom. Flip and cook for 1 minute until golden. Set aside on a round plate. Repeat and stack the crepes on top of each other. Makes about 10 crepes. Apricot Crepes with Lavender Cardamom Cream
Cognac-Laced Apricot Sauce 1 jar of Bonne Maman apricot preserves 1 cup boiling hot water 2 tbsp cognac
Whisk to combine. Spread 2 tbsp sauce on each crepe, fold in half then again into a quarter Drizzle each crepe with honey.
Lavender-Cardamom Creme 8 oz whiiping cream 2-3tbsp S&T lavender sugar 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp ground cardamom or black seeds of 6-8 cardamom pods
Whip cream on high speed with hand blender intil peaks form. Top crepes with a dollop of whipped cream.