I’ve been on a huge pistachio and almond butter kick lately. I’ve been spreading the stuff on apples, rice cakes, celery– just about anything crunchy and healthy. I love these two nut butters because they’re made of 100% nuts, they’re a great source of protein, and they remind me of my younger days spooning peanut butter straight from the tub without having a care in the world (guilty: I’ve done this with almond butter). But when I was browsing my Thomas Keller Bouchon Bakery cookbook, I couldn’t help but be tempted to make pistachio madeleines. The recipe calls for pistachio paste, which is a little more concentrated than regular pistachio butter, but I thought I’d try my luck with what I had on hand, and boy, did these babies come out delicious. Let’s start with the basics, shall we?
What is a Madeleine?
No, she’s not your favorite British cartoon character, Madeleines are cake-like cookies baked in a madeleine pan, which each mold resembles a sea shell. They’re light, pillowy, not too sweet and down-right delicious. Traditional Madeleines have a buttery, vanilla-y flavor, but the addition of pistachio butter (which I had never had before) gives them a nutty, earthy flavor and bit of a heartier texture.
Where can I find pistachio butter?
Working at a food magazine has its perks, one of them being, well, free food! I was lucky enough to score this jar of pistachio butter at work after we had conducted our “Best Nut Butters Taste Test.” However, you can find this stuff in most grocery stores these days, but when all else fails, I’d suggest Whole Foods.
Where can I find Madeleine pans?
Any home goods store (Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, etc.). They look like this:
If possible, get a non-stick one. It will make your life a lot easier.
Okay time to get to the (very specific) recipe.
1/4 cup + 2 1/2 tbsp AP flour
3/8 tsp baking powder
1/78 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup + 1 tsp eggs (it’s a little more than one egg, beaten)
3 tbsp + 2 tsp granulated sugar
1.9 ounces unsalted butter (it’s a little less than 4 tbsp)
2 tsp dark brown sugar
1 1/8 tsp honey
3 tbsp pistachio butter
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
Combine the eggs and granulated sugar and mix with a handheld or stand mixer on medium-high for about one minute to dissolve the sugar. Increase the speed to high and whip for about 4 minutes, until the batter has doubles in volume and has lightened in color.
Heat the butter, brown sugar and honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar, about 1 minute. Remove fro the heat.
Gently fold half the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, then fold in the remaining dry ingredients until just combined. Pour the warm butter mixture over the batter and fold until the batter is smooth.
In a small bowl, microwave the pistachio butter for 15-30 seconds until it has loosened up a bit. Add 1/4 of the madeleine batter to the pistachio butter to lighten it, then fold in the remaining batter. Cover your bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, and up to one day.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a paper towel, rub room temperature butter into each of the madeleine molds and freeze the pan to harden the butter.
Spoon about 1 generous tablespoon of batter into each mold, spreading it so that it covers most of each mold. Bake for 7-9 minutes, keeping a close eye. The cookies will be done when a toothpick comes out clean when stuck into the middle. Let sit in molds for a few minutes then place them on a cooling rack.
The cookies are just delicious on their own, but if you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth just a liiiiitle bit more, you can glaze them like I did:
Just combine 1 cup powdered sugar with 1-2 tablespoons milk of your choice (I used vanilla almond milk) until all the sugar has dissolved. Once the cookies are cool enough to handle, spoon the glaze over them and return them to the cooling rack to let the extra glaze drip off.
I wanted to get more adventurous so I dipped a few of the madeleines in Nutella glaze (YOLO). The nuttiness of the cookies pairs perfectly with the chocolate-hazel-nuttiness of the Nutella. As Rach would say, YUM-O.