In a small
saucepan, melt the butter and then keep it warm.
In a small bowl
whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of
mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugars at high speed until the
mixture is thick and pale in color (about 5-8
minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest (if using).
one-third of the
flour mixture over the whipped eggs and gently
fold in, using a
rubber spatula or
whisk. Sift and fold in half of the remaining flour, and then
the rest. (Do not over mix or the batter will deflate).
about 1 cup (240 ml) of the batter and fold it into the warm melted
butter. (This lightens the butter making it easier to fold into the
batter.) Then, with a spatula, gently
butter mixture completely into the egg batter. Cover
and refrigerate the batter for at least an hour or two, preferably overnight (can be
stored in the refrigerator for up to three days).
Preheat your oven
to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Using a pastry brush, generously grease the molds of two - 12 - 3 1/2 inch (8.5 cm)
Madeleine pans (preferably non stick) with very soft or melted butter. Then
dust the molds with flour,
tapping out the
excess flour. Refrigerate the pans until the butter hardens (about 10 minutes). (Make sure the pans are
well greased or the Madeleines will stick and be hard to remove.)
Drop a generous
tablespoonful (can use an ice cream scoop) of the batter into the center of each prepared mold, leaving the
batter mounded in the center. (This will result in the classic "humped or
appearance of the Madeleines.)
Madeleines for about 8 to 11 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the centers spring back
when lightly touched. (Do not overbake these cookies or they
will be dry.)
Remove the pans from the
oven and immediately tap each pan against the counter to release the
Madeleines. Place the Madeleines on
a wire rack to cool. Best served immediately but can be stored in an airtight
container at room temperature for a couple of days or frozen for up to
1 month. Dust with
powdered sugar before serving.
Makes about 24 - 3
1/2 inch (8,.5 cm) Madeleines.