The weather forecast today finally predicted our first snowfall. It is so rare to see snow here in the South, and often I miss the white winters I grew up with in Canada. In a place where snowfall is normal, the only time we would have a day off from school was if we were expecting freezing rain. In contrast, if there is snow forecasted here in Tennessee, without fail, the grocery stores will sell out of bread, milk and eggs.
Up North, we would always take full advantage of the snowy weather – we cross country skied, went sledding and tubing at our local golf course and built snow sculptures (my favorite was the giant cat I built in our front yard - it so big I could sit on it). As I grew older, the harsh winters lost their luster. It was mainly because I had a 45-minute commute to work, and spending an extra 30 minutes warming the car and scraping off ice started to wear me out. That was then. Today, I see the snow as such a fun opportunity to get outside when it's cold. It would be much easier to get the kids outside if we had some of that cool white stuff to play with. While we waited for the snowflakes to come, we enjoyed ourselves by picking off any hanging icicles we could find, and saved them in the freezer.
I recently experimented with making snowflake madeleines. A French pastry chef might argue that what I made were not real madeleines because I used a silicone snowflake mold instead of a madeleine pan. I'll venture to say that they indeed, are real madeleines, since the recipe hasn't been changed :-) The mold only needs to be 1/2 full, and they will puff up beautifully, just as they do in a standard pan. The shape is fun and festive, and perfect for the season. You can add sprinkles or glaze, or just dust them with powdered sugar. Feel free to try making them in other shaped pans!
Recipe adapted from Vanilla Madeleines, posted June 9, 2014.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 6 large eggs, room temp
- 1 cup cane sugar
- 2 tbsp packed light-brown sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more, softened for pan
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp honey
- 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Whisk together eggs and sugars with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, approximately 10 minutes. Sift flour mixture over top in 2 additions, folding in after each addition. Fold in melted butter in 2 additions, then honey and vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let batter stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Generously butter silicone pan(s) using a pastry brush.
- Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, pour batter into molds, filling each about half full. Bake on middle rack until pale gold, 8 to 11 minutes. Immediately shake madeleines out and cool. Rebutter mold. Repeat step with remaining batter. Dust cooled madeleines with powdered sugar.