We are introduced, at an early age, to the sweet wondernous of a cookie. From teething cookies to soothe the swollen aching gums of incoming incisors, onto animal crackers purchased in rectangular-shaped boxes bearing a string handle for easy toting by little fingers. Deciding which part of the animal should be eaten first-the trunk of the elephant or the tail of a lion-depended on how hungry one was. Savor each and every one or simply gobble them down as fast as possible.

My next cookie memory would be the ever famous, possibly all-time favorite, the chocolate chip cookie. There is nothing better than to bite into a round circle of baked dough sprinkled with gooey melt-in-your-mouth chocolate. A chocolate chip cookie can dry tears, heal broken hearts, mend scraped knees and elbows and solve sibling arguments. Most of the problems in the world could likely be solved by a properly baked, right out of the oven, chocolate chip cookie. The power of a cookie is underestimated.

I will attempt in the next 365 days to prepare and comment on a year’s worth of different cookies-one for each day. My goal is to share with others my extreme love of cookies-baking them and especially eating them! Feel free to send me your favorite recipe, your earliest cookie memories, or how cookies may have influenced your life. Cookies Rule!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cookie Recipe #148 - Orange-Walnut Madeleines

Every bite of one of these cake-like cookies is filled with orange and nutty goodness.

Ingredients: 2 eggs, divided, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled, 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel, 1 tablespoon orange juice, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/8 teaspoon baking soda, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts, powdered sugar for sprinkling.

Grease and flour (or spray) 2 madeleine pans (or reuse one, allowing to cool between batches). Toast walnuts in small pan on top of stove with a little olive oil over medium heat. Stir occasionally until lightly browned (will burn quickly, so keep on eye on them). Allow to cool before using.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until combined. Add melted butter, orange peel, orange juice, and vanilla; mix well. In a small bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cardamom, baking soda, and salt. Sift one-fourth of this mixture over egg yolk mixture; gently fold in by hand with wooden spoon. Fold in remaining flour mixture, one-fourth at a time. Fold in walnuts. Gently stir in egg whites until thoroughly combined.

Spoon batter into prepared pans, filling each mold about half full. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden and tops spring back when touched lightly. Cool in pans on wire racks for 1 minute. Using the point of a knife, loosen each cookie from mold; invert cookies onto wire racks. Remove pans and allow cookies to cool completely. Before serving, sprinkle powdered sugar over tops of cookies.

Makes 24 madeleines.

"Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Cookies", Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, IA, 2003.

Cookies Rule!!!

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