Colder weather is the perfect time to break out your mixing bowls, baking pans, and whisks. There’s nothing like the aroma of something baking to make your home feel warm and welcoming, even on the chilliest winter day.
As much as we enjoyed indulging in all the sweet confections on hand during the holiday season, now that January’s here, we’re in the mood for a baked treat that’s a little less sweet.
These madeleines are the perfect way to bring together the sweet and savory sides of fall baking. They have a gorgeous, tender crumb, a lovely herbal tartness from the sumac powder, and a tickle of heat from cayenne pepper that’s sprinkled on them before they go into the oven.
They’ll take you less than half an hour to make, so you can enjoy them as an impromptu snack with an apéro, or bake up a batch to have with a hearty cold weather soup. We also like to nibble on these alongside a steaming mug of tea or fresh cup of coffee.
However you enjoy them, we know that they’ll become a favorite during the brisk winter days ahead.
Madeleines with Sumac and Cayenne
Yields about 2 dozen
6 oz melted butter
4 eggs at room temperature
½ cup sugar
4½ tbsp light corn syrup
1 scant tsp baking powder
1 cup + 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp sumac powder
1 tsp salt
cayenne pepper for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Add the eggs, sugar, and corn syrup to a stand mixer or a large bowl. Beat till well-combined but not frothy with the whisk attachment or with a hand-held whisk or beater.
Add the warm butter, and mix to incorporate.
Add the flour, salt, and sumac. Mix until well combined and there are no lumps in the batter. Be careful not to mix too much, though. This will activate the gluten in the batter and make your madeleines tough.
Fix a wide nozzle on a plastic pastry bag. Twist the bottom of the bag to close it and prevent the batter from leaking out of it. Stand the bag in a large measuring cup or French press carafe with the open ends folded out over the edge of the container. Using a plastic spatula, scrape the batter into the piping bag, pushing the batter to the bottom of the bag so that it is all near the nozzle of the bag. Pleat the top of the bag closed and rest the batter in the fridge at least half an hour.
Grease a madeleine pan with softened butter. Dust with all-purpose flour and knock out the excess.
Pipe the batter into the madeleine mold, filling each form about three-quarters full.
Dust each madeleine with cayenne pepper.
Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, till the madeleines are golden brown and have a slight bump.
Let cool for about a minute before unmolding.