Classic madeleines -- those perfectly delicate shell-shaped cookies -- are flavored with lemon or orange zest, but variations include chocolate, cocoa, almond paste, or nuts. Baked in scallop-shaped molds, these cookies are tender with a tight-grained interior and a delicate crust.
- Yield: Makes 24 large cookies
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted
- 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
- 1 Pinch of salt
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a small saucepan, melt butter until light amber in color.
Brush madeleine pan with melted butter, and dust lightly with flour. Place hazelnuts and 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, and process until very fine.
Combine hazelnut mixture, 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl. Add egg whites and vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add melted browned butter, and whisk until incorporated. With a tablespoon, fill molds evenly, about 3/4 of the way. Transfer to oven, and bake 14 to 18 minutes. Cool 2 minutes, and remove from pan. Cool completely on a rack, ridged side up. Dust cookies with confectioners' sugar.