Like little cakes with a citrus perfume, these European darlings are equally delightful as a light dessert with fresh fruit or on their own at teatime.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted, plus more for pans
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted (not self-rising)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons total)
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two madeleine pans; set aside. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl; set aside.
Put eggs, egg yolks, granulated sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and thickened, about 5 minutes. Mix in butter. Using a spatula, fold flour mixture into egg mixture. Let rest 30 minutes.
Pour batter into buttered pans, filling the molds 3/4 full. Bake cookies, rotating pans halfway through, until edges are crisp and golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Let cookies cool slightly in pans on wire racks. Invert, and unmold. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.