October 5, 2010

Books I Love Giveaway: Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table & Spiced Madeleines {Naptime Everyday}

Spiced Madeleines

What’s Going on Today: Tropical storm gusting through town, indoors playing after school.

Naptime Goals: Put chicken thighs in to marinate, prepare measuring cups for Honey Spiced Madeleines.

Tonight’s Menu: Soyaki Chicken Thighs, jasmine rice, madeleines.

Parenting Lesson of the Day: Madeleine/Madeline, it really comes down to living in an old house in Paris covered in vines.

The first tropical storm of the season raged through Connecticut the other day. We were stuck inside for most of it, only venturing out for school and swimming lessons. I have to admit, I didn’t really mind the weather-induced seclusion. It gave me an excuse to stay inside and pay attention to my neglected household chores. Plus, it gave my daughter and I a chance to embark on a baking project. For inspiration I flipped open my newest favorite cookbook, Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan, to find a child-friendly goody we could make together. I love this new book so much that today I am giving away a copy! (Entry rules below).

While my daughter napped I prepared the ingredients in individual measuring cups. One of her favorite parts of “mixing” is adding the pre-measured ingredients to the bowl one by one and whisking them together. She is pretty good at not making a mess, unlike a year ago when our kitchen was coated in flour, and, generally speaking, the batters come out well. We loved this particular batter because it was very forgiving. My daughter took the phrase “fold in dry ingredients” a little too seriously and whipped everything together in a very ungentle manner. I’d beaten the eggs up to a nice light froth and they were beaten back down in the flour by the time she’d had her way with the spatula and mixing bowl. Luckily we weren’t trying to tackle a souffle, we have a few more years before that!

Around my French Table

I let the batter chill for the afternoon and baked them after dinner. Since I used a mini-madeleine pan the baking time was a brief 10 minutes. Then we had a large pan of warm madeleines to enjoy for dessert. The cute spicy cakes were the perfect foil for the cold rain pelting the windows. Each one was like eating a puff of warmth that made us feel cozy and warm all over.

Honey Spiced madeleines

I should note that I am giving away a copy of Dorie’s book by my own volition because it is that good and I want at least one of you to get it from me. Before you think “I can’t cook French food, it’s sooo hard,” remember that this is French food Dorie-style. The queen of easy, fun recipes that send you gleefully skipping to the kitchen when you realize they are actually achievable. This is the kind of French cookbook I happily rally around and think you will, too.

To Enter:

1) Leave a comment telling me about your favorite French dish.

2) Follow me on Facebook and sign-up for my Newsletter* (above left). *If you are already on FB and my newsletter just let me know when you leave the comment.

3) Contest runs from 10/5/10 through 10/12/10 at 11:59pm.

Recipe

Honey Spiced Madeleines

adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients

¾ c. all-purpose flour
½ t. baking powder
½ t. ground ginger
¼ t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. ground cloves
1/3 c. sugar
2 large eggs
2 T. honey
1 t. good quality vanilla extract
6 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Zest of ½ orange (or lemon, which we used because I was out of oranges)

Pinch of Kosher salt

Instructions

1. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, spices and salt.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add the zest and sugar. Rub them together a little bit with your fingers to release the fragrance. Add the eggs and beat until eggs and light and fluffy. About 3 minutes. Beat in honey and vanilla.

3. Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer and fold in the dry ingredients. Then, gently mix in the melted butter. Leave the batter in the bowl and press a slip of plastic wrap on top so that it is touching the entire top of the batter. Place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours or up to overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Butter a madeleine pan and fill each cup full. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until madeleines have risen slightly and are golden brown around the edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar to serve.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

These are great for serving with tea or coffee as is traditional in France. And Starbucks. I also think they are under-appreciated toddler snack food. The mini-madeleine pan we used served up perfect bite-size cakes. I didn’t stress out about her eating too much, especially since they contain a healthy dose of honey – an antioxidant I want her to have more of now that she is in school!

Naptime Stopwatch

Batter prep: 10 minutes

Naptime Reviews

I’ve made madeleines many times for my daughter and these are her favorite, so far. I only put a smidgen of cloves in since they are quite strong, choosing to play up the citrus and cinnamon instead. Do you think she wanted to share with me? Guess again!