Browned Butter Lime Madeleines


I went food shopping in a tired daze this week and came back to my apartment with limes instead of cucumbers. I recall standing in front of the meyer lemons and limes, thinking, “Aha! I really need to hydrate myself more. I’ll get some cucumber and have cucumber water like in fancy restaurants. I’ll just grab these limes here.”


The next day I pulled out a pitcher to make myself some cucumber water. All I saw in the fridge were limes. And I paused. Limes do not equal cucumbers. I guess that’s what you get for grocery shopping sleepily.


Happily, this story does not end with me sad and confused at my kitchen table drinking plain old water. It ends with me contentedly eating some untraditional madeleines (with a side of plain old water).


Limes are a perfect addition to my favorite easy cake-slash-cookie recipe. And when I glanced at my madeleine recipe and remembered it called for melted butter, I thought to myself (in a considerably more logical fashion than I had been thinking to myself in the grocery store), “Why not brown this butter instead of merely melting it and see what happens?”

IMG_3925 IMG_3937

What happens, friends, is good. It’s very good. It is so good that even my resident furry sous chefs tried to get in on the action.


These are just as delicious in tiny miniature madeleine form as they are in relatively giant normal-sized madeleine form. The lightness of the lime, not nearly as harsh a citrus flavor as lemons, my usual summer stand-by, give the sweetness of the madeleines a little punch. The browned butter is a quiet, subtle backdrop.


So in the end, I have 22 madeleines and no cucumber water. Which gets me thinking, I wonder what cucumber madeleines would be like? (Would that even be possible?) I’ll be sure to report the next time I go to the grocery store with limes on my shopping list and return with cucumbers.

Browned Butter Lime Madeleines
Adapted from Nicole’s recipe
Makes 20 mini madeleines and 12 full-size madeleines

8 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
Zest from 1 lime (at least 1/2 tsp, to preference)
1/2 tsp freshly-squeezed lime juice

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Heat until golden-brown and fragrant; remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a mini madeleine pan and a full-size madeleine pan.

Sift together flour and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat eggs, lime zest, and lime juice on high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Beat about five minutes, until thick.

Gently fold in flour mixture, then melted butter. Mix with a spatula until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the cups of the pans, filling about 3/4 full. Bake full-size madeleines for 8-10 minutes and mini madeleines for 6-8 minutes, until edges are light brown. Cool in the pan about 1-2 minutes. Loosen cookies with a knife, then invert pan on a rack. When cool, sprinkle tops with powdered sugar.

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