Browned Butter Lime Madeleines

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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.”

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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.

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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).

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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?”

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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.

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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.

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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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