Contributed by: NAPSA
(NAPSI) - Madeleines are little shell-shaped cakes that are one of the glories of French baking. Light, delicate, and buttery, they are surprisingly easy to prepare. To prepare the following recipe, you will need two madeleine pans each with 12 cavities. If you only have one pan or your molds are smaller, you can keep reusing the same pan. These bake fairly quickly. If you don't have madeleine pans, try using mini-muffin pans, the madeleines won't look the same, but they will taste as good.
Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, by hand, whisk together the eggs and salt until frothy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in the sugar in a stream, then the orange zest and orange flower water, if used.
Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour, then the melted butter.
Use a large soup spoon to fill the cavities in the molds about 2/3 full.
Bake the madeleines for about 20 minutes, until they are well risen, firm, and a golden color.
Remove the pans from the oven and unmold the madeleines immediately onto racks to cool. If you want to reuse the pan, wash, then butter and flour it again.
Dust the madeleines lightly with confectioners' sugar, just before serving.
Store the cooled madeleines between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover.
Serving Size: Makes 24 Shell-Shaped Cookies
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