Pumpkin Browned-Butter Madeleines

This weekend our little village had the annual trick or treating for the neighborhood children.  Andy carved some pumpkins and I stocked up on candy (trying very hard not to eat too many Swedish Fish).  It’s been a little cooler than usual for this time of year and most of the trees have shed their leaves.  It feels like it’s time to start the holiday baking.  But first, there’s a pumpkin-inspired treat to share.  These lovely little madeleines combine warm spices, vanilla, and pumpkin in the usual genoise-type batter for a light and tender cookie.  A garnish of spiced sugar and chopped pecans add some crunch and a chewy-sweet edge to the madeleines.  What could be nicer with a cup of tea or some warm cider when you need an afternoon snack?  The recipe is from one of my favorite baking blogs, Pastry Studio.  Ms. Gayle Gonzales is the talented and creative force behind a most wonderful blog site.  I have taken the liberty of browning the butter for my version of Gayle’s madeleines; other than that, the credit is all hers.  Enjoy!

   

Pumpkin Browned-Butter Madeleines
(makes about 20 madeleines)
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of ground ginger
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) butter
2 eggs
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1/4 cup pumpkin
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of allspice
pinch of ground cloves
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Generously butter a Madeleine pan.  Dust with flour and knock out the excess.  Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices together in a small bowl.  Melt and brown the butter (Cook until the butter stops foaming and the milk solids drop to the bottom of the pan, forming browned bits.  Scrape into a small bowl to cool).  Beat eggs and both sugars until thickened and the batter falls in ribbons when the whisk is lifted, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Add the vanilla and pumpkin and blend.  Take the bowl off the mixer and fold in the flour mixture by hand in 3 additions.  Fold in the cooled, browned butter in thirds and mix thoroughly.  In a small bowl combine the 2 tablespoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, allspice and cloves.  Portion the batter into the Madeleine pan, filling each depression about 3/4 full.  Dust generously with spiced sugar and sprinkle with chopped pecans.  Bake until the cakes spring back when gently touched and the edges are darkened, about 11 to 13 minutes.  Allow to cool for 1 minute then loosen the cakes with a small spatula and transfer them to a rack to cool completely.  Repeat with the remaining batter.  Madeleines are best enjoyed the same day they are baked.
(minimally adapted from “Pastry Studio”)

        

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