I created this decadent, booze-laced Lemon Lavender Madeleines recipe (aka my vodka cookies) to celebrate the aphrodisiacs of alcohol and lavender. (It also celebrates the opulence of butter…lots of butter!) The cookie recipe is the sweet finish to a larger story and romantic dinner menu I wrote no cooking with alcohol. Here’s the whole story I call “Hitting the Sauce,” along with links to all of the other recipes.
Nothing is more evocative of feelings of comfort and happiness than the aroma of butter-based cookies baking in the oven.
For this version, dried lavender adds a delicate floral aroma. It also adds a compelling hint of herbaceousness. It definitely makes these cookies more complex in flavor than your average Madeleine.
The lemon juice and zest add a spark of sour to play against the batter’s sweetness. And I think it makes these cookies unforgettable.
What are Madeleine cookies?
If you’ve never made Madeleines, you’re in for a treat. These small, shell-shaped cookies originated in the French town of Commercy. Although the true inventor is not known, many culinary authorities credit a baker named Madeleine Palmier as the creator of the cookie.
This lavender Madeleine recipe does require a special pan. These metal molds with their scallop-shaped indentations are sold at cookware stores and online cookware retailers.
Key tips for how to make Madeleines
When you first see Madeleines, you might feel intimidated about making this cookie. But the process is very much like making butter-based batter for cupcakes.
As you can see from the recipe, the batter is loose, not like a stiff oatmeal cookie dough.
Eliminate air bubbles
The only tricky part is smoothing the batter in the pans to ensure you don’t have large air bubbles. (These can wreck the texture of your Madeleine cookies.) But if you follow the technique in my Madeleines recipe below, you won’t have any problems making beautiful–and tasty–lavender-flavored cookies.
Glaze these Lavender Madeleines with vodka and fresh lemon
My favorite part of this cookie recipe, what I think sets it apart from other Madeleine recipes, is the vodka lemon glaze. The glaze is my boozy “upgrade” from the lemon glaze you might know from pound cake recipes because I use vodka as the liquid.
How to make the glaze alcohol-free
The cookies only call for one tablespoon of vodka for the full batch, so you don’t have to worry about the alcohol impairing your senses. However, if you want to avoid alcohol, you can make the glaze with additional lemon juice and omit the vodka.
Lavender Madeleines with Vodka Lemon Glaze
- 2 cups cake flour not self-rising
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp plus freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp dried lavender finely chopped
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter softened
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups sugar
- 6 large eggs
for the glaze:
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon vodka
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 325°and generously butter and flour a madeleine pan (preferably non-stick), knocking out excess flour.
- In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, zest, and lavender.
- In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter, lemon juice, and sugar until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and add flour mixture, beating until just combined.
- Spoon some of batter into prepared madeleine molds and with a spatula smooth surfaces, scraping back and forth over molds and returning excess batter to bowl. (This will eliminate any air pockets and ensure that molds are not overfilled.) Wipe excess batter from edges of pan.
- Bake madeleines in middle of oven 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges are browned and tops are golden. Loosen edges and transfer madeleines to a rack set over a baking dish. Make more madeleines in pan, cleaned, buttered, and floured, with remaining batter in same manner. Cool the cookies thoroughly before glazing.
to make the glaze:
- Mix together powdered sugar, vodka and lemon juice until fully incorporated. Drizzle glaze over completely cooled madeleines.
Love Diane’s Lemon Lavender Madeleines recipe? Get her cookbook!
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