Dragon Scale Madeleines

Posted March 27, 2014 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Book of the Month Recipes / 5 Comments

Today, we reach the end of our Hobbit journey. It’s been a fun ride: we’ve shared nut bread with Beorn the bear-man, supped on woodland fowl with the elves, and even had escargot with the friendly thrush. But the party ain’t over yet–we haven’t even had dessert! Luckily, Smaug’s been kind enough to provide it for us.

Dragons aren’t exactly known for their hospitality, Smaug least of all. Still, Tolkien’s description of the ruthless dragon’s red and gold scales inspired me. After all the fuss Smaug made about being woken up from a nap (drama queen much?), I figure he owes Middle Earth a dessert, so I developed this recipe for dragon scale madeleines.

My original plan was to use a red velvet madeleine recipe, but I had trouble finding one that didn’t overly brown on the scalloped side. The recipe below is one I adapted from a plain madeleine recipe by Better Homes and Gardens. I added a little Wonderland flair to make it my own, and they turned out delicious: delicate, airy, everything you’d want in a madeleine.

If only real dragons were so dainty, they might not cause so much trouble…

Dragon Scale Madeleines

There he lay, a vast red-golden dragon, fast asleep; thrumming came from his jaws and nostrils, and wisps of smoke, but his fires were low in slumber. Beneath him, under all his limbs and his huge coiled tail, and about him on all sides stretching away across the unseen floors, lay countless piles of precious things, gold wrought and unwrought, gems and jewels, and silver red-stained in the ruddy light.
— The Hobbit

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp red food coloring
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • a little over 1/4 cup all purpose flour (I measured it out to about 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp)
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, cooled
  • 2 tsp golden sprinkles (pictured here)
  • Makes 1 dozen madeleines

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Before you start, preheat your oven to 375° and melt the butter in the microwave (this will give it time to cool before you use it). Lightly grease a madeleine pan with cooking spray (greasing the pan with butter and flour can cause extra browning, which you’ll want to avoid when trying to achieve a bright color).
  2. Combine the egg, vanilla, and food coloring in a standing mixer, beating on high for about 4 minutes.

    Beauty!
  3. While you keep the beater running, add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time (you might have to stop to scrape the bowl a few times). After all the powdered sugar has been added, beat the mixture for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth and has the consistency of cake batter.
  4. Stir up the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and add this to the egg mixture about 1/4 at a time, stirring gently with a spoon or spatula. Stir in the butter in the same manner. Make sure the butter is stirred well after each addition, or it can begin to separate from the rest of the batter.

    Check out that velvety texture 🙂
  5. Since Smaug’ scales are described as being red and gold, I decided incorporating gold sprinkles into the batter would add both color and a fun texture/flavor element. These are your last addition to the batter, so stir those sprinkles in and pour the batter into the madeleine pan, filling each mold about 3/4 full. For extra golden sparkle, you can shake some sprinkles into the bottom of the molds before you add the batter.

    I did half the cookies with gold pearls and the other half with glitter gold. The pearls were most visible and gave the best color, but the glitter gold gave a shimmer to the inside of the cookie and a little bit of crunch. Conclusion: glitter gold has its merits, but I like the pearls best.
  6. Bake them for 6-8 minutes, until the dough springs back when you tap it with your finger. Be sure not to leave them in too long–they burn quickly!
  7. Allow the madeleines to cool in the pan for a minute or two, then flip the pan over onto a cooling rack. They should pop right out, but if they don’t, loosen the edges with a butter knife and lever each cookie out of its mold gently before transferring them to the cooling rack. Let them cool for 10-15 minutes.
  8. All done! You can store them in a sealed container for future snacking or enjoy them right away while reading about Smaug in The Hobbit! 🙂

    One of the wonderful things about madeleines is their versatility. I’ve seen chocolate, green tea, and even savory madeleines. It was really easy for me to alter a basic recipe to suit my needs, and you can do the same! 🙂

 

 

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Here’s the Yummly printable!

Dragon Scale Madeleines

Makes 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp red food coloring
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • a little over 1/4 cup all purpose flour (I measured it out to about 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp)
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, cooled
  • 2 tsp golden sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Before you start, preheat your oven to 375° and melt the butter in the microwave (this will give it time to cool before you use it). Lightly grease a madeleine pan with cooking spray (greasing the pan with butter and flour can cause extra browning, which you'll want to avoid when trying to achieve a bright color).
  2. Combine the egg, vanilla, and food coloring in a standing mixer, beating on high for about 4 minutes.
  3. While you keep the beater running, add the powdered sugar a little bit at a time (you might have to stop to scrape the bowl a few times). After all the powdered sugar has been added, beat the mixture for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth and has the consistency of cake batter.
  4. Stir up the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and add this to the egg mixture about 1/4 at a time, stirring gently with a spoon or spatula. Stir in the butter in the same manner. Make sure the butter is stirred well after each addition, or it can begin to separate from the rest of the batter.
  5. Since Smaug' scales are described as being red and gold, I decided incorporating gold sprinkles into the batter would add both color and a fun texture/flavor element. These are your last addition to the batter, so stir those sprinkles in and pour the batter into the madeleine pan, filling each mold about 3/4 full. For extra golden sparkle, you can shake some sprinkles into the bottom of the molds before you add the batter.
  6. Bake them for 6-8 minutes, until the dough springs back when you tap it with your finger. Be sure not to leave them in too long---they burn quickly!
  7. Allow the madeleines to cool in the pan for a minute or two, then flip the pan over onto a cooling rack. They should pop right out, but if they don't, loosen the edges with a butter knife and lever each cookie out of its mold gently before transferring them to the cooling rack. Let them cool for 10-15 minutes.
  8. All done! You can store them in a sealed container for future snacking or enjoy them right away while reading about Smaug in The Hobbit!
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