Monday, April 5, 2010

Margarine Madeleines

Hello! I hope yous had a nice weekend. Mine was good, thanks. I didn't end up making strawberry shortcake, but my grandmother had all the ingredients on hand for Coconut Madeleines, except for butter, so that was that. Note the pale complexion that is exclusive to products made with this butter substitute. They were still a treat, light and spongy.

They are not hard to make, just hard to get out of the pan. If you are a detail-oriented person you will enjoy the challenge. If you are not, then make sure to butter and flour the pans thoroughly.

This is what came before the cookies and a cup of tea:

-Roasted Pork with Potatoes served with homemade Mustard-Horseradish-Honey sauce
-Succotash (I've never had this dish of lima beans and corn outside of this region and I don't plan to, but it is delicious.)
-Coleslaw with Apples

That was on Sunday. On Saturday night it was dinner at Tony's in Atlantic City. I must have been 12 years old the last time I was out to eat with my grandparents. And I'm pretty sure we went to Tony's Baltimore Grill. You like their food because you are told to like their food, and only then do you grow to like it on your own accord. It's an institution - a place that stood before the casinos came to shoo people off the beaches and usher them inside. Now it caters to the new clientele with a "seat yourself" sign and a bar in the back that is open 24 hours. But, my grandparents still make it in for special occasions. When you are in their company the only thing you are allowed to order is Spaghetti with Red Clam Sauce which is okay because it is probably the only thing worth ordering. Each booth has its own juke box, and if you are as lucky as we were, the booth behind you will play tunes loud enough for you to enjoy for free! Our waitress, Tina, was a nice and abrupt young women with tattoos on her forearms and a tight blond ponytail. She sort of flung the dishes of pasta at us, but in an unoffensive way. She said words like "yous" in reference to our table, and took a cigarette break after our food had arrived. All of these elements added up to a wonderfully quintessential Tony's night.

Stop in next time you're in Atlantic City. Just bring a friend.

Here is the recipe for the Coconut Madeleines:

1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter, to grease the pans
3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Confectioners' sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Thoroughly grease and flour the madeleine pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, (I used the whisk attachments), beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light yellow and fluffy. Add the butter and mix. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, and stir into the batter with a rubber spatula. Stir in the coconut.

With a soup spoon, (this is Barefoot Contessa being so exact, not me) drop the batter into the pans, filling each shell almost full. Bake the madeleines for 10 to 12 minutes, until they spring back when pressed. Tap the madeleines out onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper (did not do that) and allow to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

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