Let's talk about my mother-in-law.
Well, let's not call her by that name, which gives some readers shutters and bad connotations. Let's call her K. I did not meet my future mother-in-law right away when Hubs and I started dating; in fact, it took almost a year, not until his college graduation, for me to finally meet her. *
* In his defense, his parents lived about 200 miles from the college we both attended; not to mention, Hubs is quiet and private to almost a fault. Don't get me wrong, it's a valuable trait for a person to have (and one I share with him), but it is also somewhat of a curse.
Even now, we live a 3-hour drive from my in-laws. They are wonderful people, but because of the distance we don't get to see them as often as we (or they) would like. Even with the distance, though, I've been able to connect with that smart, sweet, soft-spoken woman who is my mother-in-law.
She's the one who immediately gives me a tight hug at the start and end of every visit to see them. The one who sits by me at family gatherings, fills me in on their family history, tells me how things are going around the town they live in. When we got married, the only time I almost cried was right before the ceremony, when she came over to calm me and tell me how beautiful I looked. And on a superficial note, I wanted a KitchenAid Mixer, bad. Have for awhile now. She wanted to get me one, and after seeing our new home, surprised me with the perfect one: almond in color, to match all our other appliances. What would I do without that woman, I tell you ;)
So, K.'s the one who I thought of the entire time I made these little confections, and the one I think of every time I bust out the KitchenAid mixer (which, as my fellow bakers can agree, is done pretty darn often). Thanks K. for everything you've done for me :) It's warming and comforting to know you're thinking of me, too, in those odd moments of any day.
On to the Madeleine recipe: these suckers were good, the rosemary flavor was faint and blended so well with the orange. The recipe is a keeper, and for sure I'll make these cookies again and again.
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. rosemary; keep on the stem (2-3 stems)
3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/3 c. sugar
Grated zest of half an orange
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp.. honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven at 400 F.
Melt the butter with the rosemary in a small saucepan, remove from heat, and let sit for 15 minutes to infuse. Strain/discard the rosemary stems from the butter.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Working with a stand mixer and whisk attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and orange zest until pale and thick, about 3 minutes. (NOTE: I like to rub the orange zest into the sugar before adding the eggs, to better capture the flavor.) Add the honey and vanilla and beat for one minute more. Switch to a rubber spatula and incorporate the dry ingredients. Fold in the rosemary butter. Refrigerate the batter at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. (helps to create the bumps characteristic of madeleines).
Butter and flour your madeleines molds and divide the batter evenly. My molds are larger than the average molds, so I got 6 big cookies.
Bake 12-14 minutes, until they are golden brown.