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Melayne Seahawk, Domestic Goddess

Well, in training, anyways. But yes, recipes!

1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (you can use all-purpose, but sift it twice; make sure to measure after sifting)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (leave out if using salted butter)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk (save white if making meringues the same day)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Bring all ingredients to room temperature. Preheat oven to 450°. Grease madeleine pans with butter. This can also be done with little muffin pans, but the madeleine pans give the cookies their distinctive shape.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt and return to sifter. Sifting is very messy, so make sure you have a lot of clear space. Also, it helps to rest the sifter on a piece of paper towel or something so the contents don't escape all over the counter.

Put butter in a bowl and beat the crap out of it with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It helps to put the bowl on the stove top while mashing the butter; the heat from the oven warms it a bit. Make sure it is completely melted before adding below.

Leave butter on stove top and beat eggs, extra yolk, sugar, and vanilla in large bowl with a mixer until thick and pale yellow. If you're unsure of your egg-cracking skills (like me *facepalm*), crack eggs into a cup and then pour them into the bowl. Always remember to wash your hands when working with eggs! They are little salmonella bombs, and while they don't explode, they're still evil.

Sift flour mixture into egg mixture and fold in with your hand-dandy spatula. Scrape butter into egg/flour mixture and fold until uniform (it will be thick and lemon-colored when you're done). Let stand for half an hour.

Fill molds three quarters of the way and put in oven for 8-10 minutes, until golden with golden brown edges. Set aside any extra batter. It's important to not fill the molds all the way, else the cookies come out round *facepalm*. Also, keep a close eye on them when they're baking; they go from golden brown to just plain brown remarkably quickly. Remove from molds immediately with a butter knife or fork and put on rack to cool. If you've got extra batter, wipe down the pans, regrease, and make another batch.

Makes about two dozen, depending on how full you make the molds. Eat them that day or store them in an airtight container for an additional two.

Charlotte's Forgotten Cookies
2 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of "stuff" (see below)

Preheat oven. Whip egg whites until foamy. Add sugar and beat until stiff; when you lift the mixer out of the bowl, the whites and sugar should stand up a bit on their own. And salt and vanilla and beat some more. Fold in the "stuff" (chocolate chips, nut pieces, candied fruit bits, etc). Drop by tsps onto greased cookie sheets. Put in oven and then turn oven off. Allow cookies to stay in oven until cookie sheets can be picked up bare-handed.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can put it in the oven and leave it there. It's a great last dish to make when cooking, since you can use the heat from whatever you cooked last. You can leave the cookies in the oven overnight if you want, depending on time.

Makes about 2 dozen. Store in airtight container up to four days.



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