Sweet Melissa Baking Book

While going through my Google Reader one day I ran into gorgeous looking cashew bars on Bake or Break. I notice that they were from the Sweet Melissa Baking Book. Oh my, how good those looked. And then all I could think of was, where is my copy? Hurry up stupid mail.
Then, as if someone was listening, there in my mail that day was my copy. Ah.
I quickly thumbed through it as I do with all cookbooks and I write down right away what sticks out at me. Those cashew bars(Butterscotch Cashew Bars to be exact) did. I will make them. Granola Breakfast Cookies, which I will be making next.  Bee Stings which are Melissa’s answer to doughnuts…she has no fryer at her bakery. The Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake with Blackberry Glaze sounded very Pacific Northwest so I flagged that one too. But the one I knew I wanted to make right away were the Chestnut Honey Madeleines. You see, ever since I bought those pans I am always looking for a good madeleines recipe. I found one.
What caught my eye was description up top that they were featherweight cake. In all of my limited madeleines baking, none of them have been what I would call featherweight. These most definitely were. I tried both the mini and the regular size pan and must say that for this recipe the regular size pan is the way to go. If you can not find the chestnut honey(I had to go to three places) than use clover. But there is a subtle difference that is nice. I own a cinnamon crème honey that I plan on trying these out with as well.
For those that don’t know, Sweet Melissa is an actual bakery, in Brooklyn NY. It’s full name is Sweet Melissa Patisseries. Sweet Melissa is Melissa Murphy. The first thing you notice about the book is that there are little bees drawn through out it. There is a reason for this. Honey. Melissa uses honey in a lot of her recipes, which is what gives so many of her treats that something special. I know the chestnut honey sure made the Chestnut Honey Madeleines something special.
There isn’t much not to love about this cookbook(my only complaint is my usual one…not enough photos). These are good solid recipes that are not fluffed up(no deconstruction and big towering desserts). Simple and good.
 If you are a novice baker you will find that the instructions are easy to follow and the results will be positive ones for you. If you are a veteran baker like myself you find little twists on classics that you most likely didn’t think about. All around, if you are a baker, you should be owning this book. If you are not a baker and you want to be…you should be owning this book.

Chestnut Honey Madeleines

½ cup hazelnut flour
1 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more for dusting
½ cup plus 1 TBSP all-purpose flour
13 TBSP unsalted butter
6 large egg whites
1 TBSP chestnut honey(or clover if you can not find chestnut)

Butter and lightly flour two 12-cup madeleine molds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a large bowl, whisk together the hazelnut flour, all-purpose flour, and confectioner’s sugar.
In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter until the butter solids at the bottom of the pan turn golden brown. Immediately remove from the heat and strain into a bowl to stop the cooking.
In the bowl of an eletric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add the butter and honey and mix until combined.
Spoon batter into prepared molds, filling almost to the top. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Position rack in the top and bottom thirds of your oven. Preheat oven to 375F.
Remove the filled molds from the refrigerator. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. After removing from the oven, immediately tap the pans on your work surface to release the madeleines. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
To serve, turn the madeleines scallop side up and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Adapted from Sweet Melissa Baking Book by Melissa Murphy, Penguin Group 2008


  1. Love the picture with the missing bite. The madeleines look and sound delicious!

  2. Those look very tasty. Thanks for rec on the book! Its on my list now.

  3. I am always on the lookout for madeleine recipes too. This chestnut honey madeleine is right up my alley! Now I want to get a copy of this book too!

  4. Say no more…sold. (My husband is ordering it for me, because I am a spoiled brat and get what I want.)
    Yes, those look quite the ticket.

  5. Ah I love madeleines! Yours look beautiful. I need to get that book.

  6. I need to get this book! Those madeleines look exquisite!

  7. Mmmm madeleines! Sigh, another cookbook I MUST have. Great review. I agree on the photo thing…it makes all the difference.
    Happy Easter Peabody!

  8. those are so cute! i wish i had a madeleine pan!

    i also wish i hadn’t missed out on tartelette’s giveaway for this book!

  9. Those madeleines sure look good. What a great sounding book. I am always on the lookout for recipes for sweets that use less refined sweeteners. I’ll have to check out the book!

  10. These look amazing! I love baking with honey, as well, so now of course I must have that book! And I have never heard of chestnut honey, but oh I am so anxious to try it now. Yay!

  11. As soon as I opened this post, my husband saw the photo from across the room and called out “Are those madeleines?!” Total glee — which is just how I felt when I read this!

  12. Hi Peabody! Thank you for the review! I am so happy you like the book, and I too love the madeleines! I have lots of luck finding chestnut honey in the health food stores( which always surprises me) and of sourse you can always use clover, or if you can find an interesting honey that is particularly dark, it will work well in this recipe. Also, I wanted to tell your readers, that the hazelnut flour is not easy to find, so in the book I explain how to make it by grinding hazelnuts in the food processor. I am glad you will be trying the Granola Breakfast Cookies, which means you will be making the Cherry Almond Granola,it’s been voted best on the east coast! Happy baking, and Happy Easter!

  13. I have 2 beekeeping friends so I’m always using their honey in recipes, I love it!

  14. Well, those sound pretty near incredible. Honey is something that can really take things lovely and chestnut honey – must put that on my list to look for.

  15. I didn’t realize that those cashew bars were from Sweet Melissa! I agree that they look wonderful. :-) I’ve entered the many give aways of this book all over and have yet to win one. :-( Maybe later I’ll head out on my own to get this…it’s much more fun than medical books; though I must admit, I’m a bit excited about buying my pediatric books!

  16. I am so buying this cookbook after seeing all of the wonderful treats that have come out of it on so many blogs!!

  17. Hm is this Marcel Proust’s madeleine? I bet it could be :D

  18. Wow, these look excellent as do those cashew bars. I have to get this book now especially since I live a few blocks from Sweet Melissa’s.

  19. I must resist adding yet another book to my wishlist. The bf is always saying how I “have a lot of cookbooks now” and I only own like 7. But I just bought a madeleine pan and these look too good to resist. :)

  20. Chestnut and honey, that’s a great combination! Your Madeleines look delicious



  21. Beautiful, as usual. I’m waiting for my copy of that cookbook too – I can’t wait!

  22. chestnut honey, oh my! they sound and look devine! so refined, i lust love them :)

  23. The flavors must be so cozy and wonderful! Yum!

  24. You know, I’d never had a Madeleine before and always wondered what the fuss was all about. To me they looked like dry lil “kinda” cakes that probably wouldn’t be good without coffee or tea to dunk them in. Well.. how wrong was I? Helene sent me some white chocolate/cranberry Madeleines for Christmas and I was instantly hooked! So good!

    These sound (and look!) just as delightful! I think it’s time I broke down and bought a pan. :)


  25. I was actually thinking about madeleines too and I will be posting about them too. These look fabulous. I love your photos, so bright!

  26. I have just decided that I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed a madeline pan.

  27. I just got my book last week. There is a whole slew recipes I want to try. these madeleines are calling out my name.

  28. Ok…time for me to igmore the cookbook ban again. These look addictive. I have mini and regular madeline pans – never used. Shameful – I know.

  29. Veh cute. How many can I have?

  30. even though i live right next door, i’m not a big fan of the ever expanding sweet melissa. but these madelines look so great!

  31. Aww, so sweet, and adorable. But, that wouldn’t stop me from eating all of them!

  32. I love the fact that you took a bite before photographing.

    I tasted chestnut honey for the first time last year, and it knocked my socks off. Thanks for reminding me that I need to go on the hunt for some of my own.

  33. Hi there,
    I made those butterscotch bars as they were delicious looking and very quick to make, but I’m afraid they werent a great success. They were very sweet and the butterscotch chips just gave them a chemical taste and they were bright orange under certain lights. I’m sure they’d be great if you went and made a butterscotch topping from scratch.

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