What was I thinking…

So there is this picture of me (if I had it I would post it but I think my mom has it). I am standing in the doorway getting ready to go out. My mom and aunt wanted a picture of me because they couldn’t believe I was going out in public in what I was wearing. Now before you go thinking something slutty, please… I don’t even kiss on the first date (well didn’t, I’m married now and that has cut down on my dating life. :P ).
Picture if you will: black stirrup pants with a pair of black and white boxer shorts OVER them, a giant Depeche Mode concert t-shirt, a cropped denim jacket, Vans shoes (at one point I owned 43 pairs) and my hair in a side pony tail (yes, it was the 80’s boys and girls). I remember at that time my aunt and mom almost laughing at me and saying “you’re not going to wear that in public are you?” and of course I was. I remember at the time thinking that I looked darn good. It’s funny what 15 years will do to you. As the last time I saw that photo I thought the same thing as my aunt and mom…what was I thinking? My recently reunited high school friends and I have been torturing each other with photos of our past. There were a lot of what was I thinking moments.
In what was I thinking food moments I present gingerbread. As a kid I was not a fan. If there was a plate of cookies I never wanted the gingerbread men. I would eat them as a last resort, they do have sugar in them after all. And I would never touch gingerbread. Yuck.
Umm, yeah, what was I thinking? Gingerbread kicks ass. Especially warm out of the oven. Yum, yum, yum.
So in effort to do something different with gingerbread this year I decided to make them into madeleines. I combined a recipe from Sherry Yard for Orange Madeleines with her recipe for gingerbread finaciers. It worked out well. After they came out of the oven I smothered them in orange glaze. What I got was something quite wonderful. And not wonderful like I thought my boxers over stirrup pants was wonderful but actually wonderful. These are best eaten the day of and even better if you can eat them while they are still warm.

Gingerbread Madeleines

½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
½ cup almond flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup full flavor molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
4 eggs

Orange Glaze (recipe follows)

Sift flours, baking powder, spices, and salt into medium bowl and set aside.
Using a standing eclectic mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or hand mixer, beat the butter on high speed until soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Slowly add the sugar, 1 TBSP at a time beating continuously on high speed. It should take 5-10 minutes to add the sugar. The mixture should be light, fluffy and a creamy white color. Stop the mixer and scape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Add the eggs, on at a time. Be sure each egg is completely incorporated and scape down the sides of the bowl before adding the next one. Add the molasses and vanilla and beat until blended.
Add the flour mixture to the batter in thirds, beating on low speed until just incorporated. Cover the batter and chill if for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 375F. Adjust the rack to the center of the oven. Brush the mini or standard madeleine molds with melted butter, then dust them lightly with flour.
Carefully spoon (I piped) the chilled batter into the madeleine pan, filling each shell three-quarters full. Bake for 10 minutes for mini or about 15 for standard size, or until they are golden brown and firm to the touch. Repeat until all the batter has been used, brushing pans with butter if needed.
While madeleines are still hot pour orange glaze over them.

Adapted from The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard

Orange Glaze

2 cups confectioners¢â¬â„¢ sugar
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp grated orange zest

When the cake is completely cooked, whisk the icing ingredients together until smooth. Set t he wire rack over wax paper or place in a baking pan to catch the drips. Spoon all the icing onto the top of the cake and spread it out, so that it runs down the sides. Set aside in a cool place until icing has set about 30 minutes.

Source: Adapted from Butter, Sugar, Flour, Eggs by Gale Gand, Rick Tramonto and Julia Moskin



  1. I’m not a big fan of gingerbread cookies… but in cake or bread form (anything aside from the hard brittle cookies), I’m down. These look amazing. I *almost* got a Madeleine pan the other day but it was silicone… I’m holding off for a metal one. :)

  2. Haha!! No worries about the fashion faux pas of your past ;-)

    Love your twist on the madeleines!!

  3. I love gingerbread, but only recently have discovered something other than ginerbread cutouts. My boss loves madelines and I just may have to make them for her. I haven’t used my madeline pan in a while.

    Oh, and I’ve got those photos too. The 80s was just one of those times!

  4. I’m like you…strange 80’s outfits and didn’t like gingerbread. I (hopefully) don’t wear anything to out there anymore and I really like gingerbread…cake, cookies and I’m sure madeleines!

  5. First of all, I love the 80’s. While somewhat embarrassing now, there’s just no better decade!
    Second, I could just suck the goodness out of one of those madelines right now! ;)

  6. Oh, and who in their right mind doesn’t love Depeche Mode (pronounced by my friend’s dad as da-peachey mo-day)!

  7. Show us the picture!!!!!

    What a great take on a classy little cookie!

  8. I am certain I wore that exact same outfit in high school!

  9. DM rocks! I often wonder what I was thinking about most of my outfits (still do) LOL! I swear, I was just thinking yesterday about looking for a recipe for gingerbread madeleines. You are my hero!

  10. Oh yes, I will be saving this one for sure. I don’t use my madeleine pan enough. As for the outfit, I wish I could say I can’t picture it but I can because it sounds like something I would have worn too. I was also a Vans and Airwalks freak ;)

  11. Beautiful combination of flavors! I love gingerbread!

  12. I only got to know gingerbread cookies last year (it’s not really a “thing” here), but on my first taste I knew I had bitten awesomeness. Also awesome? Your madeleines. I would be eating far too many of them.
    Ugh, I have those what was I thinking moments too… But I feel even worse because they were things I said/did and not wore, heh (but at least there’s no picture!)

  13. I’m not a big fan of ginger either, but I do like the actual (ginger) bread.

    And I used to wear my hair in a side ponytail when I was younger. It was my favorite hairstyle :-)

  14. Bet you looked cute when you were with your friends who were dressed in a similar manner.I feel the same way about clothes of the ’70s….polyester pantsuits…ick.
    The darling cookies are truly cute and hard to resist as the photo shows:) Time to haul our the madeleine pans.

  15. Oh girl – if you don’t have any hideous, embarrassing photos, then you didn’t live through the ’80s! :) Meanwhile, those cookies look beyond fabulous!

  16. I love the glaze on the madeleines, I have never seen them being glazed before. The photos of the 80’s…let’s not go there…too embarrassing!

  17. I always get suckered in by pretty pretty madeleines. I’ve seen them around a lot lately and so have been forced to bake myself some too… You might have suckered me into baking another batch!

  18. Your post made me laugh! I remember how I looked back in my teenage times…

    What pretty Madeleines! I love the icing.



  19. I never make gingerbread cookies cause I made a house one year and was eating gingerbread scraps and the house into January! yuck. I make an exception if it’s gingerbread in cake form. Your madeleine idea is fantasic! and made better with that glaze!

  20. Pea – you are old. So old you can’t do math. The 80s were 20 years ago my dear!

    I wish we had the pic. It would be awesome.

  21. I need an madeleine pan more than ever now:D

  22. I do need me some madeleines. Love gingerbread. These would be so perfect right now!

  23. While reading the post i thought you were wearing that now, but then i came to the part were it was written it was in 80’s.
    Beautiful madelines. I do have to buy a pan first to make them.

  24. Ahh, the 80’s are haunting many people. And I’m sad to see some of the same trends coming back in style. When we were in LA a few months ago, there was 80’s garb everywhere! Ick!!

  25. You had me cracking up! I have pictures like that too and just have to wonder what the heck I was thinking! I love gingerbread. The Madeleines look wonderful…..

  26. Yum! I love anything gingerbread, but with the oragne glaze? These look fantastic!

  27. Gorgeous & ultimately creative. I wouldn’t touch ginger even with a bargepole when I was young…now I just can’t get enough of it!!!

  28. I love softer gingerbread – just not the crunchy stuff

  29. What a great flavor idea for madeleines!

    I can go one further on you… I actually shaved the side of my head and experimented with various colors. My mother was in tears. Funny time those 80’s were!

  30. I discovered I loved gingerbread this year too! After a childhood of hating it and many years of just not seeing it around. I made one set of gingerbread cookies and now I’m gearing up to make a loaf of gingerbread… and this makes me wish I had a madeleine pan!

  31. Thank you for solving my “What to make Johanna for Christmas?” question. :) I can’t wait to try these!

  32. ROFL – I have an outfit I totally remember that sounds strangely familiar. What were we thinking? :)

  33. I can practically smell the spices, these madeleines look so good! I adore gingerbread, so I can’t believe I didn’t think of making it in this format before.

  34. Those looks so good. I’m heading into the kitchen right now to make a batch to bring to the office tomorrow.

  35. your madeleines look great!! I think it’s time for me to try new flavour!!

  36. Ah Peabody help. I want to make these right now. They’ll have to be cupcake shape as we don’t have a madeleines pan (though we should hubs having grown up in Spain).

    Do you know is cake flour – self raising flour? …and I’m now off to find out what almond flour is and where I can buy it.

    You’re really very good aren’t you.

  37. you must find that picture. seriously. post it post it post it!!

    these madeleines look elegant and delicious!

  38. What a great riff on gingerbread! Love the visual of you ready for your date!

  39. Oh, the things we used to wear! I love this story. And I’ve never heard of gingerbread madeleines. What a great idea.

  40. My mother has a stack of scary pictures of me as well :) Nice madeleines.

  41. thank you. thank you for the delightful and hilarious mental image you’ve put in my head (i’m laughing with you, not at you…) and for the real image of delicious madeleines now seared onto my brain. thank you. :)

  42. hey, just wanted to say i love reading your posts – they combine humour and deliciousness and are so entertaining. i love the way you work anecdotes that at first appear totally unrelated in to the recipe preamble. and you always make me laugh! thanks

  43. Yes, I have quite a few pictures from high school that I’d like to burn. And to think I thought I was “in style” back then… I should give these a try, because I like gingerbread, but I don’t love it. Maybe these would change my mind.

  44. I’d heard about these lil delights for quite a while before I had actually tasted one.. Helene sent some in an Xmas box full of goodies last year – they were white choc. & cranberry madeleines – 2 flavors I do not like. But these cookies (?) were so good in just texture alone that I loved them the most. Crispedy on the outside, and soft on the inside.. But time and time again I look at the lil madeleine pans when I’m in a baking/cooking supply store and never buy.. just look.

    Never saw gingerbread madeleines before.. and now I’m completely sold, Gracie. I will own a madeleine pan before the year is out and the first flavor I am making is gingerbread with orange glaze!! I cannot wait! :D

    And holy hell.. I’ve burned so many photos of me from the 80’s.. think Jon Bon Jovi and his headbands.. I was a fan. *shudder*


  45. Yes, Peabody, but for that brief moment in time- you looked awesome. I was also a fan of the black tights and ripped jean shorts- daisy duke style. And of course the (permed) side ponytail. While we may look silly in those outfits now, we were totally rockin it then.
    And thats all that matters.

  46. fabulous adaptation! (and you got big humps!)

  47. Ooo gingerbread madeleines! Excellent idea. I really want to make some ginger cookies but I’ll be the only one eating them and I don’t want to eat a whole batch of cookies..

  48. I am making these now, and assume you add the molasses & vanilla after the last egg has been added and before the flour.

    These two ingredients are not mentioned in the instructions. Thanks. Nick

  49. OMG, these look wonderful! I really love ginger, thanks for posting!!

  50. Thanks for the recipe! I made these last week for a Christmas party and they were a big success! I am making another batch for Christmas Eve. I’m in the UK so used Black Treacle instead of Molasses – would you agree?

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