Healthy Madeleines de Proust

Makes 24 cookies

  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup ground blanched almonds (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • confectioners’ (icing sugar) for dusting
For Chocolate Madeleines
Replace almonds, lemon and orange zests with
  • 3 tbsp. dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 ounce (1 square) bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, melted, cooled
  1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  2. Stir in the flour, almonds (if using), baking powder, and salt and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until well blended.
  3. Stir in the honey, applesauce, and lemon and orange zests. If you are making chocolate version, omit the zests, stir in the cocoa powder and melted chocolate.
  4. Cover the batter with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours or up to 1 day.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C, Gas Mark 3. Spray two 12-well madeleine pans with cooking oil. Dust with flour.
  6. Spoon 1 rounded tablespoon of the batter into each well. I have a handy little ice cream scoop which does the job quick nicely. They will be 2/3rds full.
  7. Bake the two trays in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, switching the positions of the pans halfway through baking, for 20 to 25 minutes total, or until golden around the edges.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Invert the pans to remove the cookies and dust with confectioners’ sugar.