The French small shell-shaped Madeleine is a traditional speciality from the town of Commercy, in the North of the Lorraine region of France. Famous for its funny shape and smooth texture, the Madeleine de Commercy cookie has become a classic of every snacking or afternoon goûter in France. With a cup of coffee or tea, the Madeleine is an excellent pastry to end off a typical French meal.
In Lorraine, it is believed that the delightful Madeleine cookie came from a young maid named Madeleine who used to work for the Duke of Lorraine, Stanislas Leczinski in the late 1700s. According to the traditions of this Eastern region of France, the modest maid had to replace Stanislas' cook and prepare pastries for a royal banquet in the French town of Commercy.
As the only treat she knew was her family's shell-shaped soft cookie, she baked loads of these small cakes - which were eventually highly appreciated by the Duke's guests! To thank her, Duke Stanislas decided to give these delicious pastries the name of his faithful maid, "Madeleine".
The traditional French Madeleines are small shell-shaped cakes that have made the pride of Commercy's inhabitants. Simply made out with eggs, plain flour, butter and sugar, these Lorraine "Petite Madeleines" are especially famous for their smooth texture and funny shape.
Those irresistible little cookies have been baked in scallop-shape moulds since their creation, giving the Madeleine a golden crisp exterior, with pale stipes on the one side and a typical "bump" on the other. Their moist interior is due to the egg whites largely whipped and delicately blended with the paste.
The French Madeleine recipe can also include some drops of orange blossom or lemon juice for more aromas.
Top Tip! With its delicate butter-and-citrus flavour, the "Madeleine de Commercy" has become a classic snack for kids in the Lorraine region of France. But parents and grandparents are also crazy about the Lorraine treat, especially at tea time, accompanied with a piece of chocolate - a real gem of patisserie!