Barnacled Madeleines with Salted Light Caramel Sauce

I panicked a little when I realized these mild September days are almost over. Where did July and August go?  I think I had a birthday this year, I just don't remember what transpired.  In truth, the mid summer months were too hot to enjoy.  September has been temperate, and it makes me sorry that I didn't emerge from my air-conditioned cave to see the ocean this year. 

Though fall baking is in my heart (and kitchen),  I feel that summer deserves one last hurrah, and these little barnacled Madeleines are the perfect way to soothe a land-locked soul.

This Madeleine recipe is new to me, and I was very pleased with the flavor, texture and signature "bump" on the underside.  Gotta have that bump!

While browsing sea-inspired treats, I ran across this post with barnacled spice cakes (forewarning, music automatically plays at link source).  The idea was so simple and beautiful, it really spoke to me. I used the #199 open star tip, but most any small-sized open star tip would work.  The barnacles are buttercream frosting.

Proof that anything can be put on a stick.

The caramel sauce recipe is also a new try-out.  It is really good, but I am a big fan of that almost scorched flavor that the melted sugar versions have.   If I made this again, I would probably use the filling from this recipe, doubled.  I'm still including the recipe for the light caramel for those who may like a milder flavor.

Madeleines with Salted Light Caramel Sauce

Adapted from Epicurious

Yield 18 cookies

2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
Pinch of salt
1 cup all purpose flour
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter and flour pan for large Madeleines (about 3 x 1 1/4 inches).  Using electric mixer, beat eggs and 2/3 cup sugar in large bowl just to blend. Beat in vanilla seeds and salt. Add flour; beat just until blended. Gradually add cooled melted butter in steady stream, beating just until blended.
Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each indentation in pan. Bake until puffed and brown, about 16 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Gently remove from pan. Repeat process, buttering and flouring pan before each batch. (Can be made 1 day ahead.)
Dust cookies with powdered sugar.

Note:  A metal pan with scallop-shaped indentations can be found at cookware stores.

Caramel Sauce

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup Butter
1 cup half and half, divided
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Course gray sea-salt for sprinkling

Combine the first 4 ingredients and 1/2 cup of half and half. Cook over medium-high heat until a candy thermometer reaches 250 degrees F. or until a little of the mixture forms a hard ball in cold water. Add the other half cup of half and half (the mixture will bubble and sputter) and bring the temperature back up to 216 degrees F.  Add the vanilla. Remove from heat and pour into ramekins. Top with course sea salt and serve with Madeleines.

American Buttercream Frosting
[click for printable recipe]

Yield: about 3 cups

1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
2 ½-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Milk or heavy cream, optional

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the butter and confectioners sugar.  Begin on low speed until crumbly, and then increase to high and beat for 3 minutes.
Add vanilla extract and beat again for another minute. If you find the buttercream is too stiff, you may add milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is spreading consistency.

link Barnacled Madeleines with Salted Light Caramel Sauce By Published: Barnacled Madeleines with Salted Light Caramel Sauce Recipe


  1. These are soooo cute. I have never even had a madeline before, but they are definitely on my list of things to bake. Gorgeous pictures as always!

  2. GORGEOUS!! Love them. You photos are just beautiful.
    I have wanted to make madelines for a long time...but I still haven't bought the pan I need!!

  3. Your making me want to go back to the ocean. These are very clever and I'll have to remember them for my next beach inspired meal.

  4. I've never made madeleines but these look amazing! And so cute on the sticks. :)

  5. I'm so happy to see a new post from you! Hope all is going well with your book-can't wait!
    I've never made madeleines before. These are darling with the little barnacles and the shells! You make the cutest stuff:)

  6. yes, i would like 400 barnacled madeleines on a stick. and so what if they're all for me :)

  7. I never would have thought to put barnacles and madeleines together, but after this post they seem made for each other :)

  8. They look adorable and I know just what you mean. I haven't had time to go to the beach once this whole summer and it's three blocks away.

  9. You are so one of my favorite blogs, such creativity - love the madeleine pops

  10. What a wonderful and tasty way to go into my weekend. I love the idea of putting a madeleine on a "pop". That carmel sauce with a bit of salt looks out of this world . . .

  11. aw man those barnacles are so frickin cute!

  12. Just noticed some traffic coming from your site and thought I would check it out and so glad I did! Oh my goodness I just adore madeleines and how yummy that sounds with the sea salted caramel sauce. I'm loving your barnacled madeleines and especially how you displayed them on that piece of driftwood! Thanks for the link back to me, it made me smile really big! ~Lili

  13. These are so cute!!! I LOVE barnacle and I love the cookie on the stick!

  14. Adorable! and the barnacles are an inspired touch. I love your gorgeous photos.

  15. Who would ever thought of attaching barnacles to a madelaine? You are fearless! Applause!

  16. I love the little barnacles on your madeliene. I feel the same way too, where did summer go?

  17. ...oh, the barnacles. So awesome.

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  19. The barnacles are such a cute touch (is it weird that I think barnacles are cute, haha?). Here in the bay it still oddly feels like summer. I keep thinking I should do some fall baking, but then I look outside and think never mind... Your post totally sums up my current baking mood :).

  20. I really love your presentation on these! One of my favorite all time treats for sure and I'm definitely going to make! Thanks!

  21. I love madeleines but I've never even thought about doing something decorative and creative with them. The most I've done is given them a chocolate coating, which is, well, pretty tame. Your barnacles definitely encourage me to be a bit more adventurous...

  22. Ooh, this is just more proof that I need a madeleine pan + I just love that you put barnacles on them+ madeleine's on a stick!? Amazing.

    You just get me every time! Every dessert you make is taken up a notch. <3 Thanks so much for sharing! It's very inspiring.

  23. OMG these look incredible!! I love the idea of putting a Madeline on a stick and dipping it into a delicious bowl of caramel sauce... it's genius!

  24. Those are just stunning - almost too beautiful to eat.

  25. I love this! It's so creative! I guess I stopped looking at madelines as shells a long time ago and just see them as cookies.

  26. You have an awesome blog..proud to follow you....

  27. I got a Madeleine tin for my birthday and have attempted then sever times. I do them at the temp and time stated for but they always burn. Is it best to cook them in the lower part of the oven? How can I stop this problem? Yours are beautiful by the way and you have a great blog

  28. OMG the barnacles! That is such a brilliant idea! Those would be awesome on a whale or ship cake or something.

  29. Very creative and fun! I haven't met a caramel I haven't loved so I'm gonna give this one a try asap!

  30. OH MY GOODNESS..You post the yummiest things ever!!!

  31. Your Bloq is perfect!!

  32. why do you need the "bump"? is it that very important?


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