Sometime during college, when I had my first introduction into Korean media, I watched what is now one of my favorite movies.  The movie is called Madeleine, and it is your fairly typical Korean movie/drama storyline about a girl and a boy and how they fall in love.  (Not to be confused with the English movie Madeleine, which is about a little girl.)


It’s pretty cute, and I’ve been meaning to rewatch it one of these days.  I don’t quite recall how madeleines even tied into the main storyline (I don’t think it did), but the male lead in the movie enjoys baking and at one point makes some madeleine cookies.


That movie was the first time I had heard of madeleine cookies, and for some reason I fell in love with them and have maintained a happy, longing relationship ever since.  They are incredibly adorable and surprisingly sophisticated.

My first taste of madeleines was supremely disappointing, however.  I saw them once at a Starbucks soon after I watched the movie and was incredibly excited.  (Note: I don’t actually drink coffee, so I never go to Starbucks; hence, I’d never seen them there before.)  Of course, commercialized food is one thing, but I had not quite learned how to eat the madeleine cookies and had expected a completely different taste/texture.  The one from Starbucks had a kind of funny taste, I thought, and I stopped eating them soon after (mostly because I never saw them again).

I’ll pause at this point to explain what madeleine cookies taste like, if you’ve never had one before.  I would describe them as a dense sponge cake: fluffy but heavy at the same time, moist, and sweet, with a distinctly “egg-y” flavor.  They can also be flavored; the most common ones I’ve seen so far are orange, lemon poppyseed, or chocolate chip.  They can also be served plain or dipped in chocolate, as pictured above.

Despite my slavish love for baking (and making ice cream), I don’t enjoy eating most pastries or desserts much and am as picky with what I do like as I am with most food.  Sometime later on, I learned that the cookies could also be eaten dipped in coffee or tea.  That turned out to be supremely tasty in my opinion and is the only way I eat the cookies now.  You may enjoy them by themselves, if you like that kind of texture.  It all depends on preference, but I hope that if you get a chance to try them, you’ll like them one way or another :)

This year was my first time to try baking them.  I made them for someone as part of a Valentine’s Day package, and I must say I was probably most excited to make these because they’ve always been so special to me.  (I still don’t know why, though…)  They turned out pretty well then, and it was then that I first tasted them dipped in tea.  Although they have a relatively simple ingredient list, I’d say that they are easy but not beginner’s level-easy to make, as the process can be arduous and easy to mess up.  Still, they’re not hard, and they’re worth it!

My second time baking them was this past weekend, as I had a sudden whimsical desire to do so and even brought my madeleine pan home from my apartment just for that purpose.  I made Sunday breakfast for my parents, complete with espresso and jasmine tea for dipping (mom made the tea — but I made the espresso).  We also had some fruit on the side, mainly so that they would remember to eat the lone orange I zested for the madeleines.

I don’t have process pictures, but I’ll make sure to take some the next time I make them.  Meanwhile, here is the recipe I used this past time.  You can get a pan either online (Amazon.com) or from a store that sells a little big more specialized kitchen stuff.  I got my pan from Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and I really like it.  It’s easy to clean and doesn’t stick, which is always a concern for anything that is baked with a shape.  Highly recommended.

I’ll leave you with more pictures from this past breakfast (because I like taking pictures of food XD).  The recipe provided makes two pans’ worth of madeleines, so I made one set of plain madeleines and a second with orange zest.  My parents liked the orange one better with tea and the plain ones better with the espresso.  Enjoy!

Oops, they’re kind of hole-y.  I think it might be because I left the batter in the fridge for too long (overnight) — the second batch came out prettier, and I had let the batter sit on the counter for a while.

Sometimes, a girl likes to be treated like a princess.  But a girl needs a prince to be a princess.

This is just a random thought that’s been floating around in my head.  I love fairy tales as much as the next dreamer, but it is really hard to square that kind of thing up with what we call “real life.”

When I say that girls like to be treated as princesses, I don’t mean that people need to bow down to her, or that any guy who is interested in her should be her servant.  I just mean that it’s nice sometimes for a guy to… well, do the thing that princes in movies do.  The kind of romantic thing that guys usually are just really bad at.

Bring her flowers for no reason.  Give her pretty jewelry (okay, that’s a little extravagant… you can save that for special occasions).  Show up at her door step with a surprise — and it doesn’t have to be a physical or monetary surprise.  You can come and cook her a lovely dinner, or cutely shaped pancakes for breakfast.  You can come and take her to a bridge or park to have a leisurely stroll under the beautiful blue sky, or the sparkling stars at night.

It’s not hard to be a prince.  Well, so says the girl XD  But really!

Anyways, I should probably get off that topic before I get into the hard/extravagant stuff >__<;;  I do tend to get carried away with those impossible kinds of things.

But while I’m on the topic of romance and princes and princesses, I feel like talking a bit about one of my favorite movies: Ever After.

I don’t think that it was a spectacular box office hit, or even that many people have seen it or like it.  But for some reason, I really, really enjoy this movie.  It’s one of those rare movies that, once I finish watching it, I just feel like watching it again because I didn’t get enough.  Actually, it’s sort of my “remind me that true love exists?” movie, and I like to watch it when I’m feeling down.  To me, it’s a simple, fairly realistic rendition of the Cinderella story, with a likable heroine (I liked her, anyways), a believable prince, and a good sampling of the ups and downs of love.

And while I’m talking about Cinderella (yeah, I tend to do these weird thought chains), I’d also like to mention one of my favorite books: Ella Enchanted.  Mind you, I did not much care for the movie version, and I thought the book was a lot better.

Ella Enchanted leans more towards the children’s book side, but I still find it a delightful read.  It also has a rather likable heroine and believable prince (I guess I have a thing for realistic fairy tales?), along with a full storyline that deviates quite a bit from the original tale but is enjoyable nonetheless.

Please check them out if you get the chance :3