It may seem a little fussy to make cornbread into Madeleines, but hear me out. I found these pans at a garage sale a few years ago and they remained tucked away in my cabinet until I decided to create this recipe as a nod to the movie Paris, Texas. That said, I wouldn’t accuse anyone of being off their rocker for purchasing them at full price. Even at a whopping $12, they’re still a bargain. Here’s why: Madeleines are one of the only deliberately shaped foods that still has clout. They look classic and pretty instead of something leftover from the Jello-mold era. In other words, you can dress up countless baked goods with this one little pan.
Preheat oven to 400°F and adjust oven rack to middle position. Brush Madeleine molds with butter and have at the ready.
Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt & pepper, and cheese in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs and then pour in the buttermilk and mix until homogenous.
Add the egg/buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and stir just until combined. Don’t overmix. Stir in the melted butter and corn kernals. Again, don’t overmix.
If you have mini molds, spoon about ½ teaspoon in each; if your Madeleine molds are larger, spoon in 2 teaspoons per madeleine. Take it from me—don’t overfill or they WILL get stuck and misshapen. I’ve made this mistake with batches of classic Madeleines, and this cornbread version is no exception.
Bake on 400°F for 12-15 minutes (if they’re mini, they’ll take more like 8 minutes.) They should be golden on top and release from the pans easily. Unless you have a batty amount of Madeleine pans, you’ll probably have to immediately turn these out onto a cooling rack and prepare the pans for the next batch. This recipe yields or 4-6 dozen full-sized Madeleines. Serve immediately, or keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days and nibble freely. Coincidentally, these freeze particularly well and make a perfect snack for the kids. You can’t beat a fancy dinner party hors d’oeuvre that can pass as a healthy lunchbox snack. Savor with delight and gratitude.
*I tested this recipe with Roy’s Calais Flint cornmeal from one of my favorite farms, Ayres Creek. If you can’t find any from your local farmer, you can order exceptional cornmeal from both Anson Mills or Community Grains. You won’t be disappointed with either. Otherwise, just do your best and find whatever is at hand that hasn’t been on a shelf for years and years.