Can you believe fall is already right around the corner? I sure can’t, yet as I’m typing this, I see leaves have turned red and yellow, with some already having fallen on the ground. In Québec, it feels like there’s a sharp transition from August to September: Overnight—or so it seems—night temperatures suddenly dip below 10°C/50°F, and mornings are chilly. Sometimes the temperature even climbs enough during the afternoon to reach that of a typical summer day, making it difficult to figure out what the heck to wear in the morning.
This in-between-seasons uncertainty extends in the kitchen, too. When it’s a sunny day, I rush to indulge in one more bowl of gelato, knowing full well that frozen treats will soon be relegated to a supporting act on a plate of warm dessert—or be snoozed till next summer altogether. But in the evenings, I curl up in a cozy blanket, and I long for comforting treats, the kind with enveloping, generous flavors that warm you up inside.
With the Canadian Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, such comforting desserts are on my mind. Thanksgiving used to be a big family event when I was growing up, but today it’s more of a quiet affair. When schedules match, we get together with our parents and share a meal, but sometimes we also get out of town with friends to turn the holiday weekend into a short getaway vacation. On such occasions, we all brainstorm about meals, and everyone brings dishes to share.
Did you know that celebrating Thanksgiving with friends is actually a “thing” now? It apparently is a growing trend among young adults across the United States and Canada. It even has a catchy buzzy name: Friendsgiving. It’s kind of obvious when you think about it: When you don’t live in the same city as your parents and extended family do but still want to spend the holiday weekend with loved ones—to, you know, give thanks for those precious loved ones in your life—friends are certainly the next best thing. People have probably done this for years, but now we’ve begun to take notice.
I’m not sure what our Thanksgiving plans will be yet, but today I’m excited to take part in a Virtual Friendsgiving Celebration! Vitamix has kindly invited me and six other talented Canadian bloggers to create a festive recipe, and all our dishes will come together to form an incredibly mouthwatering meal:
- Butternut Squash and White Bean Dip, by Fida of Sweet and Savoury Pursuits
- Roasted Fennel Soup with Herbed Crostini, by Robyn of Simply Fresh Dinners
- Mediterranean Style Roast Pumpkin Salad with Spicy Harissa Vinaigrette, by Mahy of Two Purple Figs
- Brown Butter Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage, by Taylor of The Girl on Bloor
- Vegan Mushroom Gravy, by Kristen of The Endless Meal
- No-Churn Cranberry Ice Cream, by Charmian of The Messy Baker
- Pumpkin Madeleines with Spiced Maple Glaze, by yours truly (recipe below!)
But we won’t be celebrating alone! Indeed, Vitamix will be giving away one of its amazing blenders to a lucky Canadian reader: the versatile Total Nutrition Center, a $577 value. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a Vitamix, now’s your chance: the winner will be picked among YOU, the readers of the seven participating blogs, so your odds of winning are pretty high! Jump down to the bottom of the post to enter the giveaway.
The dessert I share today is a twist on an elegant French treat: fluffy, humpy, shell-shaped madeleines. I updated the classic recipe to include fall flavors: pumpkin and aromatic spices. Madeleines have a slightly crunchy edge which, once dipped in the spiced maple glaze, becomes completely irresistible. Biting into a freshly baked one is a memorable experience—thanks to the fact this recipe yields 36 mini-cakes, it’s an experience you’ll get to share again and again.
Makes 36 madeleines.
These elegant Pumpkin Madeleines combine comforting fall flavors, sweetened by an irresistible maple glaze. The perfect treat to share with loved ones!
20 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
1 hrTotal Time
Preheat the oven to 350°F [175°C]. Using a pastry brush, generously butter each cavity of a 12-cup madeleine pan, making sure to get into every nook and cranny. Place in the freezer until ready to use.
In a large bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and sea salt, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
In the container of a blender, add the eggs and the maple sugar. Blend on low speed to combine, then increase the speed to a medium-high level. Blend until the mixture is pale and thick, about 3 minutes. Lower the speed and add the melted butter in a thin stream until fully incorporated. Add the pumpkin puree and blend to combine.
Add a fourth of the dry ingredient and blend just to combine. Add more of the dry ingredient, and blend again to combine. Repeat until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, making sure not to over-blend. Remove the blender container from its stand and run a spatula on the inside of the container, just to make sure no pockets of dry ingredients remain.
Remove the madeleine pan from the freezer and set on a flat working surface. Using a large soup spoon, a tablespoon, or a medium cookie scoop, fill up each madeleine cup with about 1 ½ tbsp [7 ml] batter, or until three-fourths full. Refrigerate the remaining batter.
Bake the madeleines for about 12 minutes, or until the madeleines are humpy and golden. Unmold as soon as you take the madeleines out of the oven, inverting the pan over a cooling rack (you might need to coax some of them out with the tip of a butter knife). Let cool completely.
Wash and dry the madeleine pan thoroughly, then butter it again and place in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes. Fill the cavities again and bake as instructed. Repeat one last time to make the remaining batch of madeleines.
While the madeleines are making, make the glaze: In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and allspice (it will be super thick and sticky at first but loose up as you whisk). Add just enough milk so the glaze drips lazily from a spoon.
When the madeleines are cooled to room temperature, generously drizzle their shell side with the glaze, and let it dry for 10 minutes.
Madeleines are at their very best freshly baked, but you can also store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.
If you make the madeleines in advance, hold up on the glazing process and store the cooled madeleines as is in an airtight container for up to two days. An hour before serving, distribute the madeleines over a baking sheet and place in a 350°F [175°C] oven for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, let cool to room temperature, then glaze as desired. The madeleines will be as delightful as if they were freshly baked.
Recipe Credit: Marie Asselin
Vitamix: Total Nutrition Center Giveaway
How to Win
- Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway:
- To enter the giveaway, login using either your email or Facebook. Once you login, you’ll be given 15 chances to enter the contest by liking or following each bloggers’ Facebook and Instagram accounts.
- To get your Facebook entry, click the button for the Facebook page you want to like, like the Facebook page, then click “I visited.” Easy!
- To get your Instagram entry, click the Instagram account you want to follow, follow the account, then type the name of the account into the box and click “Enter. ”
- Visit the six other blogs participating in this giveaway for even more chances to win!
The Fine Print
- The giveaway consists of one prize – A Vitamix Blender – The Total Nutrition Centre valued at $577.00.
- The giveaway is open to residents of all provinces, territories of Canada only. You must be 18 years of age and older to participate.
- The winner must answer this skill testing question: 162 plus 42 divided by 2.
- The contest closes at midnight, October 7th. The winner will be contacted October 8th.
- Relatives of participating bloggers are ineligible to participate.
- All seven bloggers participating in this Giveaway have received a Vitamix blender as compensation.
Good luck to everyone!