A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem / Vanilla Bean Madeleines

I found this blend of murder mystery and rom-com to be rather fun. Set in England in 1865, it follows the story of an intrepid female reporter (and newspaper owner) who is tired of being relegated to the sidelines and treated as less than because she is of the fairer sex. There is a serial killer terrorizing London and the women of the town deserve to know about it and the risks they face. This of course, brings her into conflict with the police detective trying to solve the crimes who feels she is inflaming the citizens rather than informing.  

However, once they put aside their differences and start working together, they realize they are much more alike than either of them thought. To celebrate this engaging and witty mystery, I made a batch of vanilla bean madeleines that would be the perfect snack for an afternoon spent reading with a cup of tea.

Vanilla Bean Madeleines


  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour 
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled


In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate small bowl, combine the sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla beans. Use your fingers to rub the zest and beans into the sugar, releasing their aromatic oils.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the sugar mixture with the eggs on medium high speed until pale and thick, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract. Use a spatula to fold in the melted butter, and then the flour.

Cover and refrigerate batter for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F and grease and flour a madeleine pan.

Fill the shells of the madeleine pan with the chilled batter almost full. Bake until centers are puffed and edges are golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then pop out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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