Wesleyan’s Samantha Maldonado takes on traditional recipes and gives them a surprising twist, using creative alternatives from the local food co-ops to recreate tasty treats. Not only does she experiment, but she reviews her cooking techniques, adventures, and misadventures for anybody else who likes to get wild in the Kitchen. 

The Cheesemonger’s Kitchen cookbook has been casually lying on the coffee table in my friends’ apartment all year.  Last week I picked it up for the first time and flipped to a recipe for savory cookies using blue cheese called “Maytag Madeleines with Wildflower Honey.”  Perfect timing, because I had just received a share of Black Ledge Blue cheese from the cheese co-op.

Let me say now that when I make food, I usually use a recipe as a point of reference, but I deviate from it. Deviation makes the process fun, and (knock on wood) so far I have never screwed up a recipe so much that it became inedible.

This time, I followed the recipe pretty closely, more so than usual; or so I thought.  I grated the cheese and stirred it into the batter but the consistency was off.  Not only that, but my hands and the apartment smelled like wet dog from the particularly pungent cheese!  I added some milk to water down the batter, as it was supposed to be poured into a Madeleine mold (or in my case, a mini muffin tin because I don’t have a Madeleine mold), but my batter could not be poured.  I kept stirring, freaking out that OMG guys, I think this was a terrible idea.

“I think you’re not using the right kind of blue cheese,” my friend said.  The recipe called for Maytag Blue, Saint Agur, or other soft blue cheese.  Even though I fully knew that Black Ledge Blue definitely wasn’t a soft cheese, I didn’t think it would make a huge difference.  At this point, the batter was the consistency of cookie dough, so I rolled it into balls, plopped them on a cookie sheet, and continued to freak out: OMG guys, this might come out disgusting.  But I crossed my fingers and stuck them in the oven. pici4VJJy

Ten minutes later, out popped not Madeleines but biscuits!  They were rich and especially tasty with some honey drizzled on top.  Friends with the munchies finished off the batch within a few minutes, and eventually, the wet dog smell that filled the entire apartment dissipated, too.


Find a similar recipe here.

Photo Credit goes to 2Bleu .


- Samantha Maldonado ’13