Thanks-Giving Parmesan Polenta Madeleines with Fresh Sage & Butternut Squash


Thanksgiving….giving thanks.

Thanksgiving is upon us and in my life there is so much to be thankful for that my mind reels. The list is long and I try to keep it in the front of my mind most days whether it is a holiday or not. It is not always easy but I try. Do you have a mental list of things you are thankful for?

For these savory “Parmesan-Polenta Madeleines with Fresh Sage and Butternut-Squash”, if you do not have a classic French madeleine pan, use a cast iron corn stick pan. I bought my pans at Amazon but recently picked up a few more at TJMaxx. You can find a previous madeleine post I did for “Chocolate  Black-Peppercorn Orange Madeleines” here as well. Madeleines are traditionally sweet and originated from the Lorraine region in France. My Southern, seasonal twist uses yellow polenta, sage and butternut squash as well as parmesan cheese and will be a wonderful addition to any Thanksgiving meal. Also great with chili or soups.


Fresh sage leaves in the bottom of the pan….batter spread on top…..


…baked for 15 minutes until golden brown…..


…flipped out onto a cooling rack and while hot I shredded more Parmesan over the top.


I made this recipe earlier in the year for a project I was working on with a friend. In that recipe I did not use butternut-squash, but I had some left from a photo shoot and did not want to let it go to waste so shredded it and tossed into the batter for a more seasonal twist!

Be Thankful. Be Kind and Share.


Parmesan-Polenta Madeleines with Fresh Sage and Butternut Squash



  • coconut oil spray
  • 1 bunch fresh sage leaves
  • 2/3 cup instant polenta
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese + extra for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded butternut squash
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • special equipment: 2 madeleine pans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray madeleine pans with coconut spray.
  3. Place one or two fresh sage leaves in the bottom of each “madeleine” space. Press down into the molds using your fingers. Respray with coconut oil. The oil will secure the sage leaves to bottom of the pan.
  4. In a mixing bowl blend together instant polenta, flour, baking soda, Parmesan cheese, sea salt & black pepper.
  5. Stir in the melted butter, eggs, butternut squash & buttermilk. Blend well. Spoon batter into the pan over the sage leaves just to batter being level. Pat into mold with you fingers. If batter gets too dry then add a bit more buttermilk. This batter is thicker than your regular cornbread batter.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until madeleines are golden brown and puffy. Remove pans from oven and cool for a few minutes. Turn pans upside down to release madeleines from pan. While they are still hot sprinkle more Parmesan on top. It will slightly melt into the surface. Serve immediately or keep in a warm oven until ready to serve. Can be reheated as well. Store any leftovers in a plastic bag for a few days.

Teresa Blackburn

“My G7 Chocolate-Black Peppercorn-Orange Madeleine”


In my little kitchen here on 5th Avenue I do not have “Night Watch” as a background, nor do I look out over a restful, flowing canal. I am not meeting with heads of state, but I did to manage to have my very own culinary “G7” meeting this week.

 A French Madeleine tin, Chocolate from Ghana given to me as a gift from dear friends (see photo below) of Wouter’s who live in Amsterdam, marketed as “Tony’s Chocolonely”…..

Case & Annemieke
Kees & Annemieke…good friends…good company…good people. Annemieke is a fantastic illustrator…take a look.

….Kerrygold Butter from Ireland, Madagascar Vanilla Extract,  Black Peppercorns from India and eggs hatched right here in Tennessee..a Food on Fifth G7!

Since finding a Madeleine Tin (made in France stamped underneath) at a Thrift store last year I have intended to try it out. I adore Madeleines…whenever I go to a bakery that sells them I will choose these little seashell shaped tea cakes every time. The crispy edges…the slight aroma of vanilla…not overly sweet…delicate in all ways is the Madeleine. They always remind me of the teacakes my Mother would make for us as children in West Tennessee, but way better…and French.  Why not add some really good chocolate? No?….oui!

Ingredients for “G7 Madeleines”

1/2 cup melted butter, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 4 ounces good quality 70% pure chocolate melted, 3 eggs room temp, 1 cup all-purpose flour mixed with 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp freshly ground black peppercorns, 1 tbsp fresh orange zest + extra butter to grease the Madeleine tin

Chocolate from GhanaTony's...Chocolate Bar

Madeleine Ingredients

Directions: 2 hours before baking make the batter

1. Cream butter & sugar together until light & fluffy using a stand or hand mixer. Add in vanilla extract & melted chocolate while mixer is running. Turn mixer to low.

2. Add in eggs one at a time until well blended.  Mixture should be light in color and very fluffy.

3.  Fold the flour mixture, the ground black pepper & the orange zest into the butter-chocolate mixture very gently. Cover batter with plastic & chill 1 to 2 hours.

DSC_6786Batter for Madeleines with Freshly ground black pepper from IndiaOrange Zest

4. When ready to bake preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter the Madeleine tin well using softened butter. Remove batter from the refrigerator.

Batter and Madeleine pan

5. Use a spoon to fill each “shell” with batter. When batter is baking it will melt and fill in the shape of the tin. (Another method is to put the batter in a piping bag and pipe batter into the shells.)

Chocolate Madeleine batter

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove tin from oven and turn Madeleines out onto a kitchen towel to cool. If you have extra batter (I did) then let tin cool, re-butter and repeat baking process. This recipe made about 16 Madeleines.

baked Madeleines

Chocolate Madeleines

Soft and pillowy with crispy thin edges…chocolate with just a hint of orange & black & local…a culinary G7!

“Night Watch” (The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq) by Rembrandt van Rijn 1642

Bon Appetit Y’all