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Petit Fours

Servings: Makes 2 1/2 dozen
Petit Four

Pronounced: [PEH-tee fohr; puh-tee FOOR] Any of various bite-size iced and elaborately decorated cakes. Petits fours can be made with any flavor cake, though white and chocolate are the most common. The French also use this term to describe small, fancy cookies.

From The New Food Lover's Companion, Second Edition (1995), by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

For the Cakes:
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
3 egg whites

For the Glaze:
2 pounds confectioners' sugar
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons orange extract

For the Frosting:
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Gel, liquid or paste food coloring

For the Cakes:
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. In a small mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gently fold into batter.

Pour into a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cut a thin slice off each side of cake. Cut cake into 1-1/4-inch squares. Place 1/2 inch apart on a rack in a 15 inch x 10 inch x 1-inch pan.

For the Glaze:
In a mixing bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Beat on low speed just until blended; beat on high until smooth. Apply glaze evenly over tops and sides of cake squares, allowing excess to drip off. Let dry. Repeat if necessary to thoroughly coat squares. Let dry completely.

For the Frosting:
In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and vanilla. Beat in confectioners' sugar and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Place 1/2 cup each in two bowls; tint one pink and one green.

Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert #104 tip. Fill with pink frosting; pipe a rosebud on each petit four. Insert #3 round tip into another pastry or plastic bag; fill with green frosting. Pipe a leaf under each rose.

Makes 2 1/2 dozen petit fours.

Date: February 16, 2003