Thursday, June 4, 2009

Petit Fours

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In the past, many of you have asked if I make my own petit fours and up until Monday the answer would have been "no". Now I can confidently say "yes" and I figured y'all might want to make your own too. I've always been a fan of petit fours so long as they're not covered in fondant, which in my humble opinion tastes like molding clay. There's a local bakery that makes the most divine petit fours, perhaps you've seen them here before for birthdays, baby showers, and baptisms. I'm quite aware that most of y'all don't live here and what a shame that you can't run to the bakery and pick up a dozen {or two}. They melt in your mouth and they are so much better than any cupcake on the planet. Don't get me wrong, I love a cupcake, I just have a hard time eating them; you get all the icing first and by the time you get to the bottom you're out of icing. Not the case with these.

Here's what I started with {Justin tried to get me to follow the "instrucciones en espanol"}:

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It can be baked in a 9x13 cake pan or a jelly roll pan {16 x 12 x 1}... but the results will vary by pan. The jelly roll pan yields about 30 short and rectangular petit fours.

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Using a 9 x 13 cake pan will yield about 24 tall & square but potentially unlevel {which is apparently not a word} petit fours.

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But nothing a little serrated knife can't even out.

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So the option is yours: shorter & rectangular or taller & square. Do you want to hear my opinion on the two choices? Ok, good. The short and rectangular bake faster and are easier to coat as the icing doesn't have as far to run down the short sides {you'll see} but the square ones sure are pretty! So... the decision is yours to make.

I'm going to show you the process with the 9 x 13. After the cake cooled completely I cut an inch off around the edges.

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After I cut the cake into squares and leveled {as pictured above} I placed the cake squares on a lovely little cooling rack and placed freezer paper below with the plastic-coated side up.

Then I made the icing.

The icing is a mixture of powdered sugar, heavy cream, milk, and clear vanilla extract. I also tried it with powdered sugar, whole milk, and clear vanilla and it worked great. The cream makes the frosting a little more opaque. You will want to alternate adding the powdered sugar and milk in the mixing bowl and add the vanilla towards the end. You're looking for this consistency...

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I call it coatable yet drippy. If you're not sure if your consistency is good just try it on one petit four, it should run off the spatula in sheets like this.

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If you are a perfectionist this is not a recipe for you. It is merely impossible to cover the entire petit four. You can get close but total coverage is not easily attained.

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Do not attempt to ice these if you don't have a cooling rack for the icing to run through, otherwise you will have a giant mess. Occasionally I would scrape the icing off the paper and pour it back over the petit fours. Be prepared to waste a lot of icing and be okay with that. Scraping the paper and pouring the wasted icing back over is helpful but really a lot of icing gets dribbled down... in fact, probably half or more.

Once they are dry {about 30+ minutes} you can decorate them. Are you a cake decorator? I am not... I tried so many fun little decorations and they looked more like a 4-year old did it. I stuck to suns and hearts they're more my caliber. While I decorated the petit fours Morgan decorated graham crackers.

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If you're going to decorate the petit fours I would use a butter cream frosting... but after all that work you can also use a can of white frosting from the baking aisle and tint it with food coloring.

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These are great for birthday parties {especially for kids!}, bridal and baby showers... or for a summer day. I made 4 dozen on Monday and took them to the Rescue Mission with me, along with ALL OF THIS STUFF that many kind readers contributed, thank you, thank you, thank you! Y'all are the best!

One last thing, if your husband happens to come home while you're making these he will more than likely eat one that isn't dry, dribble icing across the kitchen before he finds himself over the kitchen sink. After he inhales it he will sing your praises, which makes cleaning up after him much easier.

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Click here* for a printable version of the entire recipe.

More tips on the petit fours posted a day later... CLICK here for more info.

*I'm still in search of a document hosting site that I love. If any of you aren't happy with the site hosting the recipe or if you don't find it user friendly please let me know!

56 comments:

kdurec said...

They look wonderful Darby! I will have to give them a try this summer, perhaps for Father's Day. :)

ashr7406 said...

Yummy! I live in Dothan, and this makes me want to go to the bakery RIGHT THIS MINUTE...(I think I will tomorrow :))

Keri said...

I am so glad that you posted this! I cant wait to try it!

I dont know anything about petit fours but are there flavor options?

Natalie said...

this is so inspiring! kudos to you for figuring it out so that we all may benefit :) cant wait to try them.

oh, and yes those banana bars are insanely delicious. i tested them out on my entire extended family and lets just say there were no leftovers.

Kellie said...

AWESOME - I'll have to try them, though getting them from Publix was SOOOO Easy and they were delish! You are too cool! The ones I got from Publix had a flavor filling in between two layers in the cake - just an idea once you master this - which you apparently have already done!

Blueprint Bliss said...

I love, love, love petit fours. These look divine. Can't wait to try them out.

Debra said...

They look amazing! I bet the little ones love these. I would be hard pressed to share. I would have to make these as soon as my darlin' leaves for work and then hide them...I'm like that with goodies...

meredith said...

Yum-o!!! I would love to make them but sadly I don't have the energy ;)

~Meredith

Kasey Hunt said...

I'd love to make these. I wouldn't feel guilty having 5 or 6 if they are bite size, right?? Love the pulled up socks.

Jen in KC said...

Nummy! My G-ma always used to send us a big box of petit fours every Christmas. From the Swiss Colony catalog (is that still around?). We couldn't wait to get them. Thanks for the memory & inspiration!

melissa richie said...

i tried to make them years ago using the southern living recipe, but i got really frustrated. using cake mix and homemade icing seems to be the way to go! i think i'll attempt making my own next time i host a shower/party.

i think savages' bakery in birmingham uses almond extract instead of vanilla in the icing. it's a refreshing little twist and oh so yummy! it would be fun to try a bunch of different flavors.

thanks for the recipe!

Rachel said...

Yum!! Petit fours like this (the kind with the dripped icing and no fruit filling) are my favorite but they always seemed difficult to make. Can't wait to try out this recipe! Thanks so much!

Becky said...

i could kiss you!! i was gonna do petit fours for ACs birthday, but if you say this recipe is as good as some dothan originals, i am IN for making them myself. i may try a batch at the beach this week to see how they turn out!!

Amanda said...

I'm addicted to these little treats from my favorite bakery here in Huntsville, and I can't wait to try your recipe! Thanks for posting this!!

Erin said...

Oh boy, those look delish! And that pictures of the girls with their socks pulled up tight is to die for. :)

Meaghan said...

thank you! i've always wanted to try my own!

Becky Brodbeck said...

Yummy! I don't have an "occasion" to make these just yet...but may try them in the future. I LOVE your directions though...made me feel like I was in the kitchen with you,wish we lived close enough to experiment together! Love you! Thanks for sharing so many fun ideas on your blog!

Megan Shropshire said...

Wow...those look great! My mom used to always get petit fours for our Mother Daughter Christmas Tea that she would have every year...they were my favorite part...I never thought about making them myself! I'll have to try it! I wonder if you could use a wooden skewer or even a toothpick and dip the petit four in the icing to get a even coating? What do you think?

Gray Matters said...

Looks yummy - you must be referring to Roland's bakery . . . if so, ask my brother Josh about how delicious their donut holes are!

Amanda said...

Yum! I adore Petit Fors but have yet to find a good babkery here...so I will try these although I think the whole cutting the cake and the tops, etc. looks hard?! Love the socks...2 days and counting until the Eddie Ross trip - wish you were coming and bring those with ya, !!!!

Amanda said...

and ...apparently I cannot spell!

Andre'a said...

Perfect!! I've been looking for something fun to make with my daughter for her birtday.

Gray Matters said...

oops, I meant Rolen's bakery

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Giant glass of milk, and I'm one happy Momma!!

CC said...

Darby.....you've inspired me. I love to cook and bake but have always been intimated by petite fours....no more! Thanks sweetie! :)

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Thanks, Darby! I've always thought they would be beyond my reach, but yours are so cute and they looked pretty easy. :) I hate fondant too. So pretty, but tastes like plastic.

Amanda said...

Thanks for what looks to be another tasty treat! I have ditched the cook books and have added your blog to my favorites. I love that your recipes are easy, quick and taste so good. I have made the easy Asian numerous times as well as the chicken soup and both are so yummy. My granny brought me fresh squash, so I'll be trying out the squash casserole and the petit fours this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

bella grace photography said...

Oh i am going to try this...but which pan did you use -and like the results??
Also what is the name of the lil bakery when I come to bama..would love to stop by and grap a doz or two...
thanks for the time you took in letting us know a sure fire way to bake these lil divine designs!

Caroline said...

These look like lots of fun and Julianna could have a little friend over to help decorate them. I would do all the work up until the decorative icing and then let them have at it. A cute little father's day surprise treat!! Wouldn't that be fun?
These are perfect for a preschool treat to take in on birthday's or for a teacher too! I am so excited.
The girls standing there in their (or JM's) aprons and socks was too cute.

mary-kathryn said...

my mouth is watering! those look so yummy!

~Carole said...

I have fond memories of eating petit fours as a little girl. I remember thinking how delightful and pretty they were.

I've not had them since then. So, you can imagine my excitement at seeing your post. Thanks for the tips and photos. I just might make these for my DDs 16th birthday party later this month.

Kyle Lynn said...

I don't have a document suggestion but I do like www.recipezaar.com for uploading recipes!

Shar said...

If you could handle the mess, and I am sure you could, wouldn't this be fun for the kids to do at a birthday party. Have the cakes made and let the kids ice and decorate their own. So cool!

Yours look so good.

Dona said...

If you haven't tried the chocolate petit fours for our local bakery- you need to- the icing is... there are no words for it! I can't wait to try one of yours! They are Ryan's favorite- he would rather have a petit four than just about any other dessert!

The LaBouffs said...

Yum! You can also use store bought icing and microwave it just long enough to make it "coatable yet drippy". Then, dip your cut cake squares in it and allow to dry. It covers really well and taste good too!

Rachel said...

These look so yummy and surprisingly simple!!

Jennifer said...

this is amazing! I love petit fours, but they can be pricey in some bakeries. for some reason, I just assumed they were more complicated than this. thank you!

Scrappy_Lady said...

I've found that using an Air-Bake 9x13 pan, and spreading the batter to the corners evenly results in a flat cake.

Because it's the Air-Bake pan, it cooks more evenly, therefore the same height everywhere.

erika said...

yum.
worth driving to dothan for YUM.
love you.
e

anna and geoffrey said...

My mouth is watering. . . literally. YUM!

Ashley said...

Yummy, Darby! I'm ready for one now! Thanks for the recipe! I'll definitely try it soon. Those little petit fours can be a little pricey, so I'm glad to know they're doable at home! FUN! I'm impressed! :) You're cute!

Wright Family said...

I can't WAIT to try these:) thanks for sharing it with us! the banana bars were amazing. i am only allowing myself to make them when we are having company from now on. too dangerous when i am home all day with them:)

The Harris Family said...

Aren't you so talented!?

The Harris Family said...

PS-dont' forget to put this and the Fudge Pie on the From our Kitchen section! :-) I love to quick reference your blog before a dinner party~!

Sarah said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing and posting such detailed directions. I'm hosting a baby shower this weekend and was just going to order a sheet cake from our local grocery. Which is what everyone around here does b/c the cake is supposed to be really good but when you have been eating it all of your life it tastes pretty boring. I'm going to give your petit fours a try this evening, wish me luck!

Abby Maddox said...

These look DELICIOUS...but do you know how bad they stress me out??? The thought of trying to make every square the same size, the loss of icing, the icing consistency being just so, the decorations on the top not matching...I'd like to come to your house and eat one, but I think trying them myself would most likely kill me.

Katie said...

Great blog, Darby! I am only saying hi because you called out all of us quiet blog stalkers the other day in a post. I must say, I have become obsessed and love feeling like I know your family so well. Kisses to the whole clan (and your sweet sis too)!
-Katie (Morris) Moore

emily said...

oh man, petit fours are such a weakness for me! i think you are only supposed to eat like a couple if you're polite and dainty and all that... but i just can't stop eating them!!! this post made my mouth water. i cannot wait to try these.

Kendall Boggs said...

hey Darbs! you've inspired me! This has nothing to do with Petit Fours, but I'm going tomorrow to get all the stuff to pickle. (Actually I was just watching an episode on "Andy Griffith" and Aunt Bee pickled what he and Barney called "kerosene pickles" haha! So, I'm going to go get the stuff tomorrow and pickle garlic dill pickles, pickled okra, and pickled green beans! I can't wait!!!! Thanks for inspiring this 49 yr. old to try something new!!!! (i guess this is another chapter in my mid-life crisis!) I'll let you know how it goes!
kb

Snosrednas said...

Love your blog! Thanks for the petit four recipe. Tried it today...my icing was too thin...will definitely try again. Quick question...where did you get the under that counter paper towel holder? I haven't seen one like it and would love to have one in my kitchen. BTW - your kitchen is beautiful!

Mandy said...

Those are so cute...I usually get mine at Publix but I think I will give this a try...I had an idea for you that I think you would like. I am going to host a mother-daughter book exchange at my house. Moms bring a good summer read to exchange , little girls a book they love but want to exchange. (If people don't have one, point them to the Goodwill) I am going to do a light summer lunch (grill cheese, chick salad, pasta salad, chips, fresh fruit,pink lemonade, cute baked and decorated cookies or these:) with a beautifully set, old fashioned, girly table and I am going to do a craft after lunch with moms and daughters where we make bookmarks with various stickers, markers, punch a hole at the top for ribbon streamer, etc....for our new books...anyway...thought you might like to do this as well! I am hosting it in a couple of weeks so I will let you know how it goes. I wanted to share an idea with you since you share so many wonderful ones with us! Have a good week! Mandy

Lara said...

these look so delicious! I may, repeat may, attempt to make these for graduation. My roommates would be so impressed but I'm not sure how well I'll do!

homesweet said...

Thanks for sharing! I just made a post on my blog about your yummy treats.

Trena said...

Thank you for sharing! I'm looking for an easy recipe for my cousin's bridal shower and I'm using this! You are hilarious, as my husband does the same thing when I bake!

Anonymous said...

...please where can I buy a unicorn?

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