You know I created, with Desiree Van Tassel, a project called On the Spot to raise money and supplies for middle school girls in the region who cannot afford menstrual products. I’m a sucker. At our first fundraiser we started a tradition of having a cookie table. So when Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails wanted to throw us a fundraiser, we offered to do a cookie table. Being that LUPEC is all about old timey cocktails, we decided to bake old timey cookies to go with the cocktails. Most of the recipes were from a 1953 Joy of Cooking cookbook, one was from the 20s and our Petit Fours were from epicurious.com. HOWEVER, Petits Fours are so perfectly old timey that I was comfortable with this anomaly.
I have to admit Desiree did most of the baking this time, bless her. She baked Key Lime Cookies, Gumdrop Cookies (nom nom nom!) and chocolate wafers before I even opened a cookbook. I’ve been very busy trying to save the world and didn’t get around to helping until the night before the event. Even then it was the famous Alix Levy who opened the doors to her kitchen and invited Desiree and I in to bake Petits Fours. The cake was an earl gray pound cake (with several pounds of butter in it!!) with a lemon butter cream filling covered in poured fondant.
What would we do without Alix?
The cake batter had around 2 lbs of butter and was flecked with earl gray tea. We made 10 or so loaves of the pound cake to be cut into rounds for Petits Fours. The butter cream in the middle had another several pounds of butter and a few pounds of powdered sugar, along with lemon zest and lemon juice. (The memory of this process is making my mouth water!)
After cutting out the little rounds of pound cake we filled them with butter cream and then covered the tiny towers in poured fondant. The fondant had 9? 10? pounds of powdered sugar in it, though being poured meant a good bit of it flowed onto the tray below. Still, a very lot of sugar cane was sacrificed in the making of these little beauties.
Aren’t they precious? They were very rich, but very delicious.
All in all it took us 5 hours to make these. Five. Hours. I think I was audibly whimpering by the time I limped home. However the process was well worth it, yielding almost 100 of these luscious and beautiful confections. To me Petits Fours epitomize a classic confection. And though they haven’t really gone out of style like many of the endangered cocktails LUPEC features, they are something the home chef rarely bothers with. They were the perfect accompaniment for the cocktails and I can imagine Betty Draper serving these with a Kitty Highball or a Liberty Cocktail.