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 Fruit Glaze:
12 oz. apricot or raspberry preserves (or heated jelly may be used instead)
3 tbsp. water
9 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Food coloring, (optional)
Tiny edible sugar flowers and/or leaves, for decorating tops of petit fours
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Grease and lightly flour a 9-inch (23cm) square baking pan.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar. Beat in the 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 batter into prepared baking pan and bake at 350 degrees F (180 C) for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn cake out onto a plate or cooling rack; then chill cake in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Remove cake from refrigerator. Cut a thin slice off each side of chilled cake. Cut cake into 1-1/4-inch (3.175 cm) squares. Place squares 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) apart on a cooling rack over a 15 x 10 x 1-inch (38cmX25cmX2.5cm) pan. Apply fruit glaze (See Fruit Glaze Preparation Below)) evenly over tops and sides of cake squares, allowing excess to drip off. Let dry. Repeat if necessary to thoroughly coat squares. Let glaze dry completely.
For Preparing The Fruit Glaze:
In a medium size saucepan, heat preserves with the 3 tbsp. water on low heat. Drizzle or spread a thin layer of heated preserves over cooled tops and sides of petit fours before icing. (If using jelly, you do not need to add water to it, just heat jelly in saucepan on low heat and spread over cooled tops and sides of petit fours).
To Prepare Icing:
Combine all icing ingredients in the top of a double boiler. Heat over boiling water to lukewarm. Pour icing over tops and sides of petit fours. Once they are set, they should be coated with icing again. After icing hardens, decorate tops of each petit four with a tiny edible sugar flower and/or leaf.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen petit fours.
Storage of Petit Fours
Petits Fours may be made up to 24 hours in advance. Let the icing (or if using a fondant frosting) dry completely before storing in an airtight container. Refrigerate petit fours if they contain perishable fillings and icings, such as dairy products or fresh fruit or berries. The fruit preserves or jelly used in the filling of these petit fours can go bad after 2 or 3 days because of the moisture from the wet fruit filling, so storing them in an airtight container at room temperature for more than 2 days is not advised.
1). You can separate the icing, once it's made, into small bowls, and tint each with a different food coloring, adding color until you achieve the desired shade.
2). Icing colors that look nice for petit fours are: White, Pale Yellow, Pale Pink, Pale Blue, Pale Green or Lavender.
3). You may also drizzle melted white or dark chocolate over tops and sides of petit fours instead of using the white or tinted icing.
4). Another idea is to sandwich two of the cake squares together with the heated preserves or jelly glaze; then pour icing over the tops and sides of squares, then decorate when icing has hardened completely.
Note: Fondant icing can be used to cover these petit fours instead of the glaze above. See recipe for "Fondant Icing" under the "Cake Decoration" category on this website.
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall,© 2003
Date: April 14, 2003