Women’s Coffee and an Introduction to Petits Fours

Once a month the women of my church gather for food and fellowship for what is known as “Women’s Coffee.” Our hostess Lynda, graciously opens up her home and her kitchen to provide a warm, inviting, safe, “feels like home” environment. But Lynda’s gift of hospitality doesn’t stop there, she also provides us one of the best breakfast spreads around. From her renowned breakfast burritos, to an array of fresh fruits, yogurt, granola, breads, tea, coffee, and the best possible selection of sugars, creamers, jams, butters, and a special touch each time … like heart shaped cookies.

I serve as the purveyor of pastries.

I get the joy of brining all the wonderful treats that we know we shouldn’t eat but simply can’t refuse. Generally I try and keep things simple but I’ve noticed myself slipping away from that guideline recently. I do though give myself some wiggle room … I bring one pastry that is more traditional/“safe” and then one with a bit more flare and oddity to it that helps satisfy my culinary curiosity.

This month Baker’s Banter did a good job of providing me with my selection for this month. Inside-out Carrot Cake Muffins, anyone? Carrot cake in hand held form filled with lightly sweetened cream cheese? Um, yes, please! How about some Petits Fours? Huh? What? Let me rephrase … scrumptious, bite size, filled, and glazed little cakes. Oh, the challenge was on.

I’ll get to the carrot cake muffins next week. For now we are going to focus on the petits fours.

While I have seen little cakes like these before, I never knew they were called petits fours. That is till I stumble upon posts like this that perk curiosity and wet my creative appetite. I was long overdue for a challenge of this nature … I think I have an inner pastry chef inside me that I’ve shoved down because it “doesn’t make sense” and my waistline couldn’t possibly handle it!

I’m not going to try and skirt around it, petits fours are very labor intensive. Especially when you haven’t made them before. But as I stood back and admired what I just crafted, a sense of accomplishment came over me that left me feeling very satisfied.

I broke this recipe down into three parts over three days: the filling, the cake, assembly and glazing. I’m sure these could easily be made in a days time rather than three but I wanted to pace myself. I also didn’t want to complicate things too much so I followed the directions pretty much to a T with only a few minor changes here and there.

Over the course of this week I will be doing a series of posts on these little gems and how I put them together. But enough of the talk, let’s get into the kitchen!

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