I think this easy Petit Fours Recipe is essential during any festive season! These French little indulging treats are great to make with kids too and petit fours don’t need to be necessarily complicated little sweets.
So, what are Petit Fours essentially you might ask?
Petit Fours [pronunciation] are bite-sized appetizer or snacks. Basically, they can be sweet or savory but more often we associate petit fours with sweet bites.
The more elegant looking petit fours, commonly seen at special functions, are always pretty looking, perfected & elaborate bites.
In local homes in France, sweet petit fours tend to look more down to earth and maybe not that catchy because there is no rule what a petit four may or may not be.
You see, the history of petit fours goes like this…
The origin of petit fours comes from French bakers of the past. So apparently they are called petit fours, which means small oven translated because you would bake them at the side of other bigger baking “projects”.
The reason for that is because the oven would still be hot but I suppose not hot enough for a big cake, so the good women and men would come up with small éclaire, marzipan, and macaroon version aka petit fours to bake and so to use up the remaining heat of the dying flame in the oven and so to fill in the waiting time of the workers.
And I suspect that sometimes, left over dough was common so you would want to use that up as well and make the most of it.
After all, you don’t waste resources, energy and time, right?
Besides people back then liked already small bites, think Madeleine‘s!
While Madeleine was mostly a treat for traveling train friends, petit fours were a richer men’s indulgence between breakfast and lunch hour or a quick fulfilling bite during the afternoon hours.
You see, you don’t want to feel hungry when you create a master piece of art such as Monsieur Chopin did.
How to make easy Petit Fours from scratch?
I picked an easy to prepare petit fours recipe for you. We have been making these for years now and in fact, the pictures were taken last year when I made them with my mum.
It’s easier when there are two people to make these as you tend to be faster in the making process of decorating them with chocolate etc.
To make petit fours you start out with a marzipan based dough aka almond paste. It’s a firm easy to handle dough that doesn’t crumble.
Once you have prepared your dough let it cool in the fridge as this helps in the rolling out process later on.
Once rolled out cut out the shapes to your liking and bake those.
In the meanwhile keep a bain marie (double boiler) ready to melt the chocolate and nougat, you can choose between dark chocolate, white chocolate, and nougat. The nougat is used to stick two cookies together to make a “sandwich” cookie.
Once the chocolate is molten, cover your cookies to your liking with the chocolate and stick molded icing sugar decoration on each petit fours. That’s it.
Ideas to decorate your petit fours according to the season/occasion
To decorate the petit fours, you are free to do as you please. I put together a few seasonal/occasional icing decoration suggestions, which will help you to get an idea of what you could do with these petit fours.
- Christmas decoration for Petit Fours
- Valentine’s day decoration for Petit Fours
- Easter decoration for Petit Fours
- Baby Shower decoration for Petit Fours
- Superhero Birthday decoration for Petit Fours (aka my nephew is a superhero fan deco)
- My niece’s Birthday decoration for Petit Fours
- And Petit four decoration for my birthday! Of course 🙂
Easy Petit Fours Recipe
For the dough:
- In a bowl add all the dough ingredients listed above. Marzipan/almond paste, Butter, flour, sugar, vanilla sugar, egg yolks, and water. Mix well and beat to a smooth dough.
- Once you have a smooth dough wrap a clean wrap around it and keep in the fridge for minimum 30 minutes to cool so that the dough gets a bit harder. That way it will be easier for you to roll
- and cut out the dough.
- Just before rolling out the dough, start your oven. Preheat to 180 Celsius/350 Fahrenheit.
- Then roll out your dough to about 1/2 cm/0.2 inch thickness and cut out with a regular cookie cutter, repeat the process until all the dough has been cut out.
- Place a baking paper on a tray and the freshly cut out cookies onto it, keep about 1 inch distance between each cookie. Bake each batch of cookies at 180 Celsius/350 Fahrenheit for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. watch your cookies that they don't get burned or under cooked, the time setting depends on your oven. Once baked let the cookies cool for a few minutes.
- Then keep the black, white chocolate and nougat in a double boiler to melt. Decorate each cookie with the chocolate and nougat. For the nougat, use it between two cookies. The chocolate can be spread on the cookie surface and then press in one of the sugar decorations on top before the chocolate hardens.
- Do this for all cookies and store them in a tin box [+ apple peel to keep them moist) or air tight container if you are living in a humid climate.
- Vanilla Sugar is also known as Vanillin
- Choose an icing sugar deco that you like to use
Similar Petit Fours recipes 🍫
Dear Reader, how did you get to know about petit fours?
Please let us know in the comments further below!