Several houses and towns ago, my neighbor enjoying hosting a few ladies for coffee and tea.  She usually orchestrated it so that those of us who were working could enjoy a lovely weekday morning together.

Petit Fours for Tea :: Tablesetting :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

It wasn’t anything elaborate, but it was very thoughtful and pretty.

One thing she always did was to purchase some beautiful paper napkins.  You know the ones with the gorgeous designs that are too pretty to use?

She would set her table with special dishes.  Pieces she picked up here and there from antiquing.  They didn’t necessarily match, but everything always looked beautiful.

And of course, there were flowers.  Usually something from her yard or garden, quickly assembled.

 

Apple Blossom Tablescape :: Pettit Fours for Tea :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Want to know the best part of this sweet occasion?

Feeling special.

I always felt special when I sat at her lovely table.

It was fun chatting with a few friends and being refreshed by my friend’s hospitality.

 

Have you ever invited a few friends over for tea.

Have you ever been invited to join a few friends for tea?

 

My friend usually hosted these little gatherings in the morning just after the kiddos got off to school.  It worked for me because I could somehow manage to get away from the office for the morning on a rare occasion.  But, you could host a tea or coffee any time that works for your schedule.

The menu doesn’t have to be elaborate.

In fact, the simpler the better.

A plate or dish of fruit and a sweet bread or croissants with butter and jam would be enough for a morning tea.

If you get together in the afternoon, you might want to have a chicken salad in addition to the above.

Providing you have the time or the energy, you might want to make or purchase something a little bit special, but it’s not necessary.

 

Pink Apple Blossom Tea Tablescape and Centerpiece :: Petit Fours for Tea :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Of course, you already know that I would do something just a little bit extra for you. [wink]

Okay….for our tea today…I went all out.

I made something that I’ve never before made.

Petit Fours.

Don’t they seem perfect for tea?

 

 

Almond Tea Cakes :: Petit Fours for Tea :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

Petit Fours?

Another friend of mine has this wonderful book that is filled with all things cake and decorating cakes: Decorating Cakes (The Wilton School).

Recently, I was looking through it with her as she was trying to decide what she might make for her niece’s wedding reception.  Instead of the usual cake, the bride asked family members to make little desserts for the wedding guests.   I spied the petit fours and said she ought to make those.   I also made the comment that I’d like to try my hand at them and share them on the blog.

Having not made petit fours before, my cake decorating friend suggested that I make them for you as sort of a test run.

They were a test…that’s for sure!  And a labor of love.

Whatever price they charge for them at the bakery, they are worth every penny.

 

Petit Fours for Tea :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

 

Let me take you through the steps I took to make these sweet cakes.

First, bake a 9×13 cake.  This is the easy part!

I used a yellow mix and added milk in place of the water, and an extra two extra eggs and a teaspoon of almond extract.  Raise your hand if you love almond flavoring.  Yum!

The cake was baked in a parchment lined pan instead of a floured pan to make for easy removal and less crumbs.

Once the cake was cooled and the parchment removed I used this handy Wilton cake leveler to slice the hump off the cake.   Then I adjusted the wire device again, and sliced the cake in half horizontally, leaving the two pieces still intact with the cut between them.

Using some tall cookie cutters I then cut the cake into rectangle and round shapes.

While the cake was cooling, I whipped up a delicious buttercream frosting flavored with almond extract for the filling and crumb coating.

This is when the project started to get a little bit tedious….

I got to work spreading a layer of frosting on the bottom layer of the tiny layer cakes and then adding the top to make little sammies.

Then, in groups, I sprayed the tiny layer cakes with a Crumb Coat Spray according to the directions.  It makes spreading a crumb coat of buttercream icing on the little cakes easier.

You know, patience is a virtue and I certainly was exercising my patience as I carefully coated each little cake with buttercream.

Once they were done, I placed them in a covered container for the night.  A wise decision on my part to put the project on pause.

 

Making Petit Fours for Tea :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

The next afternoon it was time to make a quick-pour fondant recipe from the book, Decorating Cakes (The Wilton School).

This is an easy cooked glaze to which I added almond extract and and a wee bit of coloring.

I am totally a newbie at this cake decorating thing and I quickly learned…a little bit of coloring goes a long way.  At first I panicked because I thought it was too pink, but later when I placed the finished petit fours on the plates I found it was perfect.  Whew!

If you should choose to make petit fours with the quick-pour fondant, I have a few suggestions:

  • Should your fondant get too thick, add a half teaspoon of water at most and stir it in well to get it thinned down.  I had to do this several times as I coated the petit fours.  I also kept the pan on the cook top to help hold its warmth.
  • Find a small wire rack, the one I used was from the tray in the toaster oven, and place your tiny cake on it, in the corner.
  • A teaspoon worked best for pouring the glaze over the cake.
  • I poured the glaze while holding the wire rack over the pan of warm glaze, so that any extra glaze could fall into the pan.  You might need to scrape some off the bottom of the rack as it starts to set up.
  • I tried this with the wire rack sitting over a piece of freezer paper, but it was much messier.
  • Be careful holding your cake on the rack over the pan.  In my zeal I dumped a cake in the glaze.  After rescuing this not exactly presentable petit four, I did what anyone would do….I had a bite.  Oh. My. Yum.   It was soooo good.  Delicious!  And perfectly almond.  And very sweet.
  • For an elegant touch, I placed pearls on the fondant.  You’ll want to use tweezers to place the pearls if you decorate with them, and you’ll want to do it immediately after pouring the fondant on the cakes so that they stick and don’t roll off.

 

Quick Pour Fondant Glaze Petit Fours for Tea :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

After the glaze hardened, I tried my hand at decorating the cakes with flowers, after a wee bit of practice. Fortunately the cake decorating book had all the instructions on how to make the flowers and stems, and my friend has quite a few tips and frosting bags so that was really helpful.

The frosting I used to make the flowers was leftover buttercream.  Again…I freaked out at the color when I tinted it…but on the plates it looked great.    The flowers….well let’s just say they aren’t perfect. [wink]

 

Petit Fours for Tea :: Mini Almond Cakes :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

The moment of realization.

I have to tell you that after all that work, I thought the petit fours were just okay.  In fact I really didn’t want to serve them to you.  But, since it was so much work, I was hopeful that you would extend me grace for my effort.  Besides, they really do taste great.

When I placed these pink cakes on each plate, I was amazed at how sweet they looked.

And then I had an ah-ha moment.

If this were your table I was seated at, and you told me you made these little petit fours for me, I would be thrilled.  I wouldn’t be analyzing them for the lack of perfection.  Nope.  Quite the opposite.

And it was at that moment that I loved them.

Imperfectly perfect petit fours for tea.

I hope you like them too.

 

Tea Time with Petit Fours :: Imperfectly Perfect Petit Fours for Tea :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

It’s tea time!

The menu for our tea is as I mentioned before.  Simple.

I like tea, but if your prefer coffee, that’s what I’ll serve you.

More than our fruit, croissants, sweet cakes, coffee or tea is the joy in sitting down with you.

As special as I’ve tried to make the table and the menu….if I could sit and chat with you over just a glass of water…that would be pretty special to me, too.

 

Petit Fours for Tea Collage :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

If you’re wondering about the tablescape details….

  • The teacups, dessert plates, and luncheon plates are all from TJ Maxx.
  • The blue birds and ceramic pot are from JoAnn.
  • The napkins are from Goodwill.
  • The doily placemats are from Dollar Tree.
  • The pink crab apple blossoms were what was left on the tree following the pounding rainstorm.
  • Shot glasses from TJ Maxx make the best tiny vases.

 

Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors - Quote :: Petit Fours for Tea :: AnExtraordinaryDay.net

 

I hope you’ll join me.  Tea or coffee?

 

Thank you for stopping by today.
I appreciate you and your sweet comments make my day.

Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!

Diane

P.S. My friend is not going to make these for the wedding reception.

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Comments

  1. Lovely! thanks for the tip on the crumbless cake spray, brilliant! When’s the next afternoon tea?

  2. I am incredibly impressed with you having the courage to tackle petit fours. Love that you gave us the bad with the good so we would know what to expect. Your table is lovely – I will be ringing your bell soon.

  3. You always make the prettiest desserts, and your really did good undertaking petit fours. Love the pink color, I;m into pink lately? I love tea, only beverages I drink (oh except wine). I do love a tea party and your tablescape is beautiful.

  4. judianni says:

    Thank you, Diane, for the lovely tea party. I had the most wonderful time and you made me feel so special with the beautiful touches on your table…the gorgeous apple blossoms which were so wonderfully sweet smelling, and the lovely doilies and napkins. I truly felt cherished by you as a friend. I know you went to an enormous amount of trouble to make the delicious petit fours yourself. Just looking at those beautiful pink treasures made my mouth water. I’m delighted that I was invited to your party sweet friend. Blessings to you.

  5. I would be thrilled and delighted that you went through so much trouble. They look wonderful to me! There is no way in the world, though, that I could do them myself. That’s one of those things I’d have to leave to the pros…like making Chinese food and detonating bombs!

    I think it’s wonderful that your neighbor would do that. I wish we could get back to some of those civilities of days gone by. Everyone is just busy these days!!! Only 2 of the 8 women on our cul-de-sac work outside the home, but on one is ever home!! Everybody’s just going, going, gone all the time!!! I’m more of a homebody, and I would love to assemble the ladies once a month or so for girlie food and fun.

    Everything is so pretty, and I’m sure your petit fours tasted wonderful! Thanks for “sharing” them!

    • Alycia, I think that’s what made my neighbor’s teas so special, it was so rare. You neighbor ladies would be thrilled to come to your house for sure. Your gift of hospitality will bless their socks off. And I’m pretty sure….no one will be too busy.

      Thanks for popping by and for your kind encouraging thoughts.

      Best wishes for a most extraordinary day!

  6. wow! so beautiful as usual! I so wish I could sit with you even with water–that and coffee and green tea are the only things I ever drink! thanks again for sharing your love, talent and beauty!
    hugs!
    Glenda Kremer

  7. Maybe imperfect, but I don;t think so. They are lovely! Truly…and any guest would feel special! Have a good day.

  8. Gorgeous tea. So sweet and delicate. I love the vintage look. The soft tones give it a very feminine loo. I am in love with those pretty salad plates. They truly pull the whole look together. I had the matching cake stand for those tea cups. I never did find any but the cake stand is perfect.

    So wonderful to meet you. I am now following you. I I hope you can follow back.

    Janet

  9. LOVE those sweet dishes! And your petit fours are beautiful. They look like a lot of work but worth it! 🙂

    ~Liz

  10. Another lovely blog to follow. Not sure I have the patience to decorate the cakes but I love the tablescape. I will be back to have a good look around
    Janice

  11. Absolutely beautiful! I saw this on the Thursday Blog Hop – I love petit fours!

  12. Beautiful and so appealing.:) We use to have teas at church and each lady was given a table to decorate like they wanted.MY daughter in laws used their China from their weddings and it was so much fun.One lady did snappy chic with all unmatched tea cups and dishes.

  13. Oh my those are special! I would never ever have the patience to make petit fours. I rarely make cupcakes because it takes too much time lol! I’m a get in and get out of the kitchen as fast as humanly possible kind of girl. But I very much appreciate the work that others put into special recipes like this. The table is beautiful and the petit fours are perfect looking to me. I would very much enjoy a “tea” with you 🙂

    Blessings,
    Deborah

  14. Julia G. says:

    I just stumbled upon your blog and your tea invitation was so thoughtful. If I could offer a hint on making those petite fours a little simpler…when you cut the whole sheet cake in half or thirds, use dental floss and frost each layer or add filling before you use your cookie cutters. Then ice or glaze them as you stated. Can’t wait for the next tea!

  15. I am so glad you had the Ah Hah moment, because these are so cute looking. The petite fours look delish. I stumbled upon your post on the linky party and just had to have a look.. I love a great high tea. Thank you for the invitation to your tea here on your blog.

  16. Mmmm Petit Fours! These look dainty and delicious. And your table setting is so sweet! Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded!

    Alison
    Nancherrow

  17. I’m raising my hand! 🙂 Your petit fours look amazing, Diane!!! You are a very patient woman. Your guests should feel very blessed indeed, that you would honor them in such a special way. I feel blessed just looking at them! And, your table is beautiful and sweet. 🙂
    Blessings!
    Kim

  18. Lovely! All of it! You’ve got me thinking I need to have some ladies over for tea! I probably won’t serve petit fours, so I’m glad I got to enjoy yours!

  19. Great job! I remember making those YEARS ago and they were a ton of work! I love the idea of adding some almond flavoring 🙂

  20. I pinned your petit fours. They have been on my bucket list for a very long time. Good job!

    Madonna

  21. Your table is just lovely and I think your petit fours look just perfect!! Thanks for all your helpful tips that you learned along the way…they’ll come in handy should I ever choose to make these for my friends (they’ll probably just get chocolate chip cookies or banana bread though, lol!).

  22. This is absolutely gorgeous and feeling special makes all the difference. I agree with you about petit fours they are a challenge! I’ve been a cake decorator for 28 years and there is always something new to learn. The Crumb Coat Sealer definitely falls into the, “What will they think of next category?”. Your sweet little treats came out perfectly.

  23. They are beautiful!! You already look like an expert at making them. Now I’m inspired to make some. Pinning! 🙂

  24. It happens that I’m drinking a cup of black English tea right… I wish I had such a treat next to my cup. They look very beautiful, tantalizing and delicious. If they taste half as good as they look, these petits fours would make me happy!
    I’m pinning one of your gorgeous pictures right after I hit the comment button. Un délice pour les yeux!

  25. Diane, these look amazing and I love your table setting too.

  26. Diane, I have only made petit fours once and they were delicious but so ugly – I just winged it and it was so difficult and so messy and they turned out so ugly I don’t think I shall ever try it again, haha. YOURS are lovely- and your first time? Well your reading the Wilton stuff paid off for sure. I just buy mine now lol.

    I host teas often and agree – the part that makes it special is the visit, and the prettiness…..not so much the menu or fuss but bothering to have a friends (or several) over!

    I enjoyed your post and beautiful tea t i me tablescape.

  27. Hi,
    It is cool to see the Danish designer Lisa Dahls cups laying on your table. She is very famous in Scandinavia.

    I love your petité pours… As a sugar lover and a hobby (baker) thanks for sharing this lovely recipe.

    Greetings from Stockholm,
    /CC

  28. Your aha moment is great! You recognized that, like humans, they’re perfectly imperfect! I always like to gather shells at the beach, and I never look for ones that are perfect. I look for the ones that are like us-perfect because they’re imperfect! So often we’re so much harder on ourselves than we would ever be with others. I will remember your aha moment. I enjoyed your post!

    PS – They truly are lovely, and so much work. I made some many years ago and have never attempted them again. Thanks for the tips, too. I may be making some for our granddaughter’s bday party now that you’ve inspired me. 🙂 ~Zuni

  29. Diane,
    WoW!!!
    This is your first attempt??? No way!!!
    These are absolutely gorgeous!!!
    Pink petit four perfect!!!
    I adore your tablescape!!!
    Your photography of the stripe cup drew me to your post today, dear one!!!
    However, after reading all that you did to make homemade petit fours,
    I think I’ll leave this task to the professionals!!!
    I have hosted several teas and luncheons!!!
    I was honored to be asked to Tea @ Linderhof with Martha!!!
    Thank you for extending the invitation.
    Tea, please. . .no sugar or milk.
    Fondly,
    Pat

  30. Such a pretty, feminine table! Love those plates and your petit fors look great on them.

  31. Thank you so much for sharing your creativity on The Inspiration Board at homework. I so appreciate it!
    You were featured in the spotlight! I just love your setting and those beautiful petit fours.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    carolyn ~ homework

  32. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Oh how pretty! I love the pink and aqua combination. Pass the tea please!

  33. I’ve just pinned this-it’s is a very beautiful post!

    Thanks for joining the Say G’Day Saturday linky party. Hope you can join us again this weekend.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  34. Your table setting is pretty, I love the cute bird.. And it seem you made the petit fours look easy.. And oh so yummy! Thanks for sharing, have a happy new week!

    • Eileen, you are so sweet! Thank you for your warm remarks. I’m sure the petit fours are easy enough to do….but they sure are time consuming to make! 😉
      Blessings!

  35. I think that you did a terrific job of putting these sweet little cakes together. Your table looked very lovely too~

  36. THe petit fours look delicious – but most of all I love that beautiful table setting. It would certainly make your friends feel special to be invited to sit down at this table setting.
    Have a great week. I am joining you at Mosaic Monday.

  37. Oh my goodness – these petite fours are adorable!
    Visiting from Mary’s Mosaic Monday.
    Enjoy your week.
    Shane

  38. Gorgeous tea, Diane! Thank you bunches for linking up and partying with us this week!

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