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Petits Fours


lackadaisi
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We are having a real craving for petit fours. Real ones, not just fancy cookies. (We were sorely disappointed last night when we ordered them from olives and were presented with cookies). I recently had some good ones from the Heidleburg Bakery in Arlington, but would love to know where else (especially in downtown DC) I could find good ones. Does anyone have any ideas? Thank you.

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Not cheap, however I have sent as gifts and they have been very well received.these

I occasionally make them but they are labor intensive and I had my fill of decorating the little beasts 50 years ago when I worked in my mother's bakery.

We had a standing order for a bridge club and I really got to hate those suits. Even turned me off of playing pinochle.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I had been wondering the same thing myself recently.  By petit fours, are you referring to the little frosted cakes?  Someone told me that Sutton Place Gourmet carries them but I have yet to investigate.

They do and they're good. However, at $2.50 apiece, you have to want them really badly.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Petits fours are a very tough category to find done well--very labor intensive, they require a lot of skill, and it is harder to do that very fine small work well. For these reasons, plus lack of demand, plus they tend to dry out more quickly, plus "most" customers looking at their 12" croissant which costs $2.99 and then looking askance at a little 1" piece of something at close to the same price, pfs seem expensive. It's also a broad category--it includes those little fondant covered cakes, (which I don't think I've ever had one whose taste matched its appearance except when my teacher in pastry school made them, Mark Ramsdell,) but it also includes chocolates, bon bons, little mini-souffles, tiny fruit tartlets, Ann Amernick's justly famous caramels are considered petits fours, a tiny one inch square of Opera cake would be a petits four (you could cut those up yourself from a regular 3-4" opera cake), those incredible paper thin tuiles and macaroons Michel Richard does at Citronelle--yup, you got it, petits fours. Most small cookies are legitimately considered petits fours--they're usually called "petits four sec," as in sec=dry--and really, really good cookies are a treat, and a rarity.

Outside of restaurants, the petits fours I can vouch for are the macaroons and chocolates at Wegmans and Ann's caramels. I bet anything else Ann did small and sold in her shop would be excellent. I haven't been to Patisserie Poupon in a while but I bet he'd do some nice petits fours for you if you asked. I think what you're most likely to see around town are mini-desserts, say 3", rather than pfs.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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I am really just looking for fondant covered cakes. I understand that I may find better quality in other types of pastries, but it is those that we are craving, and we would like to find the best ones around. Price is of very little concern unless the seller insists on the purchase of huge quantities - this is not for an event, it is just to satisfy a craving shared by a couple people stuck in the office.

Edited to correct mispelling.

Edited by lackadaisi (log)
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I am really just looking for fondant covered cakes.  I understand that I may find better quality in other types of pastrys, but it is those that we are craving, and we would like to find the best ones around.  Price is of very little concern unless the seller insists on the purchase of huge quantities - this is not for an event, it is just to satisfy a craving shared by a couple people stuck in the office.

You may be satisfied with Sutton Place then. :smile: I was ordering for a party where 80 people were expected, so the price was a little painful.

And yes, they are little cakes covered with fondant. Right now they have very cute Halloween designs.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I sent these to my best friend for her birthday which is tomorrow.

She got the package today and just called me to say that she had one with her before dinner wine (the ambrosia pear) and plans on having another with her after dinner coffee (hasn't decided which at the moment).

Her husband is a diabetic and is not fond of sweets anyway, so she doesn't have to share.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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From another petits fours lover, thanks for the suggestions!

The best petits fours I've ever had were from Christopher Norman...ordered last year from Dean & Deluca as a holiday treat. Sadly, I can't find them anywhere this year.

I did just order some for myself from Divine Delights - all their varieties sound delicious.

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I'm no connoisseur of petits fours, but we had some this past weekend from the Woodmoor Bakery (4 Corners area of Silver Spring), which I thought were rather good. The cake portion contained a couple thin layers of raspberry filling, which was nice. The price was right too -- 4 petits fours and 1/2 dozen cookies came to about $9.

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You’re gonna think I’m crazy, but…

My favorite petit fours can be found in Harris Teeter around Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter. Growing up on Long Island, my father used to bring home buckets (yes, buckets) of petit fours from local petit four outlet. They would sell slightly-imperfect looking treats for cheap. Oh my gosh, they were so good. Alas, one day they moved their factory to further out on the island and never again would we be blessed with loads of our favorite treats.

A couple of years, before a trip back home, I decided to research the bakery with the hopes of possibly stopping by for some. But no luck. Until one day a few months later I was in Harris Teeter and sure enough they had petit fours that looked just right. I bought them and WOW – they were the same ones. I looked at the back of the package and sure enough, the company is in NY.

I am sure they differ from the ones at Godiva and Sutton Place (which I will now have to try). But the ones at HT are really good, and not as expensive. Let me know if you try them. (Make sure you don’t by the ones that are in the pastry case – those are different, and IMHO, gross). These are the prepackaged ones found in the bakery department. They are usually a mixture of white and milk chocolate covered ones and there are about 15 in a package for around $6.

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OK, all this talk about petit fours got to me. I was in Sutton Place last night and picked some up for dessert. They were tasty and my friend particularly enjoyed the mocha flavored one, but they didn't have that thick fondant covering. More like a thin not quite candy, not quite frosting coating. Entirely possible this is some variety of fondant but it wasn't what I expected based on the coversation or pictures people were posting. That said, they were very good with moist cake and ample jam between layers.

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  • 3 months later...

I just wanted to report on the Devine Delights "petit fours". We finally ordered some of these convections and were highly disappointed. Not only were these not covered in fondant, but they were covered in so much white chocolate that you could not really taste any of the cake or filling at all. Oh well. The search continues.....

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  • 8 months later...

Sutton Place used to make a decent petit four. Now apparently they buy them from Divine Delights. Their Halloween variety look exactly like these. Identical flavors and decorations. Nice to know their commitment to improved customer service doesn't include producing their own baked goods. :hmmm:

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Most of the Balducci's quick breads (and I think also their yeast breads) are baked by Uptown Bakers. I found this out when I toured Uptown two weeks ago, I think they're one of Uptown's biggest customers.

Uptown produces some great products, IMO. Petit fours are not on the list, though.

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Uptown bakes a full menu of breakfast pastries: quick breads, muffins, scones, danishes, brioche, croissants. I know they sell at least some of these items to Balducci's (especially the muffins), and I think some of them are baked to Balducci's specifications and are not available to other accountholders. They also bake an assortment of cookies. I did not sample any of the breakfast pastries as I was there to sample and order breads for some events I'm catering, but the menu certainly was thorough. Uptown also sells donuts to its customers, but that's just a middleman service--the donuts are not fried in-house.

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