In honor of Bastille Day, my friend Elizabeth hosted a tres frenchy brunch this past weekend. Beaucoup de crepes pour tout le monde! I tried making a shirt for Brady, using glitter glue on an old t-shirt.. it stayed on for about 20 minutes, smeared wet glitter goo all over the place, and then I tied it to a chair and promptly forgot about it (sorry Eliz!).
I had put “do a big craft project for a party” on my Day Zero list, so I wanted to try to do something a little special for this party. I’m not sure this qualifies as “big,” but the fact that I thought of it and then actually followed through is pretty huge so I’m totally checking this off. My project: tiny french flags on petits fours.
The flags were pretty simple: computer paper, crayons/colored pencils/watercolor paints (I tried all of these, crayons were least crazymaking), scissors, glue stick, toothpicks. In that order. Bam. (how’s that for a DIY tutorial? ha!)
The petits fours were also super simple, thanks to this recipe I found on, of all places, a Disney site. I know there are ways to make these things much more complicated and probably more delicious (I have some ideas, might have to try again soon, somebody throw another party), but it doesn’t get much simpler than this recipe. AND they turned out pretty tasty, according to me (and they went over well at the party ok).
- 1 (~16 oz) pound cake
- 4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 1/4 c. light corn syrup
- 1/4 – 1/2 c. water
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. (plus more) lemon extract or lemon zest
- liquid food coloring and/or sprinkles (optional)
Note: The original recipe calls for NINE cups of powdered sugar, plus all of the other above amounts (except pound cake) doubled. I had no interest in buying/using 9 cups of powdered sugar, so I halved everything and had just enough – you will need to be more careful and efficient when pouring it, but there should be plenty to cover all cakes. Also, the original recipe calls for almond extract instead of lemon – I think either would be lovely, but I’m partial to lemon myself.
Cut pound cake into 1-inch slices, and then cut into squares (or if you have awesome little cookie cutters, make cooler shapes). Place cake pieces on a wire rack over a parchment paper lined cookie sheet (at first I thought the cookie sheet was pointless, but I think it might keep the excess frosting from flowing all over the table).
In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together powdered sugar, corn syrup, water and flavorings until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool about 5 minutes – if it starts to stiffen, stir in a spoonful of water until creamy again.
If you want to do different colors, divide into bowls and add color a drop at a time until you like it. I had planned to do them red, white and blue, but threw that out the window for something simpler: white, with sprinkles.
Working with one piece of cake at a time, spoon icing over cake to cover it completely, then add sprinkles (or whatever topping) before it sets. Towards the end I decided to leave some cakes plain white, and then added some red coloring to the remaining icing and threw some stripes on. And THEN I decided to try making a chocolate topping with some leftover mini chocolate chips (worked ok, may try out an actual chocolate topping recipe for next time).
Allow to sit out uncovered for 30 minutes to set, then store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. OR take them to brunch and watch them be happily consumed immediately. :)