Monday, February 22, 2016

Day 13: Petits Fours (and Dinner)

So, I learned today that petits fours are any bite-sized pastries that can be divided into five categories. The first category is sec or dry. AKA, cookies!

Between all of us, we made 15 different kinds of cookies. Some will be baked tomorrow but most were baked today. My partner and I made checkerboard cookies, lemon sablée, damier (little sandwich cookies with apricot filling dipped halfway in chocolate) and flat orange cookies stuck together with chocolate. We also made the batter for a sesame and poppy seed tuile which we will bake tomorrow. There was a lot more piping than rolling although the checkerboard cookies, which look so cool, required a lot of steps: make the two doughs, chill them, roll them out, stack them, cut them and stack another layer, then chill again, then cut slices, assemble the checkerboards, roll out the chocolate dough to make the edges, wrap the checkerboards in chocolate dough, chill, slice and bake. Whew! They're a lot of work but totally worth it.

Also on the list were three other kinds of tuiles, Diamonds, Linzer cookies in two different flavors, pignoli florentines, and raisin cookies (with rum, of course), plus at least two other types that were prepped today and will be made tomorrow.

Here is a shot of the whole production, to give you a sense of how many we made. We set aside at least 12 dozen cookies for that event coming up in March.

When I got home, I had a lovely duck confit waiting for me. I'd gotten the recipe from that Regional French cooking class and, a few days ago, purchased 12 duck legs to confit. First they are marinated overnight in a mixture of garlic, parsley, onion, salt, pepper and bay. Yesterday they were placed in one layer in my turkey roasting pan and covered with all the duck fat I had left from all that rendering (8 pints). After cooking at 300˚F for four hours they were cooled and then divided into two dishes, covered in that fat, and stored in the fridge. Today I took the dish with seven legs, scraped off the fat, split the legs into two pieces each and then seared them in a sauté pan until they were warm. I had to do them in two batches and then kept them warm in the oven until it was time to eat. They were phenomenal.


  1. I. Love. Cookies. But I'm glad that the infamous sand cookies were not on the menu.

  2. I would not take any course that included sand cookies! This huge assortment looks yummy!


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