Living in the Northeast, lilacs are almost synonymous with Mother's Day. This year they are blooming right on time and just had to be incorporated into a dessert for the day to celebrate moms, mom figures, friends that are moms, etc. I wanted to create something bite-sized that was pretty, so I opted for Vanilla 'Petit Fours' and topped them with lilac blooms. These aren't the traditional variety though that have jam layered inside, rather it is a buttery pound cake, Jacque Pépin's recipe (slightly adapted) that was cut out into small circles, incredibly easy and the results are so wonderful! This was a trick that I learned from Martha Stewart years ago. They are then glazed with vanilla laced glaze and topped with a lilac. Enjoy!
VANILLA 'PETIT FOURS'
2 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk, whole or skim
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups cake flour
4 cups confectioners sugar
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a sheet cake with parchment paper, set aside. Add butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip until light and fluffy. Slowly add sugar and beat until combined about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and one egg at a time until incorporated. Add milk and continue to beat on low speed to ensure that it doesn't splatter. Add salt and flour slowly until incorporated. Pour batter into pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a knife can be inserted into the center and a little crumb comes out. Let cool completely in pan.
To assembly: Remove cake from pan and place on a cutting board. Place a rack on top of a baking sheet, for glaze step. Using a round small cookie cutter, about 2 inches in size (like this one), cut out shapes in cake, making sure to stay close to avoid waste. Place on rack. Repeat until finished.
For icing: Place sugar, water and vanilla extract in a measuring bowl, like this and mix to combine. Either pour glaze over cakes or dip. Let set completely. Garnish with a lilac before serving (but, don't eat them!)
Styling & Photography by Alison