Pastel Petits Fours

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Pastel Petits Fours
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Dainty and sophisticated, these cakes (adapted from "Pink Princess Tea Parties" by Barbara Beery) are a real showstopper -- especially for a special occasion like a Mother's Day Tea Party. And since they're made from store-bought pound cake, they're surprisingly easy to prepare. You can decorate the tops with sprinkles, colored sugar, or candy flowers.

What you'll need

  • 1 (16-ounce) pound cake
  • 9 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Liquid food coloring
  • Decorations, such as sprinkles, colored sugar, and candy flowers

How to make it

  1. Cut the entire cake into 1-inch-thick slices. Then use 1-inch-wide cookie cutters or a knife to cut round, square, and diamond shapes from each slice. Place the cake pieces on a wire rack set on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together the powdered sugar, corn syrup, 1/2 cup water, and vanilla and almond extracts until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes. As the icing cools, it may start to stiffen; if so, stir in a spoonful of water to keep the icing smooth and flowing. Divide the icing equally between two or three small bowls. Stir food coloring, a drop at a time, into each bowl until the icing is the desired shade.

  3. Working with one piece of cake at a time, spoon on the icing to cover it completely, then add sprinkles, colored sugar, or a candy flower before the icing sets. Let the cakes stand, uncovered, until the icing is dry, about 30 minutes. Store them in an airtight container for up to three days. Makes about 30 cakes.

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