The following cake recipe yields only one layer. You will need to triple it for the petits fours, placing each batter in a separate bowl.
1 cup almond paste
1 1/2 cups margarine
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp almond extract
food coloring, in desired shades
3/4 cup shortening
1 lb (454 g) confectioners’ sugar
1 egg white
2 Tbsp hot water
1/2 tsp almond extract
Decorations and Supplies:
1 11-oz (310-g) jar apricot butter (I used Fischer’s)
white and purple fondant
medium-sized butterfly fondant plunger (found at baking supply stores)
1½-inch- (4-cm-) deep round cookie cutter
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). To prepare cake layers, combine almond paste, margarine, and sugar in the bowl of your mixer. Beat well. Add eggs, flour, salt, and almond extract. Mix well until combined. Set aside and continue with the second batter and then the third.
2. When you have prepared all 3 batters, add food coloring to one batter at a time, making sure you are satisfied with the shades. I suggest that you add the colors gradually, working from the lightest to the darkest shade.
3. Pat each batter into a parchment-paper-lined 11x17-inch (28x43-cm) pan (not disposable), wetting hands if necessary to even it out, and bake for 20–25 minutes. Allow to cool.
4. Combine all cream ingredients in your mixer. Spread a thin layer of apricot butter on the darkest cake and then a thin layer of cream. Repeat with the second-darkest cake. The third cake will be decorated with fondant. Freeze all 3 layers.
5. Once frozen, cut out circles from each cake and assemble the petits fours. (To save time, you can layer the cakes before freezing and then cut out an already layered cake, but if you cut each circle individually, it’ll come out neater.) Roll out the white fondant on a silicon mat or a piece of parchment paper until it’s ¼-inch thick. Using your cookie cutter, cut out a piece of fondant to cover the top of each mini cake. Place on top of cake (you can use a drop of cream if you like — I find that it usually sticks without).
6. To make the butterfly, roll out the purple fondant and cut out a butterfly using a fondant plunger. Place butterfly on top of the cake.
Tip For a thinner cake, either use only 2 layers or divide 2 batters into thirds.
This recipe is part of the Mishloach Manos "Fit For Royalty" which originally was featured in Mishpacha Magazine.