Pink Almond Petit Fours For Spring


 6 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, softened, plus more
    for baking sheet
 1 1/4 cup(s) cake flour (not self-rising), plus more for
     baking sheet
    3/4 teaspoon(s) baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon(s) baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
    1 cup(s) sugar
    1/2 cup(s) almond paste
    4 large eggs, separated
    1/2 teaspoon(s) pure vanilla extract
    1/2 cup(s) whole milk
    1/2 cup(s) cherry preserves, processed in a food processor
    Sugar Glaze
    Gum paste cherry blossoms (available at Gum Paste Flower Store)


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12- by 17-inch rimmed baking sheet, and line with parchment paper. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; set aside.

    Put 3/4 cup sugar and the almond paste into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 2 minutes. Raise speed to medium-high. Add butter; mix until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg yolks and vanilla. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the milk. Transfer to a large bowl; set aside.

    Put egg whites into the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment; beat on medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Fold one-third of egg-white mixture into batter with a rubber spatula. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.

    Spread evenly into prepared sheet. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to wire rack; let cool completely. Unmold; remove parchment.

    Cut cake in half crosswise. Spread one half with preserves; top with remaining half. Refrigerate 1 hour. Trim cake, and cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. Transfer to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over each petit four, spreading over top and sides to coat completely. Reuse glaze, straining to remove any solids, if needed. Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes. Garnish with blossoms. Cakes can be refrigerated up to 2 days.

Compliments of Martha Stewart Living

Egg Shell Centerpiece

Hollowed-out eggshells make naturally beautiful vases for tiny flower arrangements. Break an egg at the top of its shell, drain the contents, and carefully rinse out the inside.

Next, fill the empty shell with room-temperature water and place it in an eggcup for stability. Finally, insert small cuttings of your favorite blossoms (we used lilacs, lily of the valley, and violas). Individually or grouped together in a centerpiece, these tiny arrangements make a wonderful addition to the place settings at your table.

Compliments of Martha Stewart