A petit four also known as mignardises is a small confectionery or savoury appetizer.
The name is French, petit four (French pronunciation: [pø.ti.fur]), meaning “small oven”. Petits fours were traditionally made in a smaller oven next to the main oven. This setting was of a lower temperature allowing the correct heat to cook pastries
Petits fours come in three varieties:
- Glacé (“glazed”), iced or decorated tiny cakes covered in fondant or icing, small éclairs, and tartlets
- Salé (“salted”), savoury bite-sized appetizers usually served at cocktail parties or buffets
- Sec (“dry”), dainty biscuits, baked meringues, macaroons, and puff pastries
In a French patisserie, assorted small desserts are usually called mignardises, while hard, buttery biscuits are called petit fours.