36 petit fours
- For the Cakes:
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon rum
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 4 cups (or as needed) all-purpose flour
- 2 ounces baking powder
- For the Filling:
- 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chopped in small pieces
- 1 cup slivered almonds, toasted and chopped fine
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons rum [dark or light; I used dark]
- 2 tablespoons peach schnapps
- Red (strawberry or cherry) and yellow (lemon) gelatin powder
- fresh mint leaves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Beat the eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until foamy. Beat, while gradually pouring in the sugar, until the mixture is smooth. Beat in the oil, then the milk, rum and orange zest. Stir 4 cups flour and the baking powder together in a separate bowl, add it to the liquids and stir until you have a smooth dough. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and roll it into a long cylinder about one inch in diameter. Cut the roll crosswise into one-inch slices and roll each into a ball with floured hands, placing them on the prepared baking sheet as you do. Bake until golden and firm to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely.
Scoop out and reserve the flat side of each cookie with a small spoon, leaving a hollow shell that will be stuffed with the filling. To make the filling, mix the chocolate, almonds, butter, rum, schnapps and reserved cookie pieces together in a bowl until evenly blended.
Spoon the filling into the hollowed out cookie shells, overstuffing each a bit. Press the stuffing side of
two cookies together, forming a hollow stuffed ‘peach.’ Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Hold each ‘peach’ between your fingers and dunk for just a second in milk. Place on a wire rack for a minute or two to drain. Roll the peaches in red, then yellow gelatin powder. Return to the wire rack and let dry completely. Garnish the top of each peach with a mint leaf.