|Place of origin||France|
|Main ingredients||Varies by type|
A petit four (plural: petits fours, also known as mignardises) is a small bite-sized confectionery or savory appetizer. The name is French, petit four (French pronunciation: [pə.ti fuʁ]), meaning "small oven".
In 18th and 19th century France, gas ovens did not exist. Large brick (Dutch design) ovens were used, which took a long time to heat up to bake bread, but also to cool down. Bakers used the ovens during the cooling process, taking advantage of their stored heat, for baking pastry. This was called baking à petit four (literally "at small oven"), a lower temperature which allowed pastry baking.
Petits fours come in three varieties:
In a French patisserie, assorted small desserts are usually called mignardises, while hard, buttery biscuits are called petits fours.