n. A small sweet or plate of sweets served at the very end of a meal.
Friandise seems to be used interchangeably with mignardise, another French word for the tiny pastries and confections offered after the dessert course or during tea. Sometimes the word is used to refer to the whole assortment, and sometimes to the individual sweets.
These sweets could be fondant-covered petits fours, bite-sized cream puffs, chocolate truffles, fruit and custard tartlets, or any other small, dainty pastry confection. We're entering holiday party season, and bite-sized treats like these are perfect for parties. They're designed to be prepared ahead of time, and generally keep well.
This word was on my mind this weekend, since it was also the theme for this month's Sugar High Friday, a monthly food blogging event where participants cook up a sweet treat. This one was hosted by Jeanne at Cook Sister! and her roundup has many links to sweetly inspiring bite-sized desserts.