First, what is a financier? It's a French term which as two meanings. The first is--as you might expect--a term for someone who works in finance. The second definition is far sweeter, and I like what Joy of Baking has to say about it:
Financiers are Frenchtea cakes (pronounced fee-nahng-syehr), also known as Friands (meaning "dainty" or "tasty"). They are made from a sponge-like batter of brown butter (beurre noisette), egg whites, flour, toasted ground almonds, and powdered sugar. Financiers are similar to Madeleines in that they both use a sponge-like mixture that is baked in special molds. When baked Financiers are soft and springy with a slightly domed top and a lovely golden brown crust.
The adorable versions at Fonte Wine and Coffee Bar look like mini loaf cakes or quick breads, and have a crumb which is slightly more delicate than a cookie but not quite a cake. And at the downtown location, where they not only have great coffee (and, I hear, a great happy hour) but also make all of their sweets in-house, they have a sweet seasonal variation: the Gingerbread Financier. They burst with a rich, buttery flavor, blossoming into a spicy, aromatic taste, and finish with yet more lingering butteriness.
Though these treats may not be available every day, there's bound to be something equally delicious: on recent visits, some specials included chocolate bread pudding, bacon brownies, and some tres jolie-looking cookies.
1321 1st Ave, Ste A30, Seattle, WA; (206) 777-6193; online at fontecoffee.com.