Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Recipe: Easy Louisiana-Style Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday,” marks the final day of indulging as the carnival season comes to an end and Lent begins. While New Orleans may be winding down from its citywide celebration, we want to savor the magic of Mardi Gras with the traditional dessert of the season, king cake.

The braided brioche is as big a part of Louisiana’s Mardi Gras as the colorful costumes, shiny beads, music, parades and parties. Topped with festive icing in colors representing power (gold), faith (green) and justice (purple), this historic pastry is filled with a hidden trinket – usually a small plastic baby. The person who gets the piece of cake with the trinket is said to have good luck, and has to supply the next king cake. Either way, you get to eat cake!

Below, we happily tested out Holly Clegg’s health-conscious king cake recipe made with pre-made crescent roll dough. Happy Mardi Gras!

King Cake with Cream Cheese Cinnamon Filling by Holly Clegg
From trim&TERRIFIC Gulf Coast Favorites
Makes 16 servings

What You’ll Need:
2 (8-ounce) cans reduced-fat crescent rolls
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

For the icing:
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons skim milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Yellow, green, red, and blue food coloring

What You’ll Do

STEP 1: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Separate crescent rolls at perforations into 16 slices. On 10-inch round pizza pan coated with nonstick cooking spray, place slices around pan with points in center. About half way down from the points, press seams together.

STEP 2: In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Spread cream cheese mixture on dough in center where seams of dough have been pressed together.

STEP 3: In another small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over cream cheese. Fold dough points over cream cheese area and then fold bottom of triangle over points forming a circular roll like a king cake. Don’t forget to place the hidden trinket inside the dough.

STEP 4: Bake 20–25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly before drizzling icing (recipe below).

For the icing

1. In small bowl, mix together confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla. Divide mixture into three bowls.

2. In first bowl, add a few drops yellow food coloring. In second bowl, add a few drops green food coloring. In third bowl, add equal amount of red and blue food coloring (will create purple color).

3. Drizzle each color over baked cake.

Disclosure: I did not receive any products nor was paid for this post. I was provided info and access to images and recipe from the PR firm to share. Thanks to A Bullseye View. Any expressed opinions are my own and personal thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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