Every body loves Christmas.
If only for the catchy tunes.
Even Ebenezer can’t keep from jamming out to that Little Drummer Boy base.
Most people dig their birthdays. Sorta. Maybe not so much after 32?
Halloween offers something for everyone… The risqué can put on a mask and take off their clothes, the humorous can dress… humorously, the creative types can paint animal faces over their own, and the rest of us can eat bookoo candy and Halloween Oreos while watching It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown.
You either love to love or love to hate Valentine’s Day. It is what it is.
But I think we can all pretty much agree, holidays are so legit.
You know I’m telling you regardless.
And we all know where this is going…
So let’s just go there.
Mardi Gras is where it’s at.
Is it the festivity?
The masks? The colors? The fact that it’s also known as fat Tuesday?
Dude. I don’t know. But I’m all about it.
See, I was raised Catholic. So for me, Mardi Gras means heading into the season of Lent. And quite frankly, after the past few weeks of replacing working out with stress eating… I’m ready for 40 days of consciously concentrated cleansing. Body, mind, and soul.
It’ll be fab.
Nowadays, these little sacrifices usually come in the form of food items foregone.
Example: Last year, and a plenty of years before that, I’ve attempted to give up all sweets…
I will not lie to you, I’ve yet to succeed.
This year, I refuse to set myself up for guranteed failure. Instead, I will definitely be giving up chocolate and willfully cutting down on all other sugary sins.
It’s a big deal. I’m so ready.
Staring with King Cake.
My youth was spent in Catholic school. And going to Catholic school, we could count on three things in life: plaid skirts everyday, Mass on Fridays, King Cake on Fat Tuesday.
The last one was my fav. Shocker.
King Cake is more of a giant frosted twisty cinnamon roll than an actual cake, and it’s completely worth every effort to make.
It’s festive, delectable, gives you a powerful dough-kneading arm work-out, and is bursting with Mardi Gras spirit.
That said, I need to go eat some… more. And consume ungodly amounts of chocolate. And find a festive outfit that masks the fact that those first two things ever occurred. Wish me luck.
Happy Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday!!
Mardi Gras King Cake
Adapted from Southern Living
- 1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Cook first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until butter melts. Set aside, and cool mixture to 100° to 110°.
- Stir together yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.
- Beat sour cream mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, and 2 cups flour at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until smooth. Reduce speed to low, and gradually add enough remaining flour (4 to 4 1/2 cups) until a soft dough forms.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Place in a well-greased bowl, turning to grease top.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until dough is doubled in bulk.
- Punch down dough, and divide in half. Roll each portion into a 22- x 12-inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup softened butter evenly on each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Stir together sugars and cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter on each rectangle.
- Roll up each dough rectangle, jelly-roll fashion, starting at 1 long side. Place one dough roll, seam side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bring ends of roll together to form an oval ring, moistening and pinching edges together to seal. Repeat with second dough roll.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 20 to 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
- Bake at 375° for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden. Slightly cool cakes on pans on wire racks (about 10 minutes).
- Coat with cream cheese glaze
- 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
- 4 tbsp butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 3-4 Tbsp milk
- gold, green, and purple food colorings and/or colored sugars
Beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Beat in sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and milk one Tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. If using food coloring, separate the glaze into three separate bowls and apply one color to each, mixing it in thoroughly. Frost the cake rotating which color you use while making your way around the ring in sections. If using sugars, drizzles the whole cake with the frosting, and apply sugars to make the same rotating color bands. Slice and serve.