Wednesday, March 5, 2014

King Cake!




Adapted from a Taste of Home Recipe


2 packages (1/4 ounce each) of Rapid Rise Yeast
1/2 cup of warm water (110-115 degrees)
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of softened butter
1/2 cup of warm milk
2 eggs
1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
Zest from one fresh lemon
1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
3 -4 cups of all purpose flour
Cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup of granulated sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon)


Glaze:


1 Tablespoon of softened butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
few teaspoons of cream or milk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (or can use lemon extract)


Directions:


1.  Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl.  Add 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of softened butter, milk, eggs, salt, lemon zest, nutmeg, cinnamon, and 2 cups of the flour.  Beat till smooth.  Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.  Dough will be sticky!
2.  Turn dough onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic.  Add some additional flour if the dough is too sticky. 
3.  Place the dough in a greased bowl.  Turn dough.  Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (approximately 1 hour - here in Rochester, NY where it is cold, it takes longer!)
4.  Punch down the dough.  Dust a surface with flour.  Roll the dough into a large rectangle, approximately 16 inches by 10 inches.  Sprinkle liberally with the cinnamon sugar, within 1/2 inch of each edge.  Roll up the dough, jelly-roll style from the LONG side.  Pinch the seams to seal closed.  Place seam side down on a baking sheet (covered with parchment paper), pinch the ends together to form a ring.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about another hour. 
5.  Bake at 375 in a pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack till warm.  Spread Glaze over top, and let drizzle down the sides.  Sprinkle the cake with Mardis Gras colored sugars:  Purple (justice), Green (faith), and Gold/Yellow (Power).  If desired, put a slit in the bottom of the cake when cool and insert a "baby" token.  (I get the plastic babies from Michael's in the Cake Decorating section).  Traditionally, the person who gets the slice of cake with the baby inside has to make the King Cake for the next year.  In my house, we say the person who gets the baby has a year of good luck! 

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