Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Fat Tuesday!

It's Mardi Gras! :)  We won't be doing a lot of partying tonight (with the kids and all) but that doesn't mean we won't be having a good time today! We put our party colors on display this afternoon by making some paper bunting and a festive paper "wreath" for the front door.  And of course, no Mardi Gras celebration is complete without a king's cake!  I actually made two cakes this year; one for the family and one for my girlfriends who are coming over later tonight to make homemade laundry detergent and vanilla extract.  Yep - we are party animals! ;-)

Greta's King Cake

1 cup milk
2/3 cup warm water
2 eggs
4 1/2 tsp yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
5 cups of flour
1.2 tsp salt

1 cup sugar
2 tbsp molasses
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter

2 cups powdered sugar
green and purple sanding sugars

1.Add these ingredients to your bread machine in the following order: milk, water, butter, yeast, eggs, sugar, flour, salt.  Start the bread machine and run the dough cycle.

2. While the dough is processing, mix together the white sugar and molasses in a small bowl.  When they are well combined, add the flour and stir until mixed.  Melt the 1/2 cup butter in a microwave safe dish.

3. When the dough cycle ends, turn the dough out onto a cutting board and slice the dough into two equal portions.  Set one portion aside and roll the other portion into a large rectangle. 

4. Sprinkle half of the molasses mixture over the rolled dough, then sprinkle generously with cinnamon.  Drizzle half of the melted butter over the sugar and cinnamon. 

5. Starting on the long side of the dough rectangle furthest from yourself, roll the dough up like a jelly roll/cinnamon roll. 

6. Next transfer the rolled dough to a baking sheet.  Bring the two ends of the roll together to form a circular ring of dough.  Pinch the dough together at the seam to seal it closed.

7. Using kitchen sheers, snip the dough ring in one inch intervals, cutting about one third of the way down.

8. Next roll, fill, shape and snip the second dough portion as described above.

9. Cover the two cakes lightly with a kitchen towel and leave them in a warm place to rise for 30-40 minutes.

10. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

11. Bake the cakes for 25-30 minutes and then ttransfer the cakes to a cooling rack for about 10 minutes.

12. While the cakes are cooling, mix 2 cups of powdered sugar with a few tablespoons of milk.  Add one tablespoon of milk at a time until a thick glaze forms (should not take more than 3-4 tablespoons of milk)

13. Drizzle the glaze over the tops of the cakes, coating liberally.  Then sprinkle the cakes with the green and purple sanding sugars. 

You can make the cake ahead of time, but it is the most amazing when it is still warm from the oven!

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