Your Kids Will Love Celebrating Mardi Gras With A Traditional King Cake

Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”)  is the last day of feasting before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.  Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, February 16, 2010.   The tradition of the King Cake came to New Orleans with the French settlers around 1870, continuing a custom dating back to twelfth century in France.

History of Mardi Gras King Cake

Hundreds of thousands of King Cakes are eaten during Mardi Gras each year in New Orleans, Louisiana. A Mardi Gras party would not be authentic without the traditional King Cake as the center of the party. The cake is made with a rich Danish dough, baked and covered with a sugar topping in Mardi Gras colors; purple representing justice, green representing faith, and gold representing power. A small plastic baby became the symbol of this Holy Day is placed inside of each King Cake. The New Orleans tradition is that each person takes a piece of cake hoping to find the plastic baby inside. The recipient of the plastic baby is crowned King or Queen for the day and that person host the following year’s party and supplies the King Cake.

As they say in New Orleans Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler! Which in plain English means, Let the good times roll!  Bake this Tradional King Cake for your family and enjoy a fun filled celebration and tradition for years to come.

TRADITIONAL KING CAKE

Cook: 10 min.; Stand: 5 min.; Rise: 1 hr., 30 min.; Bake: 16 min.

Ingredients

1  (16-ounce) container sour cream

1/4  cup  butter

1/3  cup  sugar

1  teaspoon  salt

2  (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast

1/2  cup  warm water

1  tablespoon  sugar

2  large eggs, lightly beaten

6  to 6 1/2 cups bread flour

1/3  cup  Softened butter

1/2  cup  sugar

1 1/2  teaspoons  ground cinnamon

Creamy Glaze*

Green, purple, and gold-tinted sparkling sugar sprinkles

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 1/2 cup sugar 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). Drizzle Creamy Glaze evenly over warm cakes; sprinkle with colored sugars, alternating colors and forming bands. Let cool completely.

Cream Cheese-Filled King Cake: Prepare each 22- x 12-inch dough rectangle as directed. Omit 1/3 cup softened butter and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Increase 1/2 cup sugar to 3/4 cup sugar. Beat 3/4 cup sugar; 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened; 1 large egg; and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on each dough rectangle, leaving 1-inch borders.

Creamy Glaze*

3  tablespoons  butter, melted

3  cups  powdered sugar

1/4  teaspoon  vanilla extract

2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice

2  to 4 tablespoons milk

Prepare

Stir together first 4 ingredients. Stir in 2 tablespoon milk, adding additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until spreading consistency.

Note:

This recipe uses bread flour, which makes for a light airy cake. You still get tasty results with all-purpose flour the cake will be more dense.

Photo Credit:  Southern Living

Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Pie Your Family Will Love

Apple Pie

Ingredients

1 (9 inch) pie crusts, unbaked

FILLING

* 2 teaspoons lemon juice
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 5 cups apples, cored and sliced (about 5 small, Granny Smith apples work well)
* 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

TOPPING

* 3/4 cup flour
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/3 cup butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and set butter out so it will be at room temperature.
#Line 9″ pie pan with unbaked crust.
#Core and slice apples.
#Sprinkle the apples with the lemon juice.
#Mix in the sugar & cinnamon.
#Fill pie shell with apple mixture.
#In a small bowl, mix the topping’s flour, sugar and cinnamon.
#Rub the topping ingredients and butter together with your fingers until the mixture is crumbly.
#Sprinkle topping over pie.
# Bake 10 minutes at 425 degrees then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake until crumb topping is browned and apples are soft, approximately 50 minutes.

Pizza Kids Love It

Pizza TShirt

Kids love Pizza and so do adults!  As a Parent midweek can be a bit of a challenge or perhaps another word could be stress full.  Then why not order a Pizza for dinner tonight.  Not only do kids love pizza, it is a fun way to teach kids about different types of toppings to pick from.  You can ask who want Sausage, Peperoni, pineapple, anchovies, spinach, and then play the game of them naming more.  When the pizza arrives, you can make it a big family project to open the box and count how many slices there are.

Kids Recipes loves this Pizza Toddler T-Shirt for $12.00 from Ivy Studio.

Cool Off With Yummy Frozen Treats

CerealYogartPops

1 to 2 containers(6 oz each) Thick & Creamy yogurt (any flavor)
3to 4 cups cheeries cereal
4 firm ripe medium bananas

Line cookie sheet with foil. Spoon yogurt into shallow dish. Pour cereal into another shallow dish. Peel bananas; cut each into 6 pieces.
Roll each banana piece in yogurt, then in cereal to coat. Place coated banana pieces on cookie sheet. Freeze uncovered about 1 hour or until firm. (The bites are best when eaten the same day they’re made.)

Photo Credit: Betty Crocker