Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Crescent Roll King Cake

By: Christy

Happy Mardi Gra week! Even though my office always gets tons of delicious kings cakes all throughout January and February, I still wanted to give you all a good and easy recipe to enjoy a king cake yourself this season.
For those of you are aren't to mardi gra savvy and have no idea what a king cake is, here is a little history. Mardi Gra is actually a religious based event and fat Tuesday is the day people indulge before lent begins. (I'm giving up potatoes this year for lent. Wish me luck!) The king cake is traced back to France as part of a celebration for the 3 wise men that visited baby Jesus during the Christmas season. The reason the cake is in the shape of a circle is because the shape represents the circular route the 3 wise men took to get to Jesus in an effort to confuse King Herod.
King cakes are pretty simple pastries with some sort of cinnamon filling and is then topped with glaze and gold, green, and purple sugar on top. These colors represent justice, faith and power and are the customary Mardi Gra colors. One of the most fun parts of the king cake is the hidden treasure inside. In today's time, plastic baby Jesus' are put inside the cake and whomever finds the baby will supposedly have good luck the rest of the year (and some also make the rule that means you have to buy the next king cake LOL)

4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 block)
1/2 cup brown sugar packed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, drain, and patted dry on paper towels
1/2 cup pecans

2 cans crescent rolls
1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
food coloring

In a food processor, process cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. Add pecan halves and pulse until pecans are slightly chopped. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray baking sheet with non stick spray. Unroll crescent rolls and separate into trianglesl . Position triangles next to each other with the points towards the center, overlapping the edges. This will form a circle. Press the seams together ONLY in the center of the triangles. (leaves ends unsealed so you can fold over filling).
Spread the filling around in a circle in the center of the sealed seam of each triangle. Place a small plastic baby or a dried bean in the filling.

Fold the outside of the triangles over the filling then do the same with the points in the center ensuring the filling is fully enclosed. Lightly press the seams. Bake for 20 minutes (or until golden brown) and let cool to room temperature before icing.
Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. You want the icing to be thick (if not it will just run off the cake). Add powdered sugar until it is as thick as you want it. Since I didn't have sugar crystals. I just dyed the icing green, purple and gold. Then spoon the icing over the cake in alternating colors. If you are using sugar crystals, put the white icing on the cake then sprinkle the top of cake with sugar crystals dyed purple, green and gold.

Information for this recipe came from the following websites:

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