Easy King Cake

Easy King Cake
I was recently looking through my Top 100 and realized that I had a King Cake listed. Considering that Mardi Gras is the time to make a King Cake I figured I better jump on that train before it’s too late and I have to wait a whole year.  It is traditional to make king cakes between January 6th (Twelfth Night) and Fat Tuesday. When making the cake, a small plastic baby, a coin or dried bean are hidden and whoever gets the slice with the trinket will have good luck. Make sure to warn those eating the cake to be on the lookout!

I have never made or eaten a King Cake so I had a bit of a difficult time choosing a recipe since many of them vary quite a bit. Should I go with a cinnamon filling, one with citron or a cream cheese? My final decision factored on the ease of the recipe. For Valentine’s Day I made cinnamon rolls and I didn’t really feel like dealing with a yeast dough twice in a week. Therefore, I went with a recipe that starts with crescent roll dough and has cinnamon and cream cheese fillings.
Easy King Cake

The recipe calls for coloring the glaze the traditional green, purple and yellow of Mardi Gras but I wanted to stick with the colored sugar to really make the colors stand out. So after drizzling the glaze on the cake I simply sprinkled the cake with sugar that I colored myself. To make colored sugar, place 1/4 cup sugar in a plastic bag then place a very small amount of gel coloring in with it. Seal the bag then mash and mix until it is thouroughly distributed.

This “cake” is more of a sweet bread or pastry. The crescent dough gave a light, flaky texture which was really yummy with the silky cream cheese and sugary cinnamon fillings. Plus, it only took about 5-10 minutes to put together so from start to finish it was about 30 minutes for a yummy little treat.
Easy King Cake

King Cake with Cream Cheese Filling
recipe from Taste of Home

2 tubes (8 ounces each) refrigerated reduced-fat crescent rolls
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

ICING:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red, blue, yellow and green food coloring or purple, green and yellow sugars

1. Unroll both tubes of crescent dough and separate into triangles. Place triangles on a greased 12-in. pizza pan, forming a ring with pointed ends facing toward the center and wide ends overlapping. Lightly press wide ends together.

2. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spoon over wide ends of ring. In another bowl, stir the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon until crumbly. Sprinkle over cream cheese mixture.

3. Fold points over filling and fold wide ends over points. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, combine the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Divide icing among three bowls. Using red and blue food coloring, tint one portion purple. Tint another portion yellow and the remaining portion green. Drizzle over cake. Or drizzle the white frosting over the cake then sprinkle with colored sugars. Serve warm. Yield: 16 servings.

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Halloweenies {Crescent Mummy Dogs}

I love a anything themed (and sometimes go a tad overboard) and Halloween provides so many fun, creative ideas! I will be bringing you main dishes, desserts, snacks and beverages for all your Halloween party needs! And first up is Halloweenies! Clever, I know.

I made these for the first time last Halloween and they were a huge hit. I mean, who wouldn’t love a mummified pig-in-a-blanket? I made them using lil smokies to serve them as appetizers but this year I decided to go with hot dogs to make them a meal.

These would be so fun to make and enjoy with your kids. Noah is still too little to help in the kitchen but we will definitely be making these together next year. We’ll see how mummy-like his end up, but they will be beautiful all the same.

Halloweenies {Crescent Mummy Dogs}
recipe adapted from Pillsbury.com

1 can (8 oz) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations® refrigerated seamless dough sheet
10 large cheese hot dogs
Cooking spray
Mustard or ketchup, if desired

1 Heat oven to 375°F.

2. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough; separate at perforations, creating 4 rectangles. Press perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: unroll dough; cut into 4 rectangles.

3. With knife or pizza cutter, cut each rectangle lengthwise into 10 pieces, making a total of 40 pieces of dough.

4. Wrap 4 pieces of dough around each hot dog to look like bandages, stretching dough slightly to completely cover hot dog. About 1/2 inch from one end of each hot dog, separate “bandages” so hot dog shows through for “face.” On greased large cookie sheet, place wrapped hot dogs.

5. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until dough is light golden brown and hot dogs are hot. With mustard, draw features on “face.”