King Cake reigns supreme at Mardi Gras

Celebrate Mardi Gras Wherever You Are with Holly Clegg's King Cake Recipe

In Louisiana, Mardi Gras is an exquisite celebration packed with fabulous food, fun times, brilliant colors and lots of tradition. But this year, you don't have to be in New Orleans to celebrate Carnival Season (January 6- February 24). With this delicious king cake recipe inspired by best-selling Louisiana cook book author, Holly Clegg, you can "let the good times roll" wherever you are.

This sweet, cinnamon bread-like dough is shaped into a big circle, cooked and topped with icing featuring the colors of Mardi Gras, purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. A plastic baby, representing the Christ child, is hidden inside. Whoever gets the baby, according to tradition, has to provide the next king cake.

In her new book, trim&Terrific Gulf Coast Favorites (Holly Clegg Publications; $24.95), Clegg presents this and hundreds of other mouth-watering recipes that celebrate the abundance of fresh seafood and local ingredients that define the cuisine of the Gulf Coast.


KING CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE CINNAMON FILLING

Makes 16 servings

• 2 (8-ounce) cans reduced-fat crescent rolls
• 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
• 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1/3 cup light brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 10-inch round pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Separate crescent rolls at perforations, into 16 slices. Place slices around prepared pan with points in the center. About halfway down from points, press seams together.

3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Spread on dough in the center where seams have been pressed together.

4. In another small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon with a fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over cream cheese. Fold dough points over filling, then fold bottom of triangle over points forming a circular roll like a king cake.

5. Bake for about 20ˆ25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and drizzle with colored Mardi Gras Icing.

MARDI GRAS ICING

• 1 cup confectioners sugar
• 1/2 tablespoons skim milk
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Yellow, green, red, and blue food coloring

1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, except food color. Divide mixture into three bowls.

2. In first bowl, add a few drops of yellow food coloring. In second bowl, add a few drops of green food coloring. In third bowl, add equal amounts of drops of red and blue food coloring (to create purple).

3. Drizzle over baked cake.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

HOLLY CLEGG, author of the best selling trim&Terrific cookbook series and Eating Well Through Cancer, has more than 850,000 copies in print. Holly has appeared on national television shows, including Fox & Friends, NBC Weekend Today Show, and The 700 Club.

– For more information on Holly, visit her website at www.hollyclegg.com.

 
 
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