When it comes to planning the menu for a Mardi Gras party you just cannot pass up on having a king cake. Now the king cake comes from the French and Spanish traditions of the “king cake parties” celebrated during Carnival season, what we now call Mardi Gras. When the explorers from these countries settled in the Gulf Coast they brought with them the traditions of the Carnival celebrations, including the king cake.

Since this tradition began in the United States the king cake has evolved and is made many different ways, with different fillings and have adapted the holiday colors of purple, green and gold. This year instead of buying a king cake (what fun is that?!?) you should make one. Here is an amazing recipe to make King Cake knots.

     - 1 loaf refrigerated French bread dough
     - 3 Tbsp butter, softened
     - 1/4 cup sugar
     - 1 Tbsp cinnamon
     - 1 cup powdered sugar
     - 4 tsp milk (may need more to get right consistency)
     - 1/2 tsp vanilla
     - colored sugar - yellow, purple, green

To make, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  On a clean cooking surface unroll the French bread dough into a large rectangle, about 16 x 12 inches, and brush the dough lightly with the softened butter. Next mix together the sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the butter.  Cut the dough in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into strips about 1 1/4 inches wide.  Twist two strips together and tie each strip loosely into a knot, stretching gently if necessary. Finally place each knot on baking sheet about 2-inches apart and bake for 25-28 minutes. When finished cooking place on a cooling rack and allow to fully cool.

While the knots are cooling you can make the icing. Mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together with a mixer.  When cooled, dip each knot into the icing and then sprinkle with colored sugar.

And as custom dictates whomever finds the trinket in their slice (or knot) buys (or makes) the king cake for the next occasion. If you want to make a more traditional version, AllRecipes.com has a great Mardi Gras King Cake recipe that you can try.

What is your favorite Mardi Gras dish?  


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