King Cake Recipe

Louisiana King Cake Recipe

Yesterday officially began the Mardi Gras season!!  To celebrate, I’m sharing my favorite King Cake recipe.  I think I adapted it from All Recipes or something but the results are delicious and taste exactly like a bakery-made King Cake us Louisiana kids grew up having every Friday during Mardi Gras season!  My king cake is pictured below.  I make 2 small rings (one to keep at home, one to take to work!) but if you have room to roll out the dough you could make one big ring!  Oh, and don’t be afraid of using dry active yeast, it’s actually really easy.  Enjoy!

Note: I just added Weight Watchers Points Plus values at the bottom!  I assume you are using 2% milk and real, unsalted butter.  P.S. be sure to read all the instructions before you start so you know what you can be working on while you are waiting on ingredients to be ready!

king cake

Ingredients

PASTRY:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

FILLING:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans (crushed finely)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

FROSTING:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Purple, Green and Yellow sanding sugar (or any sprinkles you like!)

Directions

  1. Heat milk in a sauce pan until just before boiling, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Stir in lemon zest.  Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down dough and divide in half.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  5. To Make Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, crushed pecans, and 1/2 cup flour. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
  6. Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10×16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts into the top of the dough ring 1/3 of the way through at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size again, about 45 minutes.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Let cool until just slightly warm.  Frost while slightly warm with the confectioners’ sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.  Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles!

Recipe makes 2 cakes (the picture above is about half of one cake).  Assuming you cut each cake into 10 slices (20 slices total), each slice is 8 Points Plus.

Advertisements

Friday Favorites

Here a few things I’ve found recently that I wanted to share!

Favorite Website

If you follow me on Twitter you know that I have recently become obsessed with Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual bookmarking/sharing website that you can use for just about anything. You can see the things I’ve pinned on my profile. Just like twitter, I follow people with similar interests. I’ve gotten so much inspiration from Pinterest, especially with food and recipes, crafts, and DIY fixes around the house. Don’t be discouraged by the whole “Request an Invite.” You’ll get the invite in just a few days. Hopefully that’s some sort of spam prevention because as of now, I haven’t seen any spam yet, which is fantastic.

Favorite Blog

My favorite blog that I’ve recently discovered is Girls Guide to Guns. Lately I’ve become enamored with shooting sports and I am patiently waiting for my new revolver to get here. Reading about women who are skilled and passionate at something that is mostly a men’s interest is inspirational. And it’s a place where women can talk about how awesome it feels to shoot and hunt while not having to worry about men making misogynistic remarks about how “hot” that is. While we may agree that yes, shooting is a sexy sport, we want to be respected for our skills and knowledge first. And that’s where Girls Guide to Guns steps up to the plate.

Favorite TV Show

Although I’m super excited to be sharing Battlestar Galactica with my husband for the first time, I’m going to talk about a show currently on the air. Louie, Thursday nights on FX. Louie is the ongoing story created by and starring comedian Louis CK. It’s a collection of vignettes detailing the life of a stand-up comedian and divorced father of two as he looks for meaningful relationships around him. I’ve loved Louis CK’s stand-up since I first saw him in high school. And now I realize he is more than a comedian and actor; Louis CK is a true artist. I can’t put Louie in an genre. It’s dark, comedy, tragedy, heartwarming and sad all at once. It’s definitely not your average cable show. You really have to give it a chance and let it take you along. Louis CK realizes the true beauty and true depression of middle-class city life and conveys it on the screen unlike any other show on the air right now. If you have an open mind, I highly recommend you give Louie a chance.

My Favorite Outdoor Blogs

My Google RSS Reader is full of blogs that I try to keep up with on a daily basis. And thanks to my smartphone I’m able to read most entries! My favorite part of the day is unwiding at night and browsing through the day’s posts. Here are some of my favorites:

Steve Creek Outdoors: Steve is a wildlife photographer here in Arkansas and makes a daily post with a few beautiful wildlife photos. I especially love when he takes a trip to Boxley valley to photograph Arkansas elk. I have to admit, a few of Steve’s photos have made their way into some of my class powerpoint presentations (with credit of course!)

The Goat: Backcountry.com’s blog with 4-6 very short blog posts a day. Usually a video or a reference to a news article with some snarky commentary that makes me laugh. The blog mainly focuses on extreme sports (especially skiing this time of year) which are not accessible to me, but there’s usually something I find interesting or funny.

Family Campling by Camping Blogger. My absolute favorite camping blog. Roy’s posts are filled with tried and true techniques, gear reviews, stories, photos, general advice on camping, and specific advice on camping with your family. Concise, informative posts about once or twice a week. I love camping tips so much that when I first discovered Family Camping, I literally went back to the beginning of the blog and read every post over the course of a week or two.

Free Range Family: I’ve only recently discovered this blog because the author began following me on twitter. The posts only date back to late last year so I don’t think this blog has been around long but you couldn’t tell by looking at it! The blog itself is clean and crisp and Jack’s style of writing is so smooth and welcoming. This sentence in the “About” section of the blog completely won me over: “If you already hunt and have left your family at home then you may want to take a step back and rethink your approach. You may be missing out on some great times that you and your family will remember for a lifetime.”

Outdoorsy Christmas Wishlist…

Lately I’ve been getting into baking and while I’d love some disco dust, it wouldn’t be very wise for my low-sugar diet.  My amazon wishlist is full of all kinds of random stuff right now (hoopnotica workout video anyone?), but I thought I’d list a few outdoorsy things I’d love to unwrap this year.

(blog prompt from Outdoor Blogger Network)

Pentax Optio W90

If you’re like me, your little silver point-and-shoot is caked in dirt and barely hanging on to life.  I abuse my camera pretty bad but its always in my pack when I’m working or playing in the field.  And it hasn’t yet taken a dive off a boat but it’s definitely been dropped in the mud.  I need a camera that I don’t have to treat so delicately and thats where this Pentax Optio W90 comes in.  With good (not great) reviews I see that it may not have stellar picture quality, but when I want stellar picture quality I be sure to pack my digital SLR.  This 12.1 megapixel Pentax is said to be waterproof to 20 feet, shockproof to 4 feet (I’ve definitely dropped my non-shockproof point-and-shoot further than that!), dustproof (just wash it off in a stream!) AND coldproof.  It also comes with a heavy-duty wrist strap and caribiner, not to mention the sexy pistachio green color!   I would be thrilled to find this rugged camera under the Christmas tree this year.

Pentax Optio W90 in black or pistachio green: $199.99 at Amazon

Thermos 16 oz. Stainless Steel Backpack Bottle

THERMOS is known to be the leading maker of … well… thermoses.  I’ve been looking around everywhere online reading thermos reviews and this is the one for me.  With 228 5-star reviews on Amazon I know it’s high-quality and going to last a long time.  I was really looking for a thermos I could take into a blind with me and the button-opener is what sold this one for me.  You don’t have to unscrew a cup and then poor your drink into the cup; you just press the button and drink straight from the container.  If you’re out in the field and movement should be kept to a minimum (such as when you’re hunting, watching or photographing wildlife, or you are like me get your kicks from science so you spend all night in 20-degree temps waiting for a deer to walk under your drop net so you can put a radio-collar on it), the one-handed button-opener is a necessity.   If you need to be stealthy you can even get this thermos in an espresso color, or you could wrap it in camo tape.  It’s also small enough to fit into the outside pocket of your day pack.  I’m hoping someone takes the hint that I need some hot liquid in the duck blind this year or the shivering and complaining will never cease!

Thermos 16 oz. Backpack Bottle in silver, smoke or espresso: starting at $20.18 on Amazon

 

Stocking Stuffer: Paracord Survival Strap Bracelet

You may have seen the facebook ad for these awesome (and utilitarian!) paracord bracelets.   The Survival Strap company uses 550# military grade paracord in over 31 colors to make subtle (or bold!), stylish bracelets, anklets, lanyards and key fobs!  You choose one or two colors and the type of closure (plastic side release or stainless steel shackle) and you can even add a personalized dog tag!  Survival Straps even offer smaller bracelets for women (yes!).  The best part about these paracord bracelets?  If you are in a survival situation, the bracelet can be unraveled and you have multiple feet of paracord rope ready to be used.  Most hikers know its can’t be trusted as an emergency survival tool unless its on your body, not in your pack.  And if you do have to unravel in an emergency, send Survival Straps your story and they will replace your bracelet!  The hardest part of buying a Survival Strap bracelet?  Choosing your colors…

Survival Straps Paracord Bracelets starting at $19.95 at SurvivalStraps.com

 

I am not affiliated with any of these companies.  I have not been asked to talk about these products nor have I been compensated.