Are you ready for Fat Tuesday? Well if you don't have a king cake, never fear. Here is a recipe you can get made in a couple of hours. If you don't have a couple of hours, I'm betting you could cut up biscuits and use them as the dough and top with the icing and sprinkles for a super quick treat, but I haven't tried that, so I can't say it will be a totally even trade. I made these on Sunday, and they were a great treat for my boys. I wanted to do something different this year instead of making a traditional king cake like I usually do. I came up with making mini king cakes shaped like a clover roll, each "hump" would have a different color of sugar. The only downside to doing muffins is that there isn't as much icing to bread ratio as in with a king cake. I think next time I make these, I will go ahead and put them in the container I plan on storing them in and then ice them, so I can keep all the extra icing for dipping. Yum! I love the icing. I stuck with my original recipe for the icing. I love the touch of lemon that it has, but I did the bread part a bit different this year. It is a bit dry, but all king cake is dry really, unless you add in a filling. Happy Mardi Gras to you all!
Mini King Cake Rolls
adapted from NBC Chicago
Mini King Cake Rolls
adapted from NBC Chicago
1/2 cup warm water (105-110 degrees F)
1 package or 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons plus 1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons cream cheese
1/4 cup milk
3 1/2 - 4 cups flour (plus extra for kneading)
2 eggs, slightly beaten, room temperature
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons water
3/4 cup sugar
Green, yellow, and purple food coloring
In a small saucepan, mix butter, cream cheese, 1/4 cup of sugar, and milk over medium low heat. Stir and mash the cream cheese until all ingredients are smooth and blended together. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, combine yeast, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of flour. Pour warm water (105-110 degrees F) over mixture. Stir to combine and set aside for 10 minutes.
Combine 3 cups of flour, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. (I used my kitchen aid mixer for this.) Add eggs, yeast mixture and cooled butter mixture. Stir to combine. Add additional flour until mixture is tacky but not sticky (add up to 1 full cup). Knead dough for about 10 minutes or use dough hook, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth. Form dough into a ball.
Butter the bottom and sides of a large bowl. Place dough in bowl and roll it in butter on all sides. Cover with a towel and let dough rise for 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down and then roll it out to make traditional king cake or begin to break off pieces to make mini king cakes. Pinch off small balls, about one inch in diameter each. You will be able to make about 42 small dough balls. Using a regular size muffin pan, place three dough balls in each muffin cup as if you were going to make clover rolls. The recipe will make about 14 "muffins," so you'll need an additional muffin tin or you can use two ramekins. Cover with a towel and let dough rise for an additional 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once dough has risen, brush tops lightly with 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once the cake has cooled, push a plastic baby into the bottom (optional).
To make colored sugars, place 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in each of three Ziploc plastic bags (or containers). Add food coloring in one bag. Seal the bag and shake vigorously to evenly color the sugar, being sure to break up any clumps with your fingers. Repeat the process with a second bag using the other colors ending up with three separate colored sugars.
In a medium sized bowl, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water. Mixture should be pourable but not runny (a bit thicker than syrup). If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar. Place cooled cakes on a wire rack over parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, drizzle and liberally brush the icing on all sides of the cake. I ended up dipping the muffins in the icing and then using the brush to spread it or add more. Use all of the icing, even though some with drip onto the parchment. Immediately sprinkle sugars over icing.