Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? I sure do, especially in the Spring! So many festivals and fun things are going on in the city, like Mardi Gras. If you are looking for a little way to bring a piece of NOLA home to where ever you may be, this one is for you. I have two “recipes” that are too easy and delicious to pass up.
“Homemade” KING CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FILLING
Why pay outrageous prices for shipping when you can make a DELICIOUS king cake of your own? This easy “recipe” can be made any time of year, for any event. Never pay extra for a king cake that’s “out of season” again! Make it a heart shape for Valentine’s Day! Make it into a fleur de lis for a Saints’ game. Make it a candy cane for Christmas!
What You Will Need:
- 2 cans of Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls (5 qty)
- 1 package of softened cream cheese
- ¼ cup of powdered sugar
- 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
- Approx 1 cup of granulated sugar
- Wilton food color gel in Violet, Leaf Green & Lemon Yellow
- 4 ziplock bags
- Scissors, sturdy whisk, and spatula
- One large cup
- Baking stone or sheet
- Start by unrolling three of the cinnamon rolls. Lightly press them together at the top (see picture below.) Braid the three pieces together, just like you would someone’s hair. Repeat this step so that you have two braided sections.
2. Place braided sections in shape of circle on baking sheet or stone.
3. Take the remaining four rolls and unroll. Twist them together two at a time. Use the two twists to make an inner circle for cake creating one wide cake.
- In a bowl, whisk together the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar and pure vanilla extract. (You will want to use a sturdy, metal whisk to get all of the lumps out.)
- Place a ziplock bag inside of a large cup. Use the spatula to fill the bag with the cream cheese filling. Remove bag from cup. Trim corner off of bag with scissors. Squeeze filling to bottom of bag.
- Inject filling into openings of cake.
NOTE: Don’t like cream cheese? Any canned pie filling will do. This is also YUMMY plain, without any filling.
- Put approximately 1/3 cup of granulated sugar into 3 separate ziplock bags.
- Using a small spoon, add a very small amount of Wilton food color gel to each bag. One bag per color. (It’s better to start with a little and add more gel until desired color is achieved.)
- Seal the bag. Roll the sugar and gel food color around in the bag until completely mixed. This is a GREAT job for a kiddo or spouse while they are zoned out watching tv.
- After sugar is dyed, generously sprinkle on top of unbaked cake.
BAKING & FINISHING TOUCHES
- Bake cake at 350˚ for about 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Warm the icing that came with the cinnamon rolls in the microwave for about 30 sec – 1min (depending on strength of microwave.) You want it to still be white but thin enough to drizzle.
- Drizzle icing over top of cake once the cake has cooled.
Looking for a fun project with the kids? Give them their own cinnamon rolls and let them decorate them individually! It’s a great project for scouts, youth groups, camps, and parties.
One can’t talk about sweet treats in New Orleans without mentioning beignets. I had no idea how easy and yummy this quick substitute could be until about a year ago. (Probably a good thing for my jeans…)
What You Will Need:
- 1 large can of the cheapest little buttermilk biscuits (The cheap ones fluff up the best.)
- Powdered sugar
- Oil for frying (Your choice. We usually use vegetable or canola.)
- Large frying pan
- Sugar sifter
- Preheat oil in frying pan. I pour just enough so that the biscuits will float, without touching the bottom of the pan.
- While the oil is heating, cut each biscuit in half.
3. Gently place the biscuit halves in the hot oil. They will begin to brown within seconds.
4. Flip each half to fully cook.
5. Remove from oil. I usually put on a plate with a napkin to help absorb the grease.
6. Once all of your biscuit halves are cooked, cover in powdered sugar.
I sure hope these “recipes” help ease the pain of being away from our beautiful city…or at least its cuisine. Laissez les bon temps rouler! – Hope