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Mardi Gras King Cake

Fat Tuesday is quickly approaching, which means the beginning of Lent is just around the corner! Many people choose to spend the 40 days of Lent in meditation and fasting, and Fat Tuesday is the last big hurrah. A traditional dessert served on Fat Tuesday is the Mardi Gras King Cake. The tradition actually began in France, and it is a continued celebration of the three Wise Men bearing gifts for the infant Jesus. The pastry is shaped in a ring to represent the circular paths the Wise Men traveled to see baby Jesus (in order to confuse King Herod and foil his plans to kill baby Jesus). Typically a small coin or plastic baby is hidden inside the cake (to represent baby Jesus), and whoever finds it in their piece of cake is promised good luck in the coming year. [source]

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I've personally never had a King Cake until this year. Every year, about this time, one of my close running buddies talks about making one and enjoying it with her family - it's a big family tradition. I decided I needed to get in on the action. This version is super simple, using canned biscuits and pantry staples to assemble the cake. Start by opening your can of biscuits, and laying them in two rows of four. Then, press the edges together and pinch to seal so you have one large rectangle of biscuit dough. (It doesn't have to be perfect.)

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Brush the biscuit dough with some melted butter, and sprinkle it generously with cinnamon-sugar.

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Roll it up cinnamon-roll style until you have a long tube; then, shape the tube into a circle. (It it falls apart a little, that's ok. Just try to pinch together any cracks.)

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Bake at 350*F about 22-28 minutes, until golden brown and the biscuits are cooked through. If it doesn't look the prettiest, no big deal! We are just going to cover it with frosting anyway.

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Once it cools, spread with your favorite cream cheese frosting, and decorate with purple, gold, and green decorating sugars. If you want to hide a baby in it, do so after it bakes by shoving it up the bottom somewhere.

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If you like cinnamon rolls, you will love this King Cake! Buttery and flaky, with just the right amount of cinnamon flavor. It makes a great breakfast as well as dessert. ;) ---

Mardi Gras King Cake

Serves 6-8. 16.3-oz can refrigerated biscuits 3-4 tablespoons melted butter 1/2 cup sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon cream cheese frosting (canned or homemade) purple, gold, and green decorating sugars Preheat oven to 350*F. Place biscuits on parchment-lined or greased baking sheet in two rows of four. Pinch edges to seal and form one large rectangle of biscuit dough. Brush with melted butter. Mix sugar with cinnamon; sprinkle over butter. Roll the biscuit dough up, forming a long tube. Shape the tube into a circle. Bake in preheated oven for 22-28 minutes until golden brown. Let cool. Frost with cream cheese frosting and decorate with purple, gold, and green decorating sugars.

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