I'm sure you're wondering why the Fat Tuesday well wishes. Traditionally, Fat Tuesday is actually a pretty "bad" day. According to my quick google study, people get all their "sin" out today and the days leading up to now so they can start lent tomorrow in which they will give up a "sin" or something special to them in order to gain merit with God. Even though we don't celebrate Fat Tuesday in that manner, there can be some great lessons learned from the celebration of Fat Tuesday and some true fun can be had in the day as well!
We want to train our children that all "sin" separates us from God and no amount of fasting or giving up of a sinful activity can merit us favor with God. It's only through Christ's death on the cross that we have a remedy for our sin. Christ took the penalty for our sin, and we can have a relationship with God if we accept the gift that Christ offers. I do think lent would be a great time for believers to evaluate their own lives and look for sins or things that we have made as higher priorities than God in our lives. We should be doing this daily, but what a great time to have a witness to others of Christ's power over sin in our lives. So, that will be our conversation topic at dinner tonight as we enjoy some Cajun jambalaya!
One Fat Tuesday tradition we will enjoy purely for fun will be a King's Cake! A King's Cake is a ring of twisted pastry or bread topped with purple and green frosting or colored sugar that contains a plastic doll hidden inside. The person who finds the doll is supposed to have good luck for the year and is crowned the "King of the Feast." I think I'm going to see if Burger King can help us out with a special crown too! We'll have to make an extra one for our Drake kids...everyone needs a chance to find a toy in cake and wear a crown!
Here are my two options for the King's Cake. I'll have to see how brave I'm feeling in a few hours with attempting a simple cake or tricky bread dough. They both look yummy!
Cinnamon-Swirl Coffee Ring
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup 4% cottage cheese
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Confectioners' sugar
Directions:In a large mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the eggs, milk, butter and vanilla. gradually add to dry ingredients, beating until combined. For filling, combine cottage cheese, sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Spoon half of the batter into a greased 10-in. fluted tube pan; top with filling and remaining batter. Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar or colored frosting if desired.
Cinnamon Pecan Ring
- 2-3/4 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup fat-free milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3/4 cup chopped pecan, toasted
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 teaspoons fat-free milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:In a bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, yeast, salt and baking soda. In a saucepan, heat the yogurt, milk, water and 2 tablespoons butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl coated with cooking spray; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Roll into a 14-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Combine pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and remaining sugar; sprinkle evenly over dough to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam.
Line a baking sheet with foil; coat well with cooking spray. Place dough seam side down on prepared pan; pinch ends together to form a ring. With scissors, cut from the outside edge two-thirds of the way toward center of ring at 1-in. intervals. Separate strips slightly and twist. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Brush with egg white. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan to wire rack. Combine icing ingredients; drizzle over warm ring.