Theme Park inspired recipes for your Mardi Gras party


Mardi Gras is going on at Universal Orlando every weekend now through April 23rd. You can experience all the fun of Mardi Gras without having to travel to New Orleans to celebrate. In fact, you can celebrate every weekend with bead catching, music, and great food. What about taking the celebration home with you?

This coming Tuesday, March 8, 2011, is the actual day of celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. There’s no better way to celebrate than with the beads you managed to catch at Universal and some theme park inspired recipes! Here’s a few of my very simple home recipes. Feel free to add your own steps in!

King Cake

Things you’ll need to make filling:

  • Half of a large block of Cream Cheese (or 4 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1/2 cup of pecan halves
  • Food processor

Things you’ll need to make cake:

  • 2 containers of cinnamon rolls (you can also use croissants, but I prefer cinnamon rolls)

Things you’ll need to make icing:

  • 1-1/2 cups of powered sugar
  • Food coloring or colored sugar (Purple, Green, Yellow work great for Mardi Gras colors)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons of milk or cream.

How to make it:

  • Soak raisings in hot water for 15 minutes, drain, and pay dry with paper towels.
  • Put cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins in the food processor bowl and process until compines.
  • Add pecan halves and “pulse” until they are chopped into small pieces.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray baking sheet with butter-flavored vegtable oil.
  • Unroll cinnamin rolls and shape them like a donut. Press the rolls together around the center, but leave the outside unpressed so you can roll it over after you put the filling inside of it. You can always make a second layer instead with the filling in the middle.
  • Spread filling around inside the cinnamon rolls and fold it over.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until it’s golden brown. Pull it from the oven when it’s finished and let it cool.
  • Once it’s cool, cut a small slice and insert the trinket (you can insert it before melting, but it’s safer to do it afterwards incase it melts!). Replace the slice.
  • Wisk the powered sugar, milk/cream, and vanilla extract together until it’s smooth (no lumps!).
  • If you have food coloring, seperate the icing into three bowls evenly and add a different color to each bowl and mix well.
  • Ice the cake! If you have colored sugar, apply the colored sugar after you ice it.
  • Enjoy!

Whoever gets the trinket in their peice of cake will have good luck for the year!



Beignets are served in the French Quarter at Mardi Gras, but you can try to make your own at home!

Things you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 of teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
  • 4 cups of bread flour (all purpose flower can also be used)
  • 3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
  • Vegtable Oil (You’ll need enough to cover them to fry)
  • Powered Sugar

How to make it:

  • Use a mixer that has a dough hook. Put water, sugar, salt, beaten egg, butter, evaporated milk, flour, and yeast all into the bowl.
  • Beat it until it’s smooth (not lumpy!)
  • Place in the refrigerator and let cool.
  • Roll out dough on lightly flowered to approximatley 1/2″ tickness. Cut into either sqaures or circles of your preferred size. 3″ is recommended to make around 18 beignets.
  • Heat vegtable oil to approximatley 360 degrees to fry. You can either use a pan or deep fryer.
  • Fry beignets for 2-3 minutes or until they are puffy, golden brown. If the oil is not hot enough, they will not rise to the top.
  • Remove from oil when finished and let dry on a paper towel.
  • Coat with powdered sugar.
  • Enjoy!