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2 16-ounce packages hot roll mix
1 & 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbs grated orange peel
1 Tbs grated lemon peel
yolks of 4 large eggs
6 Tbs butter or margarine, melted
all purpose-flour
1 plastic baby or a pecan half
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
violet, green, and yellow paste food coloring

Combine hot roll mix with yeast (comes in package), 3/4 cup granulated
sugar and grated peels in large bowl. Stir in egg yolks, 4 Tbs
melted butter, and 2 cups very hot tap water. Turn dough out onto
well-floured work surface. Knead dought 2 minutes until smooth;
let rest, covered, 5 minutes. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll
dough out to 20 x 12-inch rectangle; brush with remaining 2 Tbs
melted butter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon over
dough. Fold dough lengthwise in half; roll rolling pin lightly
over dough to seal.

Cut dough into 3 lengthwise strips. Braid strips, starding at
center and working towards each end; do not seal strips at ends.
Tuck baby or pecan between 2 strips of braid to conceal. Place
braid on lightly greased cookie sheet, forming oval with ends

Brush ends of strips lightly with water; pinch opposing strip ends
together to form continuous braid. Cover with kitchen towel; let
rise in warm, draft-free place 20 minutes until slightly puffed.
Bake 10 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350F; bake 20 minutes
longer until golden brown, covering with foil for last 5 minutes
if becoming too brown. Cool cake on rack. Meanwhile, beat
confectioners' sugar, cream, and vanilla in large bowl with mixer
at medium speed until smooth. Pour frosting over cooled cake,
allowing it to run down sides. Divide remaining 3/4 c granulated
sugar among 3 small bowls. Stir a different paste food color into
each. Sprinkle collored sugars alternately over frosting (ie.
purple, green, gold, purple, green, gold, purple, green, gold, etc
around cake in small sections).

For those less familiar with the King Cake tradition, it is a giant
cinnamon roll served during the Mardi Gras season. The cakes are
decorated with sugar colored purple to signify justice, green for
faith and gold for power. A small plastic baby (or a bean, etc)
is hidden in the cake. Who ever finds the baby (said to signify
the Newborn King) is designated King for the day and is in charge
of bringing the cake to the next party or gathering. In New Orleans
this isn't a big deal because you can pick them up at the bakery
or grocery for about $10.


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