Kids in the Kitchen: Mardi Gras Festive Foods



Mardi Gras is the internationally famous festival celebrated in New Orleans and southern Louisiana for two weeks before Ash Wednesday, at the beginning of Lent. However, you don’t have to hop a plane to New Orleans (NoLo) to celebrate this festival and its many culinary delights. Create these fun and festive recipes with your kids this February and have your own winter carnival in the kitchen!

 

King Cake

This traditional Mardi Gras recipe actually originated in Europe, and it represents the three wise men and their visit to the Baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Many “King Cakes” contained a coin, tiny toy or bean hidden inside. The person that finds the token or toy is supposed to receive good luck for the coming year!

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • optional (small ceramic toy or heatproof plastic trinket)

Cake:

  • 2 cans (total of 16 rolls) refrigerated crescent rolls

Cake Topping:

  • 1 can of store bought vanilla frosting
  • Purple, green and yellow colored sugar crystals

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 350ᵒ F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Unroll the crescent roll dough and separate it into triangles
  3. Place the triangles next to each other with the points toward the center, overlapping the long sides about ¼ inch, forming a large circle on the baking sheet.
  4. Where the pieces overlap, press the seams together only in the center of each seam, leaving the ends of the seams unsealed so you can fold them up over the filling.
  5. Let the kids help put the filling around in a ring covering the center sealed seam of each triangle.
  6. The adult can hide the small ceramic or heatproof plastic baby or dried bean somewhere in the filling.
  7. Fold the wide end of each triangle toward the center just to the edge of the filling to cover.
  8. Pull the pointed ends of the triangles toward the outer rim of the pan to fully enclose the filling, tucking under the points. Press the seams.
  9. Bake the cake or crescent part for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. After the crescent cake has finished baking, spread the frosting in a circle over the top of the king cake.
  11. Then let kids decorate it for Mardi Gras by adding colored sprinkles or sugar crystals in wide stripes, alternating purple, green and yellow.

Mardi Gras Pretzels

Ingredients:

  • Pretzels
  • White chocolate melt
  • Yellow, purple and green sprinkles or crystallized sugar

Directions:

  1. Follow directions for melting white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Use tongs to dip pretzels in melted chocolate
  3. Quickly move to a wax or parchment paper surface and let kids decorate with sprinkles or sugar.
  4. Cool in the refrigerator until hard, and enjoy!

 

Fruit Loop Edible Mardi Gras Beads

Items:

  • Yarn or string
  • 2 boxes of “Fruit Loops” or generic equivalent
  • 2 bowls

Directions:

  1. Let kids help you separate out the yellow, purple and green fruit loops from cereal bags.
  2. Store remaining for breakfast, or snack while you work!
  3. Help kids string yellow, purple and green fruit loops onto the yarn or string, either in color blocks or alternating Mardi Gras Colors.
  4. Tie around their neck, enjoy and eat!

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