Wednesday, January 22, 2014

King Cake Tarts & Bars

**Update to this Blog**

Mini King Cake Tarts

I decided to make individual King Cake Tarts using the same recipe below.

Instead of using a 9"x13" dish, I used my mini muffin tins and pressed the crust into each cup.

It took a little more prep time but they only baked for 12 minutes.

The Mini King Cake Tarts looked so fancy and great for a party!

King Cake Bars

So last year I tried two different King Cake recipes and discovered that it was one of the hardest things to bake. Both cakes came out crusty, like bread.

This year I decided to try something different. A recipe for King Cake Bars was circulating on Pinterest so I decided to see if they really tasted like King Cake.

I started by making the crust and pressing it into a greased 9'' x 13'' dish. A good tip for adding the cold butter is to grate the butter using a box grater. Makes perfectly size butter pieces that mixes easily into the dough.

Next I made the filling. I used my stand mixer to beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla and cinnamon together. I doubled the amount of cinnamon to 1 teaspoon and I think next time I make these bars I will add some cinnamon to the crust as well.

Then I spread the filling onto the crust. I baked the bars for 30 minutes. It took my oven that long to turn the crust golden brown and for the filling to set.

I made the glaze and decided to make my own colored sugar using food coloring. Making green and yellow was easy, creating the purple didn't go so well. I ended up with a dark reddish purple. I plan on buying some purple dye for the next time.

I poured the glaze over the bars once I took them from the oven and then sprinkled very lightly with the colored sugar. (I'm not a huge fan of the crystal sugar on king cakes. I just wanted it to be festive.)

These bars turned out amazing! I would recommend eating them warm for maximum deliciousness!

Everyone agreed that they make a great substitute for King Cake. Now we can have King Cake all year round and people who don't live in Louisiana can enjoy these treats as well!

King Cake Bars

For the Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks cold butter
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

For the Filling:

  • 2 (8-ounce) blocks cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoon milk
  • Colored sanding sugar or sprinkles (purple, green and gold)

For the Crust:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9- x 13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flour and sugar. Drop in the butter cubes and beat on low speed until the mixture is crumbly and looks a bit like wet sand. Add the milk and beat until it starts to stick together. Sprinkle the mixture into the prepared baking dish and press it in to form an even layer, making sure there are no holes or gaps.

For the Filling:

Wipe out the mixer bowl and rinse and dry the paddle. Beat the filling ingredients together until completely smooth. Spread the filling evenly over the prepared crust. Bake the bars for 20 – 25 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set.

For the Glaze:

While the bars are cooking, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and milk until completely smooth. As soon as you remove the bars from the oven, spread the glaze in an even layer across the top. Immediately decorate with sanding sugar. Leave the bars to cool completely, then slice.
(Recipe Source The Christian Science Monitor.)

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