Individual King Cake
4¼ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup milk
¼ cup water
¼ cup cream cheese
3 egg yolks
2¼ teaspoon yeast
1 cup, packed light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp
King Cake Icing
2½ cups powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons milk
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
SWEET DOUGH In a small saucepot, melt the butter and set aside. Allow to cool. Combine flour, salt and sugar in small bowl and set aside.
Combine the cooled butter, milk, water, cream cheese and yolk in a stand mixer with the paddle for 5 min on low speed. With the mixer off, add yeast and the dry mixed ingredients, and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. (Dough should begin to cling to the paddle.) Continue to mix in the stand mixer with the paddle on medium speed for 2 min. After 2 minutes, scrape down the bowl. Turn the mixer up to high speed and mix until dough is strong, shiny and clings to the paddle (about 5 minutes).
Place the dough in a bowl sprayed with oil spray and wrap well with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
To prepare King Cakes, preheat oven to 350F. Roll the dough into a rectangle about ¹⁄4-inch thick. Apply your filling liberally (traditional recipe below). Starting with the long edge facing you, roll up the rectangle into a long rope, pinching the dough gently to keep it rolled up. Bring the dough together into a circle, tucking one end into the other and pinching the edges together.
Place the ring onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and cover with a dish towel. Allow to rise in a warm spot in the kitchen, about 80F. This may take up to 2 or 3 hours depending on the temperature. The King Cake will double in size.
Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes until light golden in color. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature. Apply icing, festive sanding sugars and serve (see below).
CINNAMON FILLING Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix until the butter has disappeared.
KING CAKE ICING Mix all ingredients together in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until smooth. Spread onto cooled King Cakes and decorate with festive sanding sugars.
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