Easy Croissant King Cake to Celebrate Fat Tuesday

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Today is Fat Tuesday and if you don’t know what that is, then you probably are not Christian or are not familiar with Mardi Gras.  Don’t worry.  I’ll catch you up in a sentence or two.  Since tomorrow marks the beginning of Lenten season (a Christian holiday that consists of 40 days and 40 nights of sacrifice and preparation for Easter), the day before serves as Fat Tuesday.  It is a day to prepare for the upcoming season, celebrate the Three Kings, and if you are in New Orleans, get gluttonous during Mardi Gras.

King Cake is a common treat for Fat Tuesday and a great way to get your kids involved with the festivities.  Here is an easy recipe to get the kids involved in making one for breakfast, dessert, or even an after school snack!  Consider it a nice sweet pastry, with a sweet filling, and adorned with icing and the three colors of purple, green, and yellow.  Purple stands for justice.  Green stands for faith. Yellow stands for power.  The filling can be a fruit filling, but in this recipe, it is a combination of cream cheese and cinnamon!  I also love it because it uses store bought croissant dough, which makes things so much quicker when cooking with kids in the kitchen!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large cans of store bought crescent rolls/croissant dough
  • 1/2 block of cream cheese (4 oz)
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 drop of rum extract
  • 1 drop of coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries

For icing:

  • 4 TBS of cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey
  • store bought sprinkles of purple, green, and yellow (or make your own with plain sugar mixed with food coloring!)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.

Start with half a block of cream cheese.
Start with half a block of cream cheese.

 

Add brown sugar.
Add brown sugar.
Add cinnamon.
Add cinnamon.
Add dried cranberries.
Add dried cranberries, a drop of rum extract, and a drop of coconut extract. A tiny bit of the extracts go a LONG way!
Get your hands (or your kids' hands) dirty and mix it up!  I like to use a wooden spoon!
Get your hands (or your kids’ hands) dirty and mix it up! I like to use a wooden spoon!

 

3.

Unroll the crescent roll triangles, overlapping the bases of the triangles and forming a "starburst".
Unroll the crescent roll triangles, overlapping the bases of the triangles and forming a “starburst”.

 

4.

Spread filling on the dough.
Spread filling on the dough.

5.

Fold over the tops of the triangles to create the "ring".  Pinch any openings closed.
Fold over the tops of the triangles to create the “ring”. Pinch any openings closed.

6.  Bake for 20 minutes.  While waiting.  Make your icing!

Mix the extra cream cheese and raw honey.
Mix the extra cream cheese and raw honey.

7. Once cooled, spread the icing.  Sprinkle with the colored sprinkles  in bands (or make your own by using scant amounts of food coloring and granulated sugar).

I didn't have red dye or sprinkles.  So imagine the blue is purple!
I didn’t have red dye or sprinkles. So imagine the blue is purple!

8.

You're done!  Enjoy!
You’re done! Enjoy!
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Snap Pea and Lentil Crusted Cheese Ball Snacks

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Looking for a new spin on your holiday party cheese ball?  Need a healthy gluten-free snack for your kids?  I’ve been preparing these cheese balls for my kids to not only give them a healthy snack to nosh on (vs. the popular chips and cookies!), but broaden their taste for flavors!

Let me start with two out of my three kids absolutely are addicted to cheese.  Cheese in ALL forms.  Hard cheese, soft cheese, shredded cheese, cottage cheese…you name it.  So cheese is a popular snack in my house.  So I wanted to develop some new ways to satisfy my kids’ cheese hankerings!

The idea started when I was given the opportunity to try out Harvest Snaps which include all-natural snap peas and authentic lentil snacks in a variety of super-yummy flavors!  They currently are offering onion thyme, wasabi ranch, caesar, lightly salted, tomato basil, and black pepper.  My kids love them and liken them to tasting like fried chicken skin!  Don’t you think this is a much better alternative?

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Check out my favorite flavor-Onion Thyme!  So savory and flavorful!  It’s been the perfect savory pregnancy snack for me right now!

These not only make great snacks for munching on straight out of the bag, but they are great as cracker alternatives to dips and soups!  My kids love them in their lunch boxes too!  They are great sources of Vitamin B, calcium, iron, folate, potassium and dietary fiber and are made from non-GMO crops.

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I love this cheese ball recipe because even my 20 month old gets involved.  Although he’s quite messy, it’s so fun for him!  Like I said, you can make this as a large holiday party cheese ball for your next get-together, or you can make them small and snack-size for your kids.  When they are small and snack size, they make perfect little portions so your kids don’t over indulge!

 

Snap Pea and Lentil Crusted Cheese Balls

Ingredients

  • Cream cheese
  • Shredded cheese (Any kind, but I love Mexican or Italian blends!  Plain cheddar will work too!)
  • Your favorite Harvest Snaps snack!  For this recipe I used the Black Pepper Snapea Crisps (green) and Tomato Basil Lentil Crisps (red)

Optional add-ins include worcestshire sauce, lemon juice, paprika, shredded onion, herbs, crumbled bacon, and even your favorite nuts!  You can basically use your favorite cheese ball recipe!

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Mix up your favorite cheese ball recipe (in this case I simply mixed cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese for my toddler!). For snack size, you can easily whip this up in a small bowl.

 

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This is where the fun with your kids takes place. Have your kids help you roll the cheese mixture into snack size balls. A spoonful of cheese mixture makes a perfect snack-size portion!

 

Your kids can also help you crush your favorite Harvest Snaps snack into crumbs!  Place in a sandwich bag, zip up, and have them enjoy crushing them up!  A rough crush will produce a "shredded" appearance to the crumbs, which I think is pretty cool.  But you can keep crushing to make finer crumbs.
Your kids can also help you crush your favorite Harvest Snaps snack into crumbs! Place in a sandwich bag, zip up, and have them enjoy crushing them up! A rough crush will produce a “shredded” appearance to the crumbs, which I think is pretty cool. But you can keep crushing to make finer crumbs.

 

Roll the cheese balls into the crumb mixtures (you can even use more than one type of Harvest Snap snack!).  Voila!  You have perfect size cheese balls to snack on!
Roll the cheese balls into the crumb mixtures (you can even use more than one type of Harvest Snap snack!). Voila! You have perfect size cheese balls to snack on!

 

These make great healthy appetizers and you’ll be amazed at the amount of flavor the Harvest Snaps provide!  It’s an easy and inexpensive way to make a sophisticated tasting appetizer!  To learn more about other recipes and info about Harvest Snaps, follow #HarvestSnapsFan. There are also awesome Harvest Snaps YouTube webisodes to learn more such as this one-

Enjoy!

This post was created in partnership with Harvest Snaps. I have been compensated for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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