Snow days are better than regular holidays for three reasons...
1) No expectations of doing something super fun and fabulous. When people ask me "what did you do with your snow day?" "rolled around on the floor for a while," "watched three episodes of Jerseylicious" (does that show still exist?), and "played with dough all day" are all totally acceptable answers. There's no expectation that I went on some super fancy cruise ship, took a bunch of pictures wearing fancy/sparkly things, or changed the world through some community service trip I took. Nope. This is a day when I can wear fuzzy socks and eat a king sized bag of pita chips and not feel even a little bit guilty about it.
2) No expectations of hanging out with people. Not that I don't like people. But I feel like it's socially unacceptable to lock yourself in the house and talk to your dog over a long weekend. On a snow day, not so much.
3) No expectations of it coming. What? Ok, that didn't make total grammatical sense, but what I'm trying to say is that snow days are unexpected, which make them that much more awesome. I wake up, remember all of the procrastinated assignments that I am obligated to do that day, and then oh wait! I don't have to do any of them because there's white stuff falling from the sky! It's like confetti celebrating the procrastinators of the world.
So yay for the unexpected! Since on snow days I have oodles of time to waste time/avoid humans/avoid responsibilities, they're the perfect opportunity to play with yeast, and make a somewhat involved recipe that has a rising time (a luxury that someone who has to go to school rarely has)! I shared my super lazy way of making king cake with you all a few days ago, but for those of you who are itching to make the real-deal (maybe you have a snow day too), here it is!
As cliche/cheesy as this sounds, nothing compares to the real thing, there's a certain special layer of flavor (love?), that just can't be achieved with something that comes out of a can.
- 3/4 cups warm milk
- 2 1/4 teaspoons or one packet of dry yeast
- 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 stick of butter, melted and cooled
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- zest of one orange
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 block Cream Cheese (8 Ounce Block)
- ½ cups Dark Brown Sugar (packed)
- ½ cup Powdered Sugar
- ½ teaspoons Cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- yellow, green, and purple sanding sugar
Add the butter mixture and the yeast mixture to the flour mixture in the stand mixer. Knead for 5 minutes with the dough hook until smooth. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise for two hours.
After the dough has finished rising, prepare the filling. Beat together the cream cheese, brown sugar, powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until smooth. Transfer the dough to a large sheet of parchment paper and roll it out into a 9x13 inch rectangle. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly onto the rectangle, leaving an inch along one of the long sides so it doesn't overflow. Starting on the long end, roll up the dough jelly-roll style.
Grease an empty metal can and place it in the center of a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Gently wrap the dough around the can (seam side down), and pinch the ends together to form a ring.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Let the cake rise as the oven preheats (about half an hour). Bake for 30-40 minutes until it is golden brown. Remove the can and let cool.
Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and milk. Add a little more milk if the glaze is too thick. Pour on the the glaze and then decorate with sanding sugar.
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