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QUICKIE KING CAKE 
Frozen bread dough
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. powdered sugar
Few drops milk or water
Colored sugars
Plastic baby

Thaw bread dough. Roll out into large rectangle; spread with softened butter. Combine cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle evenly over dough. Roll dough making a long tube, twist and then place on oiled pan with ends of roll meeting to form an oval.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Hide baby after baking. Combine powdered sugar with just enough milk or water to spread. Ice hot King Cake. Decorate with green, purple and yellow sugar (purchased or colored by shaking in jar with food coloring).

KING CAKE/EPIPHANY TRADITION:

Epiphany, celebrated January 6 each year, commemorates the adoration of the infant Jesus by the Three Wise Men who had come from the East. During the Middle Ages, it was the final day of celebration of the Christmas season and became known as Twelfth Night.

In some countries January 6 is the day for giving presents to children. During the night, small presents are placed in children's shoes by the Three Wise Men. The Kings' Cake, connected the customs, was eaten on the afternoon or evening of Epiphany. A coin was placed in the cake before baking and the person who found it was declared "King" or "Queen" of the party. They were expected to donate it to a worthy cause, such as the education of a youngster.

In New Orleans, the Kings' Cake is eaten during the Epiphany season which extends through Mardi Gras. Some groups celebrate the season with a Kings' Cake each day. The person who gets the hidden plastic baby (or bean or pecan) must provide the cake the following day.

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