Mardi Gras is coming up fast this year – February 13 to be exact – and I’m sure that the carnival-goers are going to be just a tad put out with thunderstorms in the forecast for Mardi Gras this year.
Here in Richmond, VA the festivities begin February 10 with the Mardi Gras RVA parade beginning at 3PM. See the Facebook page for all the details.
So just what IS Mardi Gras?
Also known as Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday and Fastnacht Day in Pennsylvania Dutch country, Mardi Gras is the last Tuesday before Lent, which is a period of fasting. The Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, Louisiana is typical of the masquerades and dancing in the streets that take place in other parts of the United States before the long season of Lent. In a nutshell, it’s the last day to eat, drink and be merry before Lent begins.
Traditional parades have a King of the Carnival and the Monarch of Merriment, as well as Comus, the God of Revelry. Typically people dress up in eye-catching costumes and a spectacular ball is held. Debutantes are formally introduced to society at what is known as the Ball Tablaeu in New Orleans.
Mardi Gras Drinks
If you are fortunate enough to be attending Mardi Gras in New Orleans, then you must check out these drinks while you’re there!
As we said earlier, being the last day before Lent, the tradition is to eat and drink the very best of everything, and lots of it, before the Lenten fast begins on Ash Wednesday.
Fastnachts (pronounced fost-nokts) are a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition that I grew up on. Mom and Dad would make these delicious donuts every Fat Tuesday and we would munch until we couldn’t munch anymore! There are a lot of places that will take orders in advance in Pennsylvania so that you can get your Fastnachts if you don’t want to cook them yourself – or you can try your hand at a multitude of variations on the Pennsylvania Dutch recipe. Some will call for a glaze to be applied to your donuts but if you want to eat them the right way you shake those suckers in some powdered sugar hot out the fryer so that it sticks and melts into the dough!
Now these rich potato-based donuts might be a bit much for some of our readers, so I wanted to offer an easy to make, light, crispy and delicious alternative Fastnachts!
Crisp Apple Fastnachts (Donuts)
Ingredients for the Donuts
- 1 cup Crisp Apple Sparkling ICE
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
- ½ cup Splenda Sugar Blend
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 ¾ cup all purpose flour
Ingredients for the Cinnamon Sugar
- 1½ cups Splenda Sugar Blend
- ½ cup ground cinnamon
Directions for the Donuts
Part 1: Making the donut dough
- In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together, on medium high speed for approximately 5 minutes.
- Add eggs one at a time until combined. Slowly pour in the milk and half of the Crisp Apple Sparkling ICE to the mixing bowl.
- With the mixer on slow speed add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until just combined. The dough should look shaggy.
- Slowly pour in the remaining amount of Crisp Apple Sparkling ICE on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Part 2: Dough storage
- Tear 2 pieces of parchment paper the size of a baking sheet.
- Line the first piece of parchment on a clean baking sheet and heavily dust with flour.
- Turn out the dough onto the floured parchment and press evenly till it’s about 3/4 inch thick. (If the dough seems too sticky flour your hands before pressing.)
- Lightly flour the top of the dough and place the second piece of parchment over the dough. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
Part 3: Frying donuts
- In a deep frying pan, heat enough oil to come up 2 inches from the bottom to 375 degrees using a candy thermometer.
- Gently peel the top piece of parchment off the dough.
- Using a floured donut cutter, punch out dough and place in hot oil.
- Fry on each side for 2-3 minutes or until light brown. Adjust the heat if needed. Scoop on paper towel lined baking tray.
Part 4: Finishing donuts
- Combine cinnamon and splenda in a large bowl.
- While the donuts are still warm, toss with cinnamon and splenda mixture until evenly coated.
- Serve warm.
Once you have your donuts finished, you definitely need to fix you a delicious Sparkling Apple Hot Toddy to enjoy with your donuts.
Sparkling Apple Hot Toddy
- 6 oz. Crisp Apple SPARKLING ICE
- 1 ½ oz. whisky or apple brandy
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Cinnamon stick, allspice cloves, and apple slices for garnish
- Coat the bottom of a glass coffee cup with honey. Add whisky or brandy
- Heat Crisp Apple SPARKLING ICE in a small sauce pot
- Pour hot SPARKLING ICE into glass. Stir to combine ingredients
- Garnish with cinnamon stick, allspice cloves, and apple slices
Monkey Bread King Cake Recipe from momdot.com
Mardi Gras Festive DIY Bead Cones from Crafts ‘n Coffee
Beaded Mardi Gras Wreath from Simply Angie
Mardi Gras Eye Makeup from Makeup Geek
You can find an amazing array of projects, decorations, food and more on Pinterest when you search up Mardi Gras! Have fun celebrating and indulging people!