Food

Make drool-worthy Mardi Gras desserts that put the 'fat' in Fat Tuesday

If there was ever an excuse to invite friends over for an absolutely decadent meal, it’s Mardi Gras. Also known as Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday and Pancake Day (among other nicknames), the big day — which traditionally kicks off the fasting period of Lent and comes right before Ash Wednesday — happens on February 28th this year. Jump on the excuse to throw a party starring a slew of rich desserts, scrumptious foods and classic Mardi Gras cocktails with these fantastic recipes.

RELATED: 17 festive Mardi Gras recipes: Jambalaya, gumbo and more

Easy King Cake Knots

Plain Chicken

A de rigueur Mardi Gras tradition, king cake usually comes with a small plastic baby hidden inside. Whoever finds the toy might be guaranteed good luck — or an impending pregnancy . Either way, the recipient gets to bring the king cake to next year’s celebration. This recipe is for an uncomplicated version of the cake, transformed into individually sized portions.

Fasnachts

Leslie Reese

In Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Mardi Gras is called Fasnachts Day in honor of these fantastic doughnut-like pastries, fried to perfection and dusted in powdered sugar.

RELATED: Make a hearty Cajun seafood étouffée

Paczki

Seeded at the Table

Ansonia, Conn., is one of several towns across the county that hosts an annual paczki-eating contest every Fat Tuesday. But don’t worry – you needn’t be a competitive eater to enjoy these stuffed doughnuts. When you make your own, you and your guests are under no obligation to stuff as many into your mouths as you can within five minutes. Unless you want to, of course.

Banana Split Pancakes

Sarah's Cucina Bella

In many countries around the world—including Canada, England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand—pancakes are a crucial part of Shrove Tuesday celebrations (hence the nickname Pancake Day). Try this recipe for some truly epic pancakes, smothered in hot fudge, bananas and whipped cream, and capped with a cherry on top.

RELATED: Make jambalaya and babka king cake for Mardi Gras

Laskiaispullat

Scandi Foodie

These classic Shrove Tuesday pastries have a hard-to-pronounce name: Laskiaispullat. But it’s worth learning how to say it: These sweet buns, filled with jam or marzipan and whipped cream, are a tradition in Finland and Scandinavia—and soon to be a favorite in your kitchen too.

New Orleans Brandy Milk Punch

Always Order Dessert

If there’s one thing you absolutely need for a proper Mardi Gras celebration, it’s the right cocktail. This easy recipe for New Orleans brandy milk punch whips up a sweet, chilled concoction that resembles a lighter, fresher version of eggnog.

King Cake Cupcakes

The Brewer & The Baker

Because who can get enough king cake on Mardi Gras? Not us! We can’t wait to whip up this cupcake version.

Want to eat more than just dessert? Round out your Mardi Gras celebration with these two traditional dishes:

Jambalaya

In Good Taste

Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans are infamous, but if flashing for beads just isn’t your thing, you can still serve up rich, luscious bowls of traditional jambalaya at home. Try this one, loaded with red beans and Andouille sausage.

New Orleans-Style Barbecue Shrimp

Wonky Wonderful

These shrimp have us totally drooling – and for good reason. All that butter, and garlic, and spice! Something tells us we’ll be making this dish year-round.

This article was originally published on March 2, 2014.

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