Mardi Gras Lemon Sweet Rolls


Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, and Pancake Day, is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of the Christian observation of Lent.  The forty days of Lent are considered by followers of many Christian denominations to be a season for reflection, penance, and atonement. As such, it is also a time when many Christians forego indulgent foods including butter and sugar.

Mardi Gras is “the last hurrah” – the last opportunity to participate in revelry, including the joyful consumption of rich and fatty foods – before settling into an extended period of austerity.  This recipe is perfect for Mardi Gras, being laden with butter, eggs, and sugar.  These Lemon Sweet Rolls are really a cross between a yeast roll and a donut.  I used my German Great-Grandmother’s stollen recipe as a base for the dough, adding candied lemon, a boozy lemon icing, and decorations appropriate for this festive day. Enjoy!

WIN_20150128_150210Ingredients (Makes approximately 50 small rolls)

1 cup milk

1 cup sugar

1 cup butter

WIN_20150128_1521312 envelopes yeast

4 eggs, lightly beaten

6 cups flour (plus more for kneading)

1 cup diced, candied lemon peel

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

WIN_20150128_1529553 tablespoons Lemoncello or other lemon-flavored liqueur

Green, Purple, and Gold decorations (colored sugar sprinkles, or whatever else catches your eye!)


WIN_20150128_164417Step 1) Heat milk, sugar, and butter in a saucepan over low heat just until butter melts.  Allow to cool for a few minutes until mixture is not hot, but is still lukewarm.

Step 2) Add yeast. Stir and let sit for 2 minutes.

Step 3) Add eggs, then add flour, stirring in WIN_20150128_171620one cup at a time.

Step 4) Turn loosely combined dough onto a floured countertop and knead for 8 minutes.  If dough is sticky, knead in a bit more flour. Knead in candied lemon peel.

Step 5) Place dough in a large, greased bowl. Turn over once so that both sides of the dough are greased. Cover bowl with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Step 6) After 1 hour, cut golfball-sized pieces of dough and shape them into smooth balls. Allow to rise on greased baking sheets, 2 inches apart, for 30 minutes.

Step 7) Bake in a preheated, 375 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until tops just begin to brown. Place rolls on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Step 8) Stir together powdered sugar and Lemoncello. Dip tops of rolls in the icing, and add decorations! Voila!

2 replies to “Mardi Gras Lemon Sweet Rolls

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