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!
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
4 eggs, lightly beaten
6 cups flour (plus more for kneading)
1 cup diced, candied lemon peel
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Green, Purple, and Gold decorations (colored sugar sprinkles, or whatever else catches your eye!)
Step 2) Add yeast. Stir and let sit for 2 minutes.
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!