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Dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in lukewarm water. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine remaining sugar, salt, 1/4 cup butter cut into chunks and scalded milk. Mix with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Cool to lukewarm. Beat in 2 eggs. Add yeast mixture, vanilla, lemon extract, mace and 3 cups flour. Mix until smooth. Stir in remaining flour by hand. Cover with damp towel and allow to rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. On lightly floured surface, roll dough into a square 1/3 inch thick. Dot with half the remaining butter and fold in half. Repeat by rolling dough into a square 1/3 inch thick and repeat the folding process. Place in greased bowl, cover with towel and let stand 20 minutes, then refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator and roll on lightly floured surfact to a rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Cut into twelve l inch strips. Braid strips in sets of 3; use 2 braids to form an oval, making 2 cakes. Place ovals on ungreased baking sheets. Hide a Kings token (plastic baby or dried bean) in each cake. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until slightly less than double in bulk, about 45 min. Beat remaining egg, brush cakes, then sprinkle with nuts. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Cool. Topping: Combine confectioners sugar, vanilla and enough water to make a paste. Brush on cake. Divide sugar into thirds. Color each with one or two drops of each color. Sprinkle in alternate bands on cakes. Variations on the theme of King Cakes: These cakes are pretty good as is, but I prefer them with a filling inside, and this is becoming a trend in South Louisiana. Generally softened cream cheese is mixed with sugar and vanilla, placed down one side of the rectangle, but well within the side and the rectangle is folded over this. Also popular locally is the cream cheese mixture, topped with caramel sauce (bottled caramel topping if you are lazy) and roasted pecans. Or the cream cheese is topped with strawberry, cherry, or blueberry topping (and the dough folded over this before baking). The icing and colored sugar tops the baked cake. Posted to Bakery-Shoppe Digest V1 #499 by Lee Ann Hamm
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