2 mysteries of the Rosary that tie perfectly into today’s celebration (which is the fifth Glorious Mystery!):
1. The Fourth Glorious Mystery: The Assumption of Mary, which we celebrated a week ago! I love how these two celebrations line up together so closely.
2. The Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation. Elizabeth greets Mary with the title “the mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:43), which in my humble opinion, has got some queenly significance to it!
1 reason to go with “Queen Cake,” and 3 ways to dress it up:
1. My whole liturgical eating began with the feast of the Epiphany back in January. I made these cinnamon rolls as a “King Cake,” and they were a hit in our home! My husband and I even talked months later about wanting to eat those cinnamon rolls again and again…but we really liked the idea of saving them for a special feast. I must admit that we are happy that we don’t have to wait until January to have them again–there’s another feast to enjoy them, and it’s lovely that they are about 7 months apart! But you can make them a little different by doing these things:
A. Add blue food coloring to your icing.
B. Don’t like food coloring? Add blueberries on top!
C. Instead of putting a baby in your cake, place a little statue of Mary or a Marian medal in your cake! The winner can keep it (and maybe have to make the cake next year!)
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups whole milk, warm
½ cup granulated sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
5 cups flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
¾ cup butter, softened
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon honey
1. In a large bowl, whisk together warm milk, melted butter, and granulated sugar. Make sure the mixture is warm, not hot.
2. Sprinkle the yeast evenly over the warm mixture and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
3. Add 4 cups of all-purpose flour to the milk mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.
4. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
5. Generously butter 2 smaller pans or one larger pan and set aside.
6. Make the filling: in a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Mix well, then set aside.
7. Remove the towel and add an additional cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Stir well, then turn out onto a well-floured surface.
8. Knead the dough lightly, adding additional flour as necessary, until the dough just loses its stickiness and does not stick to the surface.
9. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about ½-inch (1 cm) thick. Fix corners to make sure they are sharp and even.
10. Spread filling evenly across dough.
11. Roll up the dough, forming a log, and pinch the seam closed. Place seam-side down. Trim off any unevenness on either end.
12. Cut the log in half, then divide each half into 7 evenly sized pieces, about 1½ inches thick.
13. Place about 7 cinnamon rolls in each cake pan, one in the center, six around the sides.
14. Cover rolls and place in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.
15. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
16. To prepare the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Beat with an electric mixer. When mixture starts to stiffen, stop mixer and add honey.
17. Remove plastic wrap or towel from rolls. Bake the cinnamon rolls in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. While still warm, drizzle evenly with frosting.
Mary, Queen of Heaven and of Earth, pray for us!