Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Sweet Nothings #4 {French Quarter Beignets}

Couldn't make it down to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras in a way that only Louisiana can? Well, don't get your crawfish in a tangle, you can still celebrate with some sweet (fried) delights reminiscent of old French Quarter flavor.

Being lovers of delicious foods, our favorite thing about visiting New Orleans is absolutely the food! Cafe du Monde (famous for their beignets, a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar) is a morning must stop for any traveler...or dare I say...."tourist". The strong aroma of fresh steaming cafe au lait matched with a plate full of powdered sugar drenched beignets just starts the day off right! 

Try your hand at this delicious treat in celebration of Mardi Gras, or better yet...put this recipe on speed dial anytime you need to satisfy your sweet tooth!

French Quarter Beignets
{courtesy of Paula Deen}

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water  
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar  
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast  
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten  
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt  
  • 1 cup evaporated milk  
  • 7 cups bread flour  
  • 1/4 cup shortening  
  • Nonstick spray  
  • Oil, for deep-frying  
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar


Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix egg mixture to the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, measure out the bread flour. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour. Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

Add the confectioners' sugar to a paper or plastic bag and set aside.

Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares. Deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color. After beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, and then toss them into the bag of confectioners' sugar. Hold bag closed and shake to coat evenly.


{photo credits}
Mrs. Mardi Gras via Will Montague,
Beignet photo via 4Tastebuds


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