Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Orleans Beignets

This is a re-post of mine, but it's because I made these this morning, and ate them, hot from the oil, with a cup of coffee and a cold glass of milk, and I'm tellin' ya.   No better start to the day than these....

In my travels I have been to New Orleans about 8 times. And a mandatory stop when I'm there was always Cafe du Monde famous for it's chicory coffee and beignets, a square french raised donut. They are served warm and piled high with powdered sugar.

The Original Cafe Du Monde Coffee Stand was established in 1862 in the New Orleans French Market. The Cafe is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It closes only on Christmas Day and on the day an occasional Hurricane passes too close to New Orleans.

As I raised children, I would often make us beignets for breakfast, and sure enough as they grew up, and traveled to New Orleans themselves, they too always stop at Cafe du Monde. Do give these a try. They are easy to make, and really wonderful with a steaming hot cup of coffee au lait. This recipe was derived (and adapted slightly) from a box of Beignet Mix I bought while there.

Ingredients and Method:

3/4 cup water, very warm, not hot
1/4 cup sugar
1 envelope dry yeast
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons shortening or butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup evaporated milk
oil for frying (vegetable or peanut oil, preferably)
powdered sugar (about 1 cup)

In a bowl or mixer with dough hook, add sugar, yeast and warm water. Stir briefly to mix, and let sit while it proofs and becomes foamy. (this means the yeast is good)

Add two cups of flour, salt, evaporated milk, salt, and beaten egg and mix well, scraping the sides of the bowl to incorporate all the flour.

Mix in shortening or butter.

Add balance of flour and mix until sticky dough forms into a ball. Add additional flour, if needed, in 1/4 cups increments.

Transfer dough to floured board and knead briefly and form into ball. (I usually let the dough hook knead the dough for about 5 minutes which greatly decreases the time hand-kneading is required)

Transfer to greased bowl, and turn over. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour. (Or overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning let dough come to room temperature)

Roll out dough to about 1 inch thickness, and slice dough into two inch squares, or triangular shapes. Cover with plastic wrap in place and let rise again for one hour.

Heat oil in a skillet to 375 degrees. Fry a few beignets at a time in the oil, turning once when browned on one side. It should take approximately 4 minutes per side. You should tend to the frying closely as they will cook really quickly. Move to paper towels and drain well.

Place on plate and sprinkle LIBERALLY with powdered sugar.



Cindy Rowland said...

Y.U.M. Now I can save on that vacation to New Orleans and just eat these for a week straight at home. Thanks.

Sara @ Our Best Bites said...

Oh I've always wanted to try these at home. They look amazing- thanks for the recipe!

ABowlOfMush said...

Beautiful beignets!

Becca said...

Wow, I think you are the best cook ever. I had beignets for the time a little over a year ago and they are sooo good. Thanks for the recipe :)

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend's father was from New Orleans and he spent a lot of time there as a kid. He would DIE if I made these!!! For some reason I thought they would be really complicated but you made it look easy. Might try these this weekend!

Cakespy said...

Pleasure overload!!! I love me some beignets, and these ones look fantastic!