sweets for every tooth.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Caity, I told myself, beignets sound really time consuming, you have a menu planned with like 5000 items that all pretty much need to be cooking at the same time, you have 25 people coming over, you still haven't finished decorating, and you think on top of all that you have time to essentially fry up beignets to order since everyone knows they need to be served fresh?

But who am I to not overdo things?  Who am I to stick to the food budget I said I would stick to?  Who am I to only spend 4 hours cooking when I could spend 10?

Yep.  I made beignets.  From scratch.  Because I've had the real thing from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans and I didn't want to do them injustice by making something out of a box.  (Though all the Pinterest recipes for crescent roll dough turned into cinnamon dusted doughnut holes are really tempting me.)  Thank you Paula Deen for the recipe.  (Come on, was there any doubt who I got this recipe from?)

Here's what you'll need:

1 1/2 C Lukewarm Water
1/2 C Sugar
1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast
2 Eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 tsp Salt
1 C Evaporated Milk
7 C Bread Flour
1/4 C Shortening
Lots of Oil, for deep frying
2-3 C Powdered Sugar
A Paper Bag

1. 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.  Add egg mixture to the yeast mixture (after the aforementioned 10 minute sitting time) and stir.  Add 3 cups of the flour to your mixture and stir well.  Add the shortening and continue to stir (you can do this with a bread hook in a standup mixer if you don't want an arm workout) as you then add the remaining 4 cups of flour.  

2. Remove dough from bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface (I find a plastic cutting board works well if you don't have nice counter tops) until smooth.  Spray a large bowl with nontstick sprac, put kneaded dough in the bowl, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel.  Let rise in a warm place for at least two hours.

3. After those two hours have passed, preheat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees fahrenheit.  Or put a lot of oil in a deep pot over medium heat, and use a meat thermometer to sort of take the temperature of the oil.  Have faith that it's hot enough.  (Yeah, this is what I did.)

4. Tear chunks of dough off the giant heap of risen dough you have.  Chunks should be about the size of a doughnut hole, maybe a little bigger.  Drop into the oil (carefully!) and deep fry, flipping constantly, until your beignets are a beautiful, golden color.

5. Drain fried beignets on a paper towel for a few seconds, then toss them into the paper bag with a good amount of powdered sugar, shake, and serve!

Kneading the dough.

The dough has risen!

And the beignets are frosted.

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