Saturday, June 26, 2010

French Quarter Beignets

Back in college, a I travelled to Mississippi with some of the most amazing people I've ever met in my life (and met some amazing people along the way!) to help with Hurricane Katrina clean-up. It was probably one of the most moving and worthwhile things I've ever done in my life. The feeling you get inside helping these people who are soooo unbelievably grateful for what you're doing is INDESCRIBABLE... it was such an incredible experience, that my friend Jocelyn and I organized another trip after graduation! While there the first time, we did some things to unwind.. hitting the beach every night.. bonfires.. and New Orleans. New Orleans.. wowww.. a city of amazing drinks, voodoo, jazz music, and delicious beignets. A lot of people have never heard of them.. they are described as a New Orleans style donut, but I think of it as a little bite of funnel cake. Anyways.. I completely forgot how incredible they were, until Roey and I watched the Princess and the Frog.. I knew then, I had to make my own beignets.. of course I had to go buy a deep fryer lol... but it was totally worth it.. So I just have to share! ENJOY!

French Quarter Beignets

3/4c lukewarm water
1/4c granulated sugar
1 envelope of active dry yeast
1 egg slightly beaten
a smidge over 1/2 teas salt
1/2c evaporated milk
3 1/2c bread flour (I used Gold brand)
1/8c shortening (I used Crisco)
Nonstick spray
Oil (Cottonseed is best, but our commissary didn't have it, so I used Planters Peanut Oil)
1 1/2 c confectioners sugar

  • Mix water, yeast, and sugar
  • Let sit for 10 minutes
  • In another bowl, beat eggs, salt, and evaporated milk
  • Mix egg mix with the yeast mix
  • In another bowl, measure out bread flour
  • Add 3c of the bread flour to the yeast/egg mixture
  • Mix, then add shortening
  • Then add the rest of the flour
  • Remove dough and place onto a flour surface
  • Knead until smooth
  • Spray a bowl with nonstick and place dough in bowl
  • Cover with towel
  • Allow to rise for at least 2 hours (I let mine rise for 5 1/2 hours and it was PERFECT!)
  • Preheat oil to 350
  • Roll out dough to 1/4" thick and 1" x 1" wide squares
  • Throw beignets in fryer (you'll have to flip them.. they'll only brown for a few minutes on each side)
  • Drain on a paper towel til all beignets are fried
  • Toss them into a sealable bag with the 1 1/2c of confectioners sugar
  • Toss and shake to coat evenly
  • Beignets are best when fresh, but they can be heated in the microwave :)
Roey decied to come help Mommy do a lil baking :) boy do I love her!

Okayyyy so I had to add this because I think it's hilarious.. Kevin took a ball of the beignet dough.. his original plan was to make a deep fried hot dog bun (I know, RIDICULOUS).. anyways.. here's how it turned out... what do you think it looks like? ahha

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