It may seem daunting, whipping up a batch of these, but it’s surprisingly simple and the tasty morsels you get in the end are worth it! This indulgent treat is one steeped in tradition, as it was officially declared the state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986. The beignet (meaning “bump”) was brought to America from France and became popular in New Orleans-Creole cooking in the 1700s; now it’s a recognizable and highly sought-after breakfast or dessert. It is typically eaten with chicory coffee or cafe-au-lait and now you can make it in the comforts of your own home!
(Yields approx. 45)
- 3 teaspoons (or 1 package) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water, 110-115º F
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 4 1/4 cups self-rising flour
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Canola (or peanut) oil, for frying
- Powdered Sugar, topping
- In a large mixing bowl, fitted with a dough hook, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Then add milk, butter, egg, sugar, flour and salt. Mix until smooth and doughyit should be sticky.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 1/4-1/2-inch thick rectangle. Cut into 2-3-inch squares.
- In a large pot (or deep fryer) heat oil to 375º F (enough so that the beignets can float, about 3 inches).
- Gently place beignets in the oil and fry for 2-3 minutes, flipping them in the middle. They should rise to the surface and be puffed up and golden brown on both sides. (Tip: if beignets don’t float or puff up, the oil is not hot enough.)
- Remove the beignets using a slotted spoon and drain on a plate of paper towels.
- Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar and serve warm.
Optional: Beignet dough keeps for up to a week in the fridge (or can be frozen), just remember to punch down before using.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home