French Quarter Beignets

Traditional New Orleans style Beignets under a cloud of powered sugar. I love traditional New Orleans style food even though I have never visited. My mom grew up in Lake Charles Louisiana, about 3 hours away from New Orleans. She still has a chalk drawing of herself that she got during Mardi Gras that hangs in the second bedroom of their house. When I was about 10 years old our family drove down to visit family in Alabama, while we were there my parents decided to drive to Lake Charles and look at my mom’s house she lived in and her old high school. My dad said that we were going to drive to New Orleans and stay a night or two. I was so excited that we were going to New Orleans, I had never been there before but I had always heard stories about it. When we finally arrived in New Orleans, I had my face plastered to the car window. I was so excited! However, as soon as we arrived in New Orleans, we left!  It was during a Saints game so traffic was at a stand still. I remember us missing our turn into our hotel and my dad being so irritated that he refused to stay! He tried to make up for it by taking us to Gulfport Mississippi to spend a few days at the beach. I still remember that trip and how much I wanted to visit New Orleans. I am sad to say that I have been many places around the world, but I have never made it to New Orleans. Hopefully someday…

So what gave me the craving of these amazing beignets? I have been training for a marathon for the past couple of weeks and towards the very end of one of my long runs I was getting really tired. Suddenly the Jimmy Buffett song “I will Play for Gumbo” came on my iPod. I knew immediately I was going to make beignets when I got home! It helped me push through those last 3 miles of my 12 mile training run. The second I bit into the fluffy, sweet, powered sugary beignet I was in heaven! All I needed was a cafe au lait and I was set!

French Quarter Beignets

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (110 degrees F)
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

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix water, sugar, and yeast and let sit for 10 minutes.
In a small 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.

Add the confectioners' sugar to a paper or plastic bag and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan that is at least 5 inches deep, heat 2 inches of oil over medium heat until it registers 360°F on thermometer.
Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 2 1/2 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. Serve Warm.

Source: adapted from Paula Dean

 

20 Responses to “French Quarter Beignets”

  1. #
    1
    Kristen — September 6, 2010 @ 9:45 am

    Yum! I was born about an hour from New Orleans and even though my parents moved when I was three months old, I still feel this kinship with the area. I remember going back to visit when I was a teenager and eating beignets at Cafe’ du Monde. =)

    Good luck with your marathon! I am in awe of long-distance runners. For real. Ha!

    • Christina replied: — September 6th, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

      I sounds like a very fun place to visit! I heard countless stories growing up. I would love to go to Cafe’ du Monde and try their beignets…I hear they are amazing! :)

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    Kim (Liv Life) — September 6, 2010 @ 11:45 pm

    My daughter did her 5th grade state report on Louisiana last year and one section was on food. She wrote in detail about beignets… but has never had one. I haven’t either, so I’m not really sure what traditional is, but these just look amazing. She has been asking to make them ever since, maybe we will give your version a try!

    • Christina replied: — September 8th, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

      I love New Orleans style food! I bet your daughter had lots to write about! :) If you make them let me know how they turned out!

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    May Ling Wu — September 7, 2010 @ 10:37 am

    Imprssive! Looks like a lot of work but well worth it. I also missed out on beignets in NO I was only there for a couple of hours before a cruise and did not have time to get some :(

    • Christina replied: — September 8th, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

      It wasn’t too bad. The hardest part is waiting the 2 hours for the dough to rise! Hope you had fun on your cruise! I have always wanted to go on one…maybe someday soon. :)

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    jana@cherryteacakes.com — September 7, 2010 @ 11:06 am

    mmmm. i love beignets! yours look lovely!

    • Christina replied: — September 8th, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

      Thank you! :)

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    Ari — September 7, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

    Oh man, now I’m craving Cafe Du Monde. Perhaps I’ll just make these instead!

    • Christina replied: — September 8th, 2010 @ 1:47 pm

      They did not last long at my house! :)

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    Lauren — September 7, 2010 @ 6:40 pm

    I had some of these last night. I seem to be hooked on biegnets.

    • Christina replied: — September 8th, 2010 @ 1:51 pm

      Nothing better to be hooked on! Yummy! ;)

  7. #
    7
    Evan @swEEts — September 8, 2010 @ 10:39 am

    I’ve never been to New Orleans, although its on my bucket list to make it to Mardi Gras at least once! These beignets may have to do to fill the void in my heart and stomach in the mean time :)

    • Christina replied: — September 8th, 2010 @ 1:50 pm

      I would love to go to New Orleans! I have heard so many stories from my family. I love New Orleans/cajun food so I would be in heaven! :)

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    8
    Joy — September 8, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

    I have been dying to make beignets. Yours looks so good. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Christina replied: — September 10th, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

      You should try these! They were awesome! :)

  9. #
    9
    Alex — February 23, 2011 @ 8:02 am

    These look delicious! Thanks for posting! If you’ve got a sec, could you tell me about how many beignets this recipe makes?

    • Christina replied: — February 23rd, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

      This will make about 3 dozen beignets. Let me know how they turn out for you! They are perfect for Mardi Gras! :)

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    Chunti02 — January 4, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

    If my husband finds out I have access to this recipe, I will be making these every weekend!!!!!!!! But what a treat it would be bring back memories of our trip to N’oleans. Cant wait to surprise him.

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