Friday, March 4, 2011

Things to Make: Beignets!

{Order of beignets with powdered sugar,
Café du Monde, New Orleans

With Mardi Gras right around the corner I thought I’d share a couple of great recipes to help get you in the mood to celebrate! Beignets seem to be a great staple in Mardi Gras/Carnival faire...and they are something you KNOW your kids will eat!! (Anyone who has seen the Princess & the Frog knows what I'm talking about...I don't think my kids are the only ones who've asked if we can make some "man-catching-beignets" sometime!)


What excactly is a beignet?

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about it:

A beignet (pronounced /bɛnˈjeɪ/ in English, /bɛˈɲɛ/ in French; French for "fried dough") in the U.S. is a pastry made from deep-fried dough, much like a doughnut, and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar, or frostings. Savory versions of beignets are also popular as an appetizer, with fillings such as maple or fruit preserves.

In France, beignet is an umbrella term for a large variety of pastries made from deep-fried dough with fruit filling. The tradition of deep-frying fruits for a side dish dates to the time of Ancient Rome. Names for beignet recipes vary throughout France: beignets, bugnes, merveilles, oreillettes, beignets de carnaval, bottereaux, tourtisseaux, corvechets, ganses, nouets, vautes and others.

So now that you have a little background, you're ready to give them a whirl, right!? Me too!! (I mean seriously...who can resist deep-fryed dough? Really.)

This first recipe received fantastic user reviews on, so I'm sharing it first!


1 package active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water ( 100-115 degrees F)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
7 cups flour
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
oil ( for deep frying)
confectioners' sugar, for dusting ( or burying, depending on taste)

1. Put the warm water into a large bowl, then sprinkle in the yeast and a couple teaspoons of the sugar and stir until thoroughly dissolved.
2. Let proof for 10 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the sugar, salt, eggs, and evaporated milk.
4. Gradually stir in 4 cups of the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and thoroughly blended.
5. Beat in the shortening, then add the remaining flour, about 1/3 cup at a time, beating it in with a spoon until it becomes too stiff to stir, then working in the rest with your hands.
6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight in a greased bowl.
7. Roll the dough out onto a floured board or marble pastry surface to a thickness of 1/8 inch, then cut it into rectangles 2-1/2 inches by 3-1/2 inches with a sharp knife.
8. Heat the oil in a deep fryer to 360 degrees F.
9. Fry the beignets about 3 or 4 at a time until they are puffed out and golden brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per batch.
10. Turn them over in the oil with tongs once or twice to get them evenly brown, since they rise to the surface of the oil as soon as they begin to puff out.
11. Drain each batch on paper towels, place on a platter lined with several layers of paper towels, and keep warm in a 200 degree F oven until they're all done.
12. Serve 3 beignets per person, sprinkling heavily with powdered sugar.

The full recipe can be found here!

This next recipe is a simpler version (if not completely accurate) recipe to try with kids! I LOVE the name! So funny!

Beignets for Ze' Lay- Zay!
1 (11 ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits, I use flaky ones
2 cups oil
1/4 cup powdered sugar

1. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat.
2. Remove biscuits from can and cut each in half and a 1 inch slit in the center to make a typical beignet shape.
3. When oil is hot fry about 6 beignets at a time, turning often so they do not burn but turn a golden brown.
4. Remove from oil and drain beignets on a paper towel.
5. Place on serving plate and dust with powdered sugar.

And here's the link for this one!

Now you can celebrate Mardi Gras family-style with some homemade Gumbo and some Beignets for dessert while you watch some Princess & the Frog!

Have a great weekend!!

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