The Beignet, Louisiana's State doughnut, was first introduced to Louisiana by the Acadians. Early beignets were fried fritters, sometimes filled with fruit. Today, the beignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar. They are best when freshly made and served hot.
The most famous Beignet is the one served at the legendary Cafe du Monde, an old coffee and doughnut stand on the banks of the Mississippi River in New Orleans. But guess what! Now, you don't have to go to New Orleans to enjoy these delicious treats. You can make them in your very own kitchen.
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Oil for frying*
- Powdered sugar (Lots of it!)
* You can use regular vegetable oil. But for the best tasting Beignets, you may want to use cotton seed oil. However, there are three drawbacks. First, cottonseed oil is not very healthy. Second, it is very hard to find and very expensive. If you go with vegetable oil, you will not go wrong.
- In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, salt, butter, and 1 cup water. Bring to boiling: butter will melt. Quickly add flour all at once; beat with wooden spoon until flour is moistened. Cook over medium heat, beating vigorously until dough forms a ball and leaves side of pan. Remove from heat.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating with electric mixer at medium speed after each addition. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth, shiny and satiny and forms strands that break apart. It should hold its shape when beater is slowly raised. Beat in vanilla. Dough should be fairly stiff.
- Roll dough 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface, using flour liberally on dough. Cut into 2-inch squares.
- In electric skillet large heavy skillet or deep fryer, heat 1 to 2-inches of oil to 370*F (185*C) on deep frying thermometer.
- Fry 3 or 4 at a time until puffy and golden brown on both sides (do not crowd skillet). Remove beignets with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; transfer to a wire rack. While hot, sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Keep warm in 225*F (105*C) oven as you continue frying the remainder.
Serve hot, and by all means, have yourself a cup of French Market Coffee to go with them. You can buy it at your grocery store. The ones we recommend are Community, CDM or Louisiane.
YOU WILL LOVE THESE! ENJOY!
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