Imagine yourself in the French Quarter sipping chicory-laced coffee with these fabulous beignets. The little pillows of dough are deep-fried to fluffy perfection. In New Orleans, the beignets are traditionally served as a breakfast bread with a cup of Louisiana's famous coffee.
Plan to prepare the dough the night before. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it until you're ready to cut them out and fry them.
- 1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (approx. 105 F)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup shortening, softened
- Vegetable oil (for deep frying)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over the warm water; stir to dissolve and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar, salt, beaten eggs, and evaporated milk.
- With a whisk or electric mixer, blend the mixture thoroughly. Add 4 cups of the flour and the shortening; beat until smooth.
- Gradually blend in remaining flour.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Heat the oil in a large, deep saucepan or electric deep fryer to 360 F.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch in thickness. Cut into 2 1/2 to 3-inch squares.
- Deep fry the beignets for 2 to 3 minutes, or until they are lightly browned on both sides.
- Drain on paper towels and sprinkle generously with powdered sugar.
- Serve beignets hot with coffee.
To freeze, cut the dough out and arrange the uncooked beignets on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Put the baking sheet in the freezer. When the beignets are frozen solid, transfer them to a freezer bag. Thaw them and fry as directed.