Making homemade beignets is easy and so delicious! With this easy homemade beignets recipe, you can have a taste of a New Orleans classic food, at home!
My niece married a young man who was born and raised in New Orleans. They married in New Orleans just 2 years after Katrina.
New Orleans is just about the best place ever for a party. And so it was. One of the mandatory stops on any trip to New Orleans is a visit to Cafe du Monde for Beignets and Coffee. While Mardi Gras really isn’t the major event in LA that it is in the South, right around this time every year, is a good enough excuse for me to make a King Cake, or in this case, Beignets.
This homemade beignets recipe is an adaptation from several sources.
Really just a square doughnut, every culture has some sort or fried dough dessert that uses up all the flour, dairy and fat in the kitchen in preparation for lighter or more ‘enlightened’ meals during Lent. This was actually my first venture with Beignets. I’ve made churros, Doughnuts and Indian Onion Fritters before, but never this simple dessert? Breakfast? Snack?
Chilling the dough definitely helps. Making it the night before and letting it rest in the fridge would be best, but we ate plenty after just a half hour of chilling. The lovely, puffy center would be the perfect vehicle for some sort of filling, but my family of purists gave me a resounding “NO!”, when I suggested tainting them with anything other then a light dusting of powdered sugar.
I froze 1/2 of the dough, pre-cut into 2″x 3″ pillows between layers of parchment for a future slumber party or special occasion breakfast. The trickiest bit is making sure the oil is hot enough, because it needs to be hot enough to cook them quickly. Not hot enough, the homemade beignets come out soggy and greasy. Too hot and they’ll cook too fast, raw on the inside and brown on the outside. I use a bench knife to cut the dough.
Enjoy your homemade beignets!
Pour 1/2 cup room temperature water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand for about 5 minutes to dissolve.
In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, combine the shortening, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the shortening mixture and then stir in the evaporated milk. Wait for the mixture to cool down until it is lukewarm. Then, add the yeast and water mixture and beaten eggs, vanilla and almond extract.
Slowly mix in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Overnight is better)
Divide dough into 4 pieces, wrap 3 pieces in plastic. Working with one piece of dough dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut into pillows or rectangles approximately 2" x 3",
Heat your oil for frying in a deep and wide, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, over-high heat to 375 degree F.
Carefully drop dough into the oil to avoid splattering, and deep fry until they puff up and are golden brown, if they don't flip over on their own after 1 minute, use a slotted spoon or tongs to nudge them over. Use a slotted spoon to remove onto a rack or plate lined with paper towels. When cool enough to handle, dust with powdered sugar. Makes approximately 3 dozen.