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Recipe

New Orleans Beignets

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No trip to New Orleans is complete without a stop at Café Du Monde for a bite of that doughy fried piece of heaven: the beignet. Here, a recipe for that French classic—or make it easy and snap up a box of the institution's famed beignet mix here. Either way, don't forget the café au lait!

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INGREDIENTS

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1 c lukewarm water
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, room temperature and beaten
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 c evaporated milk
4 c bread flour or all purpose flour
3 tsp instant active dry yeast
Vegetable oil for cooking
Powdered sugar for dusting

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DIRECTIONS

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In a bowl, combine the water, sugar, salt, egg, butter, evaporated milk, flour, and yeast in the bowl. Beat until smooth. The dough should be relatively soft, like drop biscuit dough. It should not be stiff like pie dough.

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Turn the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and form into an oval. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled (3 to 4 hours) or overnight.

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To prepare dough, remove from refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured board to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into approximately 3-inch squares, triangles, or circles using a pizza cutter. From around the edges, you will have scraps of dough left over. Do not try to remix these scraps and cut them into squares. If you do this, you will get tough beignets.

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In a deep fryer or large pot, heat vegetable oil to 365° F. Fry the beignets (2 or 3 at a time) for 2 to 3 minutes or until they are puffed and golden brown on both sides, turning them in the oil with tongs once or twice to get them evenly brown. Use enough oil to completely cover beignets when frying. Beignets will rise to the surface of the oil as soon as they begin to puff. If the beignets don't rise to the top immediately when dropped into the oil, the oil is not hot enough.

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Remove from oil and drain on paper towels, then sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar. Serve hot.

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