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 Homemade Mardi Gras Beignets

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen’s French Quarter Beignets
 

beignat

Makes approximately 6 dozen small beignets

Ingratiates:  

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup evaporated milk
6 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup shortening
Nonstick spray
Cottonseed oil, for deep-frying
Powdered sugar  
 
Directions: 

Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10-15 minutes.

In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix egg mixture into larger bowl with yeast mixture. Stir 3 cups of the flour into the egg and yeast mixture. Add shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour. Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise at room temperature for at least 2 hours.

Preheat cottonseed oil in a deep frying pan to 370 degrees F. (Tip: Use the count test to determine if the cottonseed oil is hot enough. Drop a test beignet into the oil; if the beignet rises to the top of the oil within eight seconds, the oil is ready.)

Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into small squares. Use a pizza roller for straight lines, or cookie cutters for fun shapes. Deep-fry until they turn golden, flipping or basting to allow even cooking. After the beignets are fried, drain briefly on paper towels, then transfer to a tray and cover generously with sprinkled powdered sugar. Serve warm.

Visit the National Cottonseed Products Association for beignet tips from the experts at Café du Monde!

 

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