New Orleans Beignets

Serves: 18

One of my favorite treats are the Beignets at the Café du Monde in the French Market. The French Market is comprised of seven buildings, anchored at the Jackson Square end by the Café du Monde and on the other end by the Farmers and Flea Market sheds. You must visit this area when you go to New Orleans!

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3/4 cup warm water
1/2 package quick-rising active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canned evaporated milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening (or butter)
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
· vegetable oil for deep frying
· powdered sugar for dusting


1. Sprinkle the yeast over the water in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Let it stand until foamy, about 5 minutes
2. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, salt, evaporated milk, egg and shortening.
3. Stir in the yeast and mix well
4. Gradually add the flour, about 1½ cups at a time, mixing until blended. (You can use a mixer with a dough hook or just use your hands once it gets too difficult to mix with your spoon).
5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Either refrigerate it several hours or overnight.
Note: I recommend you making it until this point the night before, so you can easily complete it in the morning for breakfast/brunch.
6. Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or heavy pot until approx. 360 degrees. (3 inches depth)
7. Pat or roll out the dough until ¼ inch...not too thin! Cut the dough into 2 x 3 inch rectangles with a sharp knife - or use square biscuit really doesn’t matter! Keep them relatively the same size though, so they will take about the same time to fry.
8. Drop them 3 at a time into the hot oil , turning a few times with tongs or a slotted spoon until golden brown on all sides. DO NOT LEAVE THE STOVE!!! THEY NEED TO BE WATCHED!!!
9. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Note: if they don't puff up they are either: too big, too thin or the temperature of the oil has decreased too much.
10. Sprinkle very generously with powdered sugar .


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