New Orleans Beignets


When Norm returned home after traveling for a week, he brought autumn home with him. Cool weather makes the perfect atmosphere for coffee and beignets for breakfast.

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The word beignet is French for “doughnut,” and these confections are a staple in New Orleans,  my hometown. If you ask for them Café du Monde, an “order” means you’ll get three of them. When my two sisters and I were little, Mama would get us an order, so each of us got one beignet. I vowed that when I grew up, I’d get an order all to myself.

Now, I prepare them at home, and though I can have as many as I want, I try to limit my indulgence to one.  Ok, maybe two! Here’s MawMaw‘s recipe,  if you’d like to try them at your home.

Yield: about 1 dozen

Ingredients:  2 cups flour, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp baking powder,  pinch soda, 1 egg, 1 cup milk, 1-2″ grease, about 1/2-1 cup flour for rolling, 1/2 cup powdered sugar for garnish

Mix dry ingredients.  Add remaining ingredients and mix with a spoon. Dough will be sticky.

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Generously cover dough with flour and roll on floured surface to about 1/8″ thickness. Cut into rectangles about 2×3″. Odd shapes give them character,  so don’t worry if your dough is not perfectly symmetrical.

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Test grease by dropping a bit of dough into it. Grease is hot enough (about 370 degrees) when dough pops up to the surface in 5-10 seconds. Drop beignets into oil and turn after it is golden in color, about 20-30 seconds. Cook second side for 10-15 seconds. Beignets will puff up and have a cute bubble in the middle when done.

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Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, sprinkle powdered sugar over them and enjoy!

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Bon appétit!