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Most Saturdays I love turning on MPT to watch the cooking shows. They range from early Julia Child to America’s Test Kitchen. Usually they are on for about 2 hours and they totally inspire me to cook new things. I especially love America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country because I’ve never had a recipe from ATK that has failed me.
A few weeks ago I was watching an episode about donuts. They had traditional donuts and beignets. Then they did a kitchen equipment test on powdered sugar sifter shakers. That’s the cool thing about the show; they not only cook but they do taste tests on foods and equipment tests on kitchen products.
The beignet recipe looked amazing and since today is Mardi Gras and this is one item on my 33 while 33 list, I immediately got online to look for it. They are really simple to make and only require a few ingredients. The worst part of making them in the frying of the beignets. I am not a fan of frying foods in oil but I made an exception in this case.
The beignets are crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. The powdered sugar on top adds a touch of sweetness too them. They are so much better then traditional donuts. My husband really enjoyed them as well. While I won’t make them all the time, they would be a great breakfast for company.
Beignets (adapted from Cook’s Country)
1 c. warm water (110 degrees)
1/4 c. sugar
1 T. instant yeast
3 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 T. butter flavored olive oil (or other olive oil)
Vegetable oil for frying
1. In a large bowl combine the warm water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and yeast. Mix and let sit for 5 minutes or until foamy.
2. Whisk the eggs and olive oil into the yeast mixture.
3. In a medium bowl combine flour, remaining sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add to the yeast mixture and stir quickly until the dough comes together in a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerator for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
4. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. This will be for draining the cooked beignets.
5. Divide the dough in half and place one half on a sheet of parchment paper. Lightly dust with flour and shape into a rectangle. Using a pizza wheel, cut the dough into 12 squares. Repeat with other half of the dough.
6. Add vegetable oil to a large pan or Dutch oven measuring about 1 inch deep. Heat over medium high heat until the temperature reaches 350 degrees.
7. Add the beignets 4 at a time to the oil and fry for 3-4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Remove from oil using a slotted spoon and transfer to wire rack on the rimmed baking sheet.
8. Repeat with remaining dough until all beignets are cooked. Allow the beignets to cool for 5 minutes and then dust with powdered sugar.
9. Serve immediately.
Happy Mardi Gras!