I looked on the internet for different recipes and I decided on this particular one because it had so many great reviews. It comes from a weblog called Nola Cuisine. I want to try more of their recipes because this one was very well explained and since it was so good, I am betting that the others will be good, as well.
I did not take pictures until the end...sorry! But, it was a very busy day and I did not know how they were going to turn out so I didn't want to waste time taking pictures. I really wish I would've taken pictures of my son, Christopher, helping me cook these. He is a great cook and he is enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu in Austin. I really enjoyed spending time with him in the kitchen and he is such a big help! I will definitely be making these again so when I do, I will add more pictures!
If you follow the directions exactly, you will end up with some amazing tasting little bundles of heaven! They are absolutely divine!
Here is the recipe...and Happy Birthday Holly!!
NEW ORLEANS STYLE BEIGNETS
1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast
3/4 Cup Water (110 degrees F)
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Beaten Egg
1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk
3-1/2 to 3-3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/8 Cup Shortening
Vegetable Oil for Frying
Powdered Sugar in a shaker or sifter
Combine the Yeast, Water, and Sugar in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. You could also make this in a food processor, or the old fashioned way, by hand. Let this sit until frothy, about 5 minutes, then add the Salt, Egg, and Evaporated Milk. Mix on low speed, then add half of the flour until it starts to come together, then add the shortening. When the shortening is incorporated, start adding the remaining flour, a little at a time until most of it is incorporated. At this time, I always turn the dough onto a floured bench to finish by hand, just like when I make bread; it's a touch thing. Place the dough into a large oiled bowl, loosely cover and let rise. The person writing this made theirs the night before and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator. I placed a pan of hot water on the bottom rack of my oven. Then I put the covered bowl with the dough in it above the pan of water and let it rise for approximately 2 hours. Either way I am sure is fine but I cannot speak for the refrigerator method since I have not tried it.
After the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and turn it onto a floured surface and roll out into a rectangle that is about 1/2" thick. With a very sharp knife working at a diagonal to the rectangle, cut into 2" wide strips. Now cut into diamond shapes by making diagonal cuts in the opposite direction. Place the Beignets on a floured baking sheet to let rise about 40 minutes in a warm place. (I was actually in a hurry so I skipped this step and they turned out fine but next time I will let it rise the second time because they might be even more light and fluffy).
When the Beignets have risen, heat 2-3 inches of vegetable oil in a large saucepan to 350-360 degrees. Place a few beignets into the hot oil, being careful not to smash or deflate them. When they are golden brown, flip them over until golden brown on the other side. (They go pretty quickly so start checking them right after they go into the oil).
Remove to paper towel lined plates to drain. Serve hot and sprinkle with plenty of powdered sugar (because the dough doesn't contain much sugar, you will want a lot).
Makes approximately 2 dozen.