Saturday, February 19, 2011

French Quarter Beignets

Mardi Gras falls on Tuesday, March 8th, this year.  "Fat Tuesday" is the last day of the carnival season as it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday.

When I think of New Orleans, I think of the famous beignets.  I've never been to the French Quarter, but my sister went on a business trip and brought me back some beautiful Mardi Gras masks and some prints from an artist in the area.

French Quarter Beignets
  • 1 envelope Active Dry Yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Evaporated Milk
  • 3-l/2 to 3-3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. shortening
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Confectioner's sugar
Combine yeast, water and sugar in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Let set until frothy, about 5 mins.

Add salt, egg and evaporated milk.  Mix on low.  Add half of the flour and mix until incorporated.  Add shortening.  Add remaining flour, a little at a time until well incorporated and dough is not sticky.  Knead on low for 5 minutes.  Place the dough into a large oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours.

Punch down the dough and turn onto a floured surface and roll into a rectangle about 1/2" thick.  Cut into 2" x 3" squares, and place on a floured baking sheet and let rise an additional 40 minutes.

Heat 2-3" of vegetable oil in a large saucepan to 350 degrees.  Carefully place 2 to 3 beignets into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.  These fry very quickly.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Serve hot with plenty of powdered sugar.

Beignet is the french word for "fried dough".  Most cultures have some version of this.  In polish cuisine, they are called Paczki (POHNCH-kee), Italians have zeppole.  Polish Paczki are usually filled with jam or jelly and coated with sugar or dusted with confectioner's sugar.  Beignets are loaded with powdered sugar.

Remember not to wear anything black while enjoying these, the powdered sugar will be a dead giveaway that you've been munching on these delightful little pillows.

Enjoy with a hot cup of Cafe Au Lait - 1 part French Roast Coffee and 1 part steamed milk.

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez
"Let the Good Times Roll!"
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  1. oh my these are fabulous looking! you did an awesome job Bravo!

  2. I've never had these, though they prepare them in Charleston, SC as well. I need to get on the stick and prepare some more southern dishes! I'm excited for some Mardi Gras recipes and party preparations and this post has propelled me into excitement! Thanks, Roz Hope you can share something someday on my get-together too.

  3. a good beignet is a thing of, I have not had a real beignet in so long, and they look delicious! I love the powdered sugar on them, I remember being told that getting powder sugar on your face was good luck, I would be covered with luck if I got to taste your beignets!

  4. Lovely! I've never made these or home made donuts, I think it would be fun:@)

  5. I have always wanted to make these. I'm so happy you posted this recipe! And I never have any luck keeping powdered sugar off me - always ends up on one of my boobs at some point.

  6. My mouth is watering! These look amazing! I can't wait to have a few of these when we go to Mardi Gras this year for my bday. Maybe I will make these today to get ready...

  7. Oh my goodness Patti, thank you so much for sharing this recipe on Fresh are too kind. I bet these little New Orleans darlings are just superb when first taken out of the oven and all of that sugar is on top! Mmmmm. It certainly is Mardi Gras season! Thanks for ringing it with this traditional dish!

  8. I am very happy you posted this! My family uses the cafe de monde box mix to make their beignets. I love theirs but want something more home made.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. I've only been to New Orleans once and by far, my favorite experience was Cafe DuMonde! The Cafe au Laits and the beignettes. Goodness SO good. I would love to try them at home and this sounds like a great recipe. Thanks so much for linking to Saturday Swap!

  10. Yummy...sure would like to slip one of those out right now with a cup of coffee! Blessings, K

  11. I had to come back and tell you this recipe is really really good I made them last night and they are awesome! Thanks so much for sharing they are delicious, a little time consuming so you have to make sure you allow for that, but your instructions are superb, and eveyone loved them! thanks again!


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