On the rare weekend Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras coincide, you’ve got to fix something special. It’s got to be sweet, decadent and have a taste of Louisiana. What says Louisiana more than Beignets?! Some of my fondest memories of New Orleans are walking down the French Quarter and smelling fresh beignets, chicory coffee, pralines, and bread.
Ironically, when I asked various Louisiana locals what they use to make the best beignets, most responded with biscuit dough (cut into pieces and fried). Others recommended Café du Monde Beignet Mix, which is good in a pinch. Just add water, combine, and fry em up!
I make them from scratch, but mine are a bit heavier than the mix. I like them that way because its better for dipping into chocolate ganache or praline sauce.
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Prepare cast iron skillet for deep frying by heating vegetable oil to 360 degrees F. If you toss a bit of flour in the oil, it should begin frying and bubble slightly. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until thoroughly combined. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and mix until dough is formed. The dough should be smooth, pliable and sticky.
Place dough on a smooth, floured surface and put some flour on the dough. Also, flour your rolling pin. This dough is really sticky, so you may find yourself using flour liberally. Roll the dough flat to a 1/4 to an 1/8th of an inch thickness , depending on how light and fluffy you want them. (For dipping, I prefer 1/4 of an inch.) You can cut them into 2×2 squares using a floured dough cutter/scraper or use a floured heart shaped cookie cutter (like I did) to make heart shaped beignets. Put cut beignets into the hot skillet and deep fry them until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm with strawberries and a side of Chocolate Ganache! If you can’t eat them all right away, store them in an air tight container to snack on later! Enjoy!