Big Easy Beignet

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Laisses les bon temps rouler!

We would have to say that over and over again on Mardi Gras when I was in my high school French class. We would celebrate every year by having a feast, listening to music, and playing games. It was the best day of the year. We didn't have to learn French!

Everyone would bring something to eat to share with the class. Some people brought jambalaya, gumbo, or red beans and rice. I remember bringing in pralines. I love pralines! I should have made some this year... darn it.
I actually ate my first pecan praline in New Orleans!

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My family went to the south on vacation one year, and we visited New Orleans and the French Quarter on one day. We wandered around and went into shops, listened to jazz bands, and of course, ate. We stopped into a shop that claimed to have the best pralines in New Orleans. I can't remember what the name of the store was, but I do remember that their pralines were incredible. So good! I've been a praline lover ever since.

I wanted to stop at Cafe du Monde to try their chicory coffee and beignet, but it was way too busy. Hopefully someday I can go back. I've always wanted to go to Mardi Gras... anyone want to go with me in 2012?

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This was my first time making beignet, even though I've wanted to for a long time. I made these just yesterday, because I knew I wanted to have a special Fat Tuesday recipe for you all.

This is an (big) easy recipe for beignet. Sure, it does use yeast, but it's simple and straightforward. You can do it! First you make a dough in your mixer using yeast, milk, sugar, salt, egg, butter and flour. Then you let the dough rise for an hour before shaping and slicing into squares. After rising another hour, the dough is ready for frying or baking.

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I confess, I baked these. I wanted to fry them, but I've been trying to eat healthier for the past couple of weeks. I recommend frying these beignet for the ultimate beignet experience; just fry them for about 2 minutes per side in a little bit of hot oil.

Or, you could bake them if you don't want to deal with frying. They still tasted like a doughnut to me, and they were very good... light and fluffy and covered with cinnamon-sugar. Mmm.

Happy Mardi Gras!

PS - Here's my king cake recipe if you need one!

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Big Easy Beignet

1/3 cup warm milk (not hot)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons oil, divided use
3 tablespoons granulated sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Whisk together milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and allow to sit for 10 minutes, or until slightly bubbly.

Add egg, sugar, butter, vanilla and salt, and mix until well combined. Add flour and mix on medium speed for 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to a large greased bowl, lightly cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm area for 1-1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

Brush a cookie sheet with 2 teaspoons oil. On a clean work surface, pat dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle, and slice into 6 equal squares. Transfer squares to oiled cookie sheet. Lightly cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush dough squares with additional 2 teaspoons oil. Bake 10 minutes or until well risen and golden brown. Dip beignet into cinnamon sugar mixture.

Makes 6 beignet


34 comments:

  1. YUM, these look wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Mardi Gras sure is late this year. I seem barely aware it's happening. My office used to do a kickbutt Mardi Gras party every year. We would specially order the muffaletta spread, hurricane mix, and king cake from NOLA. Then everyone would bring in lots of food. I made the gumbo one year. We would have the party at lunch time and we would spend two hours drinkng and eating and then go back to work sloshed.

    Too bad we were taken over by a giant corporation and our corporate overlords don't allow drunken revelry during office hours. We used to do Cinco De Mayo too.

    If I were still doing these parties, I'd make your beignet recipe.

    I've never been to NOLA. I should go to Mardi Gras with you next year. I'll have to promise SPP though that I won't do *ahem* certain things for beads.

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  3. oh my, i've had some of these at a restaurant a long long time ago who went out of business!! meaning no more of these tasty treats... so i'm ecstatic that you made these, i will definitely try this recipe! yay!

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  4. This is the perfect recipe for Mardi gras! I like this tradition. I'm not that familiar with all the food of New Orleans but it looks so good. I love beignet...

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  5. Mmmmmmmmmm, it looks like a donut!! I was surprised to see that you bake these, not fry them - that is great!

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  6. I've heard crazy good things about Cafe du Monde's beignets and I would truly love to go there some day! Yours look quite fabulous though and I absolutely LOVE that they are baked!

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  7. crazy...i googled "baked beignets" today! perfect timing!

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  8. These are beautiful and lovely. I'm stoked that they are baked! I too am always looking for ways to make sweet treats healthier. Thanks for making it a printable recipe too! I'm definately going to attempt these.

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  9. Mmm, fabulous. Will you drive up tonight and have them fresh for me in the morning? Thanks ;)

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  10. Mon dieu! You naughty thing! It should have been the worst French lesson considering you weren't learning any language! (I'm a HUGE fan of French class, as you can tell). Although, with all that food I can understand why it would have been a good day...

    As for your beignet, I bet your French teacher would now be impressed. These look spot on.

    Happy Mardi Gras!

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  11. oh they look soo puffy. so perfect.

    so wonderful!!!!

    Enjoy your Fat Tuesday!

    :)

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  12. OMG! they looks so yummy!!!! It's lunchtime here!!! Can I have some??? :-)

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  13. I love beignets. Those look great. Good for you for trying to eat healthier. It's not easy for those of us who love our sweets.

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  14. You can buy Cafe du Monde chicory coffee and beignet mix through their website. I went to N.O. in 2004 (not for Mardi Gras though), and have been buying their coffee ever since! I also can usually find it in Asian supermarkets, but I don't know if you have any near you. I have never tried buying the beignet mix online, I just somehow don't believe it would be as good as the real thing. Yours look fabulous, though!

    I hope you do get back to Cafe du Monde sometime. It's an experience!

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  15. I'm with Shannon, but I'll pick mine up. See you soon. (I wish!)

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  16. Happy Mardi Gras!! Fantastic treat :)

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  17. Baked beignets! What a fabulous idea. They look perfectly light and pillowy. I also love the sound of a cinnamon & sugar dusting rather than powdered sugar, which I'm not a huge fan of.

    My sister-in-law went to Tulane, and we had a blast visiting her in NOLA. I have to admit I didn't love the chicory coffee at Cafe du Monde, but it is definitely an experience I recommend if you go back. Go early in the morning when most people are recovering from the previous night ;).

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  18. I love this recipe! Looks delicious!

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  19. Those look just perfect!

    I've never had a beignet, but I'm sure I would never turn one down :)

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  20. These look great. (I also love pralines.) This post has brought back yummy memories from when I went to N'Orleans. :)

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  21. yum! Your recipe looks amazing, I love beignets! The last time I was on New Orleans I was able to go to cafe du monde (it was waay to busy during my first trip so we skipped it) and ate some beignets...and they are to die for! I would totally go to Mardi Gras in 2012 with you! Haha just think of all the yummy food we could eat ;)

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  22. So these are baked, rather than fried as in the traditional method? Love that! Saves on the calories and clean-up! ;)

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  23. Yum! I have never made a beignet but I should...I need a little more sweet in my life....haha.

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  24. I'm so glad to see that you baked these. I've been wanting to make some, but like you I try and eat healthy. I can't wait to try them, they look great!

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  25. These look so good! I love Mardi Gras food :)

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  26. OMG I LOVE beignets! I can't wait to try these!!! There is a restaurant here in Philly that I LOVE that makes them with a delicious Maker's Mark Bourbon sauce. Soooo good. I also used to make these when I was in high school and totally obsessed with fried foods.. which I guess I still am... so obviously I should try your recipe!

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  27. beignets are a blissful breakfast treat--you do tasty work! meanwhile, where did the nickname 'the big easy' come from? any idea? regardless, i'd like to visit sometime before i die--2012 it is! :)

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  28. I've always wanted to make beignets at home and this recipe looks so user friendly. And they look delish!

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  29. These beignets look devine - although the pralines sound very tempting ...

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  30. mmm wish I had one of these right now!! I love that you baked them :)

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  31. Yum! I like that these are baked instead of fried. I made fried ones once and didn't think they were worth the effort. Tasted just like funnel cake to me and funnel cake is much easier to make!

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  32. Too awesome! I've wanted to try beignet since I saw Princess and the Frog. If these are that easy I'll have to whip up a batch...I can have my own FAT Tuesday any week of the year! Ha!

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