Well, well, well. I meant to have these up by Tuesday (in honor of Mardi Gras, obviously) but alas. Per usual, time got away from me. It was worth the try, and at least they’re going up the same week…right?
Damn, y’all. I have missed blogging. I’ve basically been inactive since August…that feels insane. I had a lot going on all at once!
My new job requires me to constantly be doing all the same things I usually do for this blog – content creation, cooking/baking, photography, writing. It’s amazing and I am so freakin’ happy. But doing all those tasks for work sometimes leaves me with an empty tank by the time I get around to blogging. No worries – I think it’s all about adjusting how I was spending my free time & energy. I feel like I’m finally getting into a good groove again!
Anyway. Things have been so fun lately! In February alone I went to Boston, Alabama, and Tennessee. The trip to Boston was to visit some of my closest friends from college (it was a blast & I already miss them all so much), but Alabama and Tennessee were for my first ever work trip! My boss & I had an absolute blast photographing the menu of a restaurant that’s New Orleans/Mardi Gras themed. Since we were there the weekend before Fat Tuesday, and it’s the 1-year anniversary of when my sister and I visited NOLA, I was feeling all the Mardi Gras vibes.
So naturally I made some beignets. You should too. Here’s how…
Mardi Gras Beignets
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
6 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1/4 cup shortening
vegetable oil for frying
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Combine the water, sugar, and yeast in a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, check and make sure the mixture has become foamy. If it has, you’re in the clear to proceed. If it hasn’t, the yeast is dead and you need to start over with new yeast.
In a stand mixer, combine the eggs, milk, and salt. Beat until well combined.
With the mixer on low, add the yeast to the egg mixture. Then add half of the flour and slowly mix to combine.
Next add the shortening and the remaining flour to the batter.
Once the dough is well mixed, remove it from the bowl and place it onto a well floured surface. Knead the dough until it’s smooth, then place it back into the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.
Set the bowl aside in a warm area and let it rise for 1-2 hours (ideally 2, but 1 works if you’re really desperate).
After 2 hours, roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface till it’s a quarter inch thick. Then slice the dough into 2-inch squares with a knife or pizza cutter.
Place enough vegetable oil into a Dutch oven so that it fills an inch of the way up. Place a candy thermometer into the Dutch oven and heat the oil until it reaches 350 degrees.
Once the oil is at the right temperature, place a dough square into the hot oil. Start with just one as your “tester”! It’ll cook for about 2-3 minutes per side.
Once the beignet has finished frying on both sides remove it from the oil, allow any excess oil to drip off, then place it onto a clean plate. Sprinkle with powdered sugar – doing so after each beignet is fried ensures that there are no bare spots in your beignet stack! Then repeat the process with the remaining dough squares.
Serve with some hot chicory coffee, and enjoy while you listen to New Orleans jazz.
Gotta say you guys, I bit into one of these and was immediately transported to a year ago when I had my first beignet at Café Du Monde. I mean I even had the coffee to pair it with (thanks, sister!) Wow. What a dream. It makes me think, maybe it’s about damn time I share our New Orleans itinerary, huh?