These classic New Orleans treats are soft, pillowy bites of heaven! They’re like French doughnuts dusted with powdered sugar and dunked in hot Cafe au Lait, hot chocolate, or strong coffee. They’re the perfect way to end a meal of good, hearty gumbo or jambalaya, but they’re also a very sophisticated treat to serve your friends.
Beignets (ben-yays) have been prepared and enjoyed since the late 16th century, and with just one bite, you can understand why! They have this wonderful sweet, yeasty flavor that, when dunked in a piping hot cup of Cafe au Lait, tastes just like a warm doughnut. They’re addictive, which is good because this recipe makes ALOT of beignets! Actually, the dough keeps very well in the freezer, so you can freeze half of this recipe (which is what I did!) and always have the things you need to make beignets!
French Quarter Beignets (Paula Dean)
- 1 1/2 c lukewarm water
- 1/2 c sugar
- 1 envelope of dry active yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp. yeast)
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 c evaporated milk
- 7 c bread flour
- 1/4 c shortening or margarine
- powdered sugar
- oil for frying
Cafe au Lait
Start by combining the yeast, sugar, and water. (For the best results, add the yeast and sugar first, then the water.) Stir it together.
Wait for 10 minutes for it to activate.
In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix egg mixture into the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, measure out the bread flour. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour. Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.
This is when you can separate the dough, and freeze half of it.
Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.
Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness.
Cut into 1-inch squares. Deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color. After beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, then dust them with the powdered sugar.
For the Cafe au Lait, brew your favorite coffee and put a heaping tablespoon of sugar in the bottom of a glass. Fill the glass up halfway with hot coffee, and fill it up the rest of the way with hot milk. Give it a stir, then dunk your beignets in and enjoy!
I’m not kidding when I say that this is The Best Coffee Cake. Ever. Ever. EVER! Not even Tasty Cakes coffee cakes come close to this!
What makes it The Best Coffee Cake. Ever. you may ask? Well, I think that it’s the combination of the fluffy, moist cake, the crunchy pecans, and the chewy topping. It just makes so much darn sense when you think about it! There’s also something about this cake that’s incredibly comforting. It should’ve been there with me during all of my sad moments….when Finn broke up with Rachel…when Finn took Quinn to prom….when Jesse came back…..and kissed Rachel…………………………funny how all my sad moments revolve around Glee, huh! Well anyway, if you’re a Gleek or not, you still NEED to make this coffee cake! It’ll change your life.
The Best Coffee cake. Ever. (The Pioneer Woman)
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- 2 c scant sugar (this just means a little less than a full cup)
- 3 c flour
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 c whole milk
- 3 egg whites, beaten until stiff
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- 3/4 c flour
- 1 1/2 c brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 1/2 c pecans, chopped
Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
Alternate between pouring the milk…..
….and the flour mixture with the mixer on low speed. Otherwise, you’ll end up with milk and flour all over you!
Don’t over beat the mixture! Just mix it until it looks like this.
Then, use your handy-dandy immersion blender (or a hand-held mixer) to whisk the egg whites until they’re stiff.
Fold the egg whites into the batter. This will really help with the fluffiness of the cake.
Combine all the topping ingredients together and pour the batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Top with the topping and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.