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In the Kitchen

Beignets

Published online: Dec 01, 2023 Dining Jessica Hallam
Viewed 748 time(s)

2023 is coming to a close, I am blown away by the swiftness with which this year flew by. There are so many memories I will cherish and a few I’ll leave behind. Many of the memories I cherish most are from the traditions we keep as a family. As a young mom with little kids I’ve started many of my own traditions while keeping some from my parents and my husband’s parents. I’ve shared here before that Christmas is my favorite holiday and because of that, most of the traditions happen in December. 

One of the most special traditions is that I make beignets on Christmas morning. I wake up a little before the kids and make the dough, then we roll it out and they help me cut the dough into shapes with cookie cutters. Then my husband fries them up for us all to enjoy. The secret to the dough is the cinnamon. And then we top them with powdered sugar and vanilla bean honey drizzle. 

If you don’t know what a beignet is, it is a donut or fritter. We make the New Orleans version, although it is usually cut into squares. 


Dough ingredients

1c. whole milk, warmed to 110 degrees

¼ c. sugar

¼ c. melted butter

1 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. yeast – I prefer instant

½ c. hot water

1 egg

3 ½ - ¾ c. flour

Vanilla bean honey drizzle

1 vanilla bean pod

1 c. honey

Powdered sugar mixture: 

3c. Powdered sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. cloves

¼ tsp. ginger

Other ingredients

Vegetable or avocado oil for frying

Raspberry jam for dipping


Directions

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add 3 cups of flour to all other ingredients. Mix on low for 3 minutes. Add the rest of flour ¼ c. at a time, watching for the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Mix another 2-3 minutes. 

  2. Cover bowl and let dough rise until doubled in size. Roll out dough until it’s about a ½ inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut into squares, or you can use cookie cutters and roll out dough after each time. Leave the cut dough on the counter and cover with a linen dish towel.  

  3. In a large cast iron or Dutch oven heat the oil to 350 degrees. While the oil is heating, make the honey. In a saucepan, gently warm honey over low heat. Add a half of a vanilla bean pod. Warm the honey through. Do not boil honey. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then pour honey into a jar and keep.  

  4. Once ready, uncover the cut dough and gently move them to the oil. I only fry about four at a time depending on size. If you add too many to the pan, the temperature of the oil will change and they can’t cook evenly. 

  5. In a bowl, combine powdered sugar and spices. You can use plain powdered sugar if you prefer.

  6. Cook until golden brown–roughly 2-3 minutes per side. 

  7. Remove from pan when finished cooking. Sprinkle powdered sugar mixture over each side. And then drizzle a little honey over the top. Serve and enjoy!

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