April 19, 2010

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Be care of the words you say. Keep them soft and sweet, Because you never know, from day to day, which ones you’ll have to eat. -K. McCarthy

-Adapted from Cafe Du Monde-

Credit to Shawn & Melissa Fowler


The French word for fried dough. It’s a pastry made from deep fried dough and powdered with confectioner’s sugar or drizzled with chocolate. Enjoyed at breakfast, dessert, or any other times when you’re craving a sweet treat.

1/4 cup water
1-1/2 tsp yeast
2 tbsp shortening
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup and 3 tbsp evaporated milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3-3/4 cup flour
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar for dusting

  • Add 1/4 cup of room temperature water and 1 1/2 tsp of yeast into a small bowl. Stir lightly and set aside for 5 minutes so the yeast can begin it’s fermentation.
  • Add 2 tbsp of shortening, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 tsp of salt to a large bowl. Salt slows the the chemical reactions in the dough, resulting in a calmer fermentation, and it also enhances the flavor.
  • Add 1/2 cup of boiling water to the large bowl. Stir sugar and shortening until melted.
  • Pour in 1/3 cup and 2 tbsp of evaporated milk. Allow the mixture to cool then add the yeast and water mixture, 1 beaten egg and 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract. Vanilla is optional but I find that is adds a wonderful aromatic flavor.
  • Slowly mix in the 3-3/4 cup of flour until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball.
  • Now I like to knead the dough on the top of a sheet of plastic wrap. That way you won’t have dough sticking to your counter and you can just wrap up the dough and throw it into the fridge. I also like to dust my hands with flour so the dough doesn’t stick to my hands. If you feel like the dough is too sticky you can add more flour accordingly, but not too much to where the dough dries out. We are looking for a soft and slightly sticky consistency. You don’t want to knead too much or else the dough will become tough and the gluten strands will break.
  • Allow the dough to rise in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours. I recommend 1 day in advanced if possible. The consistency of the dough will be just right and the beignets will be crispier. The dough is proofed in the fridge instead of at room temperature because we want it to rise slowly, which helps develop flavor.
  • Fry a couple of beignets until they are crispy brown.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can make it up to 3 days ahead of time. Just take out the dough, cut, and fry it up for a sweet treat. I don’t recommend refrigerating the dough for a longer duration because you will end up with a alcoholicky smelling, lumpy dough with holes.

This recipe makes a hefty amount so make sure to have plenty of friends around.
Or just keep them all yourself 🙂

I came across a delightful twist on one of my favorite picture books. Credits to Eralda from The Split Pea

If you give a boy a beignet, he will want to lick the powdered sugar first.

Licking the powdered sugar will make him think of Ruidoso snow, so he will pour powdered sugar all over the flour and will want a snow angel.

Making a snow angel will remind him of Christmas Carols, so he will run to his room, trail of powdered sugar following, and put on his Christmas music.

Music will make him want to dance and he will.

The dancing will cause his father to come into the kitchen and join the party.

Father and son will dance on a powdered sugar flour.

Seeing the powdered sugar on his socks and hair, and hands, will remind the boy of beignets and he will want another one, as will his father.

Credits to Professor Staskel for the chemistry behind baking.



Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.