Beignet comes from the early Celtic word bigne meaning “to raise.” It is also French for “fritter.” Beignets, a New Orleans specialty, are fried, raised pieces of yeast dough, usually about 2 inches in diameter or 2 inches square. After being fried, they are sprinkled with sugar or coated with various icings.Beignets are like a sweet doughnut, but the beignet is square shaped and without a hole. Beignets are considered the forerunners of the raised doughnut. For many years, beignets were shaped into balls or squares and covered with mocha frosting. Later the beignet was cut in the shape of a doughnut, and the raised doughnut was born.
Here’s my twist on the classic Southern treat, pumpkin beignets spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 40 beignets
- 1/2 cup half & half
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 package yeast
- 1/4 cup water, warm
- 1/2 cup water, cold
- 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Canola oil for deep frying
- Confectioners’ sugar for serving
- Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine half & half, pumpkin puree granulated sugar, butter, and egg.
- Add 1/2 cup cold water and mix.
- Incorporate the yeast mixture.
- Add 3 cups of all purpose flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Slowly mix until a dough forms and remove from the mixer.
- Dust work area with flour and knead the dough until smooth and soft. Shape into a ball.
- Lightly grease a bowl and add the dough. Cover with a cheese cloth. Allow the dough to rise in a warm spot until it doubles in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Bring a pot of oil to 180*C with a dept of at least 3 inches (7.5cm) into a deep, heavy saucepan.
- Using an ice cream scoop, create 2 inch balls of dough. I like OXO’s trigger ice cream scoop.
- Use a metal spatula to carefully lower a few of beignets into the hot oil. Be sure not to crowd the pan.
- Deep-fry the beignets, turning often, until puffed and golden brown, around 3 minutes.
- Allow beignets to drain on paper towels.
- Generously dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve at once.
Beignets are best made right before serving so they are piping hot for guests.
It’s the 12 Days of Giveaways! On the 12th day, A Taste of Koko is giving away a OXO baking set.
OXO has generously offered my readers a chance to win a OXO baking set featuring their mini measuring beakers.
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below with your name & email and tell me: What is your favorite dessert indulgence?
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(Extra entries can only be counted if left as a separate comment – your comment # is your entry.)
The fine print:
– Giveaway ends at 12:01am (Texas time!) on January 15, 2013
– Winner will be selected by random number generator.
– Prize must be claimed within 7 days or it will be forfeited.
– Winning “extra entry” comments can be subject to verification.
– This giveaway is sponsored by OXO.
– Prize can only be shipped to a U.S. address.