Birthday Beignets

Tuesday was Cameron’s 25th birthday, and we have a bit of a tradition of making beignets for celebratory occasions– birthdays, holidays, etc. They make the morning, and really the whole day, just a bit more special. If you want to go all out, you could even enjoy these with a glass of champagne or a mimosa and fell incredibly decadent.

This recipe is pretty straightforward, but I definitely recommend prepping all of your ingredients first, so you can add everything easily in sequence. Also be aware that you will want to make the dough for these the night before so they have plenty of time to rise overnight (if you don’t want to wait overnight, just be sure to let them sit for 6-8 hours to rise properly).

Once they’re ready and you’ve rolled them out you can use a fun cookie cutter (I used a dinosaur!) if you’d like to make them a bit more festive, but I would definitely avoid anything with small detailed shapes as they may cook unevenly.

I’ve tested a few recipes over the last few years, and this one is definitely my favorite, although I’ve made a few changes over time. I’ve also halved the original recipe, so what’s described below make plenty of beignets for 3-4 people.

Ingredients:

• 1/2 c warm, wrist temperature water

• 1/8c sugar of your choice

• 1/2 tbs active dry yeast

• 1 egg replacement

• 1 tbs vegan butter, plus 1tbs coconut oil melted

• 1/4c nondairy milk (I recommend coconut or almond)

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 2-2.5c all purpose flour

• Oil for frying

• Powdered sugar

Cut dough before frying

Cut dough before frying

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl dissolve the sugar in the warm water, then stir in the yeast with a wooden spoon. Let sit for about five minutes for the yeast to activate.
  2. Add nondairy milk, earth balance/coconut oil, salt ,and egg replacer, whisking well to combine.
  3. Slowly add the flour, mixing well with a wooden spoon as you go. Once it’s somewhat sticky and hard to mix, knead for a few minutes until its smoothed out and a bit elastic, shaping it into a ball.
  4. Remove the dough, lightly coat the bowl with oil, then replace the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 6-8 hours.
  5. Once it’s risen, knead briefly and roll out on a well-floured surface. I like to flip it over after each roll to keep it from sticking. Aim for about 1/4in thick dough once rolled out completely.
  6. Cut dough into strips about 1-1.5in wide, then cut again tomato either rectangles or triangles. I try to cut my rectangles no smaller than about 1in on the shorter side, and 1.5-2 in on the longer sides, but it’s totally up to you. Just ensure they are mostly uniform so they cook evenly.
  7. Heat oil to 360°F, and once hot, gently place in a few pieces of dough at a time, turning as needed, until they are golden on all sides.
  8. Once you remove the beignets from the hot oil, place them on a plate with about 2-3 paper towels to remove a bit of excess oil, then place in a bowl of powdered sugar and toss/stir to coat.
  9. Once you have friend all of your dough, I like to go back over the pile of beignets with  a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar. A tea strainer works quite well to evenly disperse, but you could also use a fine mesh sieve.
IMG_4611

The finished beignets!

These are a bit time intensive, but I promise they’re worth it– if anything, the amount of work involved will keep you from making these every weekend! After enjoying these Cameron and I usually like to go for a walk, or do something relatively active, as all of that sugar needs to go somewhere!

Do you have a favorite recipe that you use for celebrations/holidays? Let me know in the comments!

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