Michelle F found the Paula Deen recipe here on Food Network's site. Not too difficult...just time-consuming and fattyyyy, which is what makes these good.
Michelle, Lisa, Catherine, Chris, and I made powdered sugar beignets, chocolate beignets, & cinnamon and sugar beignets. Everyone I asked said the cinnamon & sugar ones were the best. They were basically like chopped up churros.
RECIPE (found here - supposed to make 3 dozen, but we ended up with way more):
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 7 cups bread flour - read directions carefully
- 1/4 cup shortening
- Nonstick spray
- Oil, for deep-frying
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
(2) In another bowl, beat eggs, salt & evaporated milk together
(3) Mix egg mixture to yeast mixture
(4) In a separate bowl, measure bread flour.
(5) Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding remaining flour
(6) Remove dough from bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface, & knead until smooth
(7) Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray
(8) Put dough into bowl & cover with plastic wrap or a towel
(9) Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours. We gave it about 1.5 hrs 'cause it was in direct sunlight. Two hours is a looong time to wait.
(10) Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F
(11) Add confectioners' sugar to a paper or plastic bag and set aside
(12) Roll dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness & cut into 1-inch squares
(13) Deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become golden.
(14) Once beignets are fried, drain for a few seconds on paper towels and then toss them into the bag of confectioners' sugar
(15) Hold bag closed and shake to coat evenly