Servings: 30 beignets

Beignets are traditionally made with a choux pastry and deep-fried until golden brown. They are then doused with powdered sugar and devoured with a cafe au lait. Kids love these with fresh strawberry jam or orange honey butter.



Pour the warm water into a large bowl, sprinkle in the yeast, and add 2 teaspoons of the sugar. Stir until dissolved. Let sit and proof for 10 minutes. Add the remaining sugar, salt, egg, and evaporated milk. Gradually stir in 2 cups of the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and thoroughly blended. Beat in the butter, then add the remaining flour. Beat it in with a spoon until it becomes too stiff to stir, and work in the rest with your hands. Put the dough into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Preheat the oven to 200°F. On a lightly-floured board, roll the dough out to about 1/8 inch, and cut 2½- by 3½-inch pieces with a sharp knife. Heat the vegetable oil in a 5½-quart Dutch oven to 360°F. When it reaches the desired temperature, turn the heat down slightly. Fry the beignets in batches of 4, turning them over a few times until they puff up and are golden brown on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per batch). Remove with a slotted spoon to layers of paper towels, then transfer to your preheated oven until all the beignets are finished. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar, and serve on a platter or on dessert plates. © 2006 Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne