The beignet, Louisiana’s State doughnut,was first introduced to Louisiana by the Acadians. Early beignetswere fried fritters, sometimes filled with fruit. Today, thebeignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powderedsugar. They are best when freshly made and served hot.
2 tablespoons granulated sugar1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 cup butter1 cup water1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour4 large eggs1 teaspoon vanilla extractCottonseed or vegetable oil forfrying*Powdered sugar
In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar,salt, butter, and 1 cup water. Bring to boiling: butter willmelt. Quickly add flour all at once; beat with wooden spoon untilflour is moistened. Cook over medium heat, beating vigorouslyuntil dough forms a ball and leaves side of pan. Remove fromheat.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating withelectric mixer at medium speed after each addition. Continuebeating until the mixture is smooth, shiny and satiny and formsstrands that break apart. It should hold its shape when beateris slowly raised. Beat in vanilla. Dough should be fairly stiff.
Roll dough 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness ona floured surface, using flour liberally on dough. Cut into 2-inchsquares.
In electric skillet or large, heavy skillet,heat 1 to 2-inches of oil to 370°F (185°C) on deep fryingthermometer.
Fry 3 or 4 at a time until puffy and goldenbrown on both sides (do not crowd skillet). Remove beignets witha slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; transfer to a wirerack. While hot, sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Keepwarm in 225°F (105°C) oven as you continue frying theremainder. Serve hot, preferably with a piping hot cup of cafeau lait!
Makes 18 to 24 beignets.
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