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Mardi Gras Beignets

A Simple Twist for a Festive Beignet!          



2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (110°F)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk or 1/2 and 1/2
7 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup shortening  or butter
1 quart vegetable oil for frying (or less if you are only frying half the batch)
Powdered sugar/confectioners' sugar
Colored powdered sugar in purple, yellow, and green
1) In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add white sugar, salt, eggs, evaporated milk, and blend thoroughly. Mix in 4 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the shortening, and then the remaining 3 cups of flour. Cover and chill overnight.
2) Roll out dough 1/8" thick and cut into 2½" squares. Fry in 360°F hot oil. If the beignets do not pop up the oil is not hot enough. Once light golden brown, set on paper towels to drain.
3) Shake confectioners' sugar onto hot beignets. This serves as a blank canvas to make the colored powdered sugar pop. Once all are covered, add colored powdered sugar (one color at a time) in a striped pattern to tops of beignets. Serve warm.
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