Sunday, March 6, 2011

Beignets With Tiny Chef Tristan

I tried to make a variation on classic beignets, and do Apple Cinnamon Beignets! My father's god-son, Tristan is three, and we babysit him a couple times a week. When we don't get to have him, it makes us sad, cause he's SO CUTE! And he is my helper today, Tiny Chef Tristan.

I used the Cafe Du Monde mix that I bought when I was in New Orleans last September. I've seen their mix in specialty gourmet food stores and you can of course, buy it online from their store.

The directions are quite simple, but there are a couple of handy tips for making beignets from any recipe. First, do not over mix the dough or they will be tough. The second is pretty much the same as the first; when you cut your dough, do not try to re-roll the scraps. Now, that being said, I didn't really notice that they were overly tough and I played pretty rough and tumble with them. You'll see what I mean if you scroll down.

In case the picture didn't load for you, here are the steps. Step 1: Put 2 cups of mix and 7 ounces of water in a bowl and stir together. Here's where I hopped on the crazy train and added Martinelli's sparkling cider instead of water and 1 tsp of ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg. I know, right?! Genius. The thing is... the apple didn't shine through like I'd hoped it would. So... dump your bottle of cider into a sauce pan and reduce on medium low heat until the volume is reduced by half (I'd say 20 minutes ought to do it). Allow to cool before adding to the mix.

Step 2: Roll your dough out onto a heavily floured surface. And they say on the box "liberally" and I think that's a serious understatement. Flour your hands, rolling pin, freaking EVERYTHING that dough is so sticky! Roll it out to about 1/8 inch thickness. Since Tristan was on the counter with me, I didn't have much room, so mine were probably way thicker at 1/3 inch. You  know how I said don't re-roll the dough... Don't ask a three year old to cut the dough in squares for you when he's already had some sugar and is being more A.D.D. than usual.

Step 3: Don't let the kids help with this step. Bring a couple inches of oil to 370 degrees for frying. The box suggests that you use an electric skillet and I have to resoundingly agree. Unless you have a fry thermometer, which would be fine, but it's important to keep an even heat on these since the dough is thin. Keep the temp between 360 and 375 degrees.

If you've done it right, there should be a puffy hole in the middle.
Step 4: While still hot, put them in a brown paper bag or a deep dish and coat in powdered sugar. Serve. I added a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg to my powdered sugar. 

Enjoy your beignets until all that's left is the powdered sugar encrusted bowls! Now, my boyfriend is originally from Louisiana and when he went to visit his family for Thanksgiving, they of course, went to Cafe Du Monde. He sent me picture messages that were something like this:

Baby, I've fallen off the wagon! But... I can change. I'll get clean again, you'll see...
I think that's fine, considering the pictures I took while in NOLA...

Yes, I have a Travelocity Gnome. Wanna fight about it?! His name is Steve and he partied SO hard on Bourbon Street that he passed out by the hotel pool and never made it upstairs into the room. I wonder what he did to get all those beads...?


  1. ugh i had one (many) from cafe du monde, beignets are AMAZING. tell tiny chef he looks like he's doing a good job. carrying the cooking here, it looks like to me.