Amy Palanjian

Beignets with the Big Easy Touch

A few years ago, I was lucky enough to spend a few days in New Orleans in February—which meant warmer weather than where I was living and a chance to enjoy my first beignets (among many other Mardi Gras foods).


If you’ve never had a real beignet, you are in for a treat whether you make them at home or jump a flight to join in the Mardi Gras festivities. When freshly fried and doused (literally) with powdered sugar, these are some of the best sweet bites around. And if you pair your plate of beignets with milky, sweet coffee, it’s a nearly perfect match.


(Note: Be careful about how you breathe as you go to take a bite—if you inhale, you could get powdered sugar in your nose; if you exhale, anyone sitting across from you will wind up covered in the white stuff. It’s probably best not to wear your favorite black sweater!)


The batter for beignets is straightforward (just start early enough so that you have plenty of time to let the dough rise) and the cooking process is simple, if a tad intimidating since it involves frying. But the scent of sweet dough that will fill your house will make it all worth it—especially if you’re far from Louisiana and need to cure a fried-dough craving before Lent sets in.


Love vanilla? Try these Vanilla-Scented Beignets.

Like nutmeg? Make Nutmeg-Beignets.

Want to take these to Italy? Fill them with ricotta and make Italian Donuts.




One Response to “Beignets with the Big Easy Touch”

  • Granny Lala says:

    For some reason, these thin, hollow square doughnuts with the subtle taste of vanilla and the crispy corners drowned in white, sweet powder that melts the minute it hits your mouth and tastes of the oil they were all fried in just can’t seem to be matched by home cooking-but worth a try. On Mardi Gras day we used to swing by the Cafe du Monde in the Quarter on our way to upper St. Charles avenue to pick up paper bags of them to take to the parades-we’d stuff them with thinly sliced ham, and even a slice of swiss cheese.

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