Eat Like a Princess - Tiana - Man Catchin’ Beignets

One of my favorite Disneyland eat from our Dapper Day trip was the beignets from the Mint Julep bar! Beignets are found throughout New Orleans and are prominently featured in The Princess and the Frog. They are Tiana's signature dish and how she finally gets her money to open her restaurant! These delicious fried pieces of dough are a great addition to our Eat Like a Princess series; they are a great way to end your gumbo or meatloaf dinners!
I have always been a little nervous when is comes to deep frying in oil. I have my father to thank for that. When my sister and I were kids he set a pot on fire when having a crack at frying french fries. The image of him rushing out onto the patio with a flaming pot has stuck with me for a long time. Recently he informed me that he did that on purpose to instill a sense of caution in my sister and me. Thanks, Dad.

Nonetheless, I took the dive and used my Le Creuset dutch oven and a Taylor thermometer to keep the oil under control. I am happy to say there were no uncontrolled flames during my beignet frying. The key was slow and controlled elevation of the temperature of the oil and turning the heat to low or off to keep the temperature controlled in the 350 degree region. This ensured the oil maintained a decent temp so the beignets didn't absorb too much oil while trying to fry and didn't get undercooked and over goldened.

The recipe in the post works perfectly if cut in half and the dough can rest in the fridge overnight if you aren't ready to fry 'em on the same day you make the dough. I noticed that rolling the dough to 1/4 inch resulting in beignets that were completely cooked and perfect right out of the oil. When I re-rolled the scraps and fried the triangular beignets they were about 1/2 inch thick with a slightly undercooked center which was exactly like the pillowy texture at the Mint Julep bar. My husband liked them with extra powdered sugar. I popped the Mickey Shaped Beignets in a bag of powdered sugar but the regular beignets were drizzled with honey and dusted with powdered sugar (I admit I added more after the pictures).
Excitingly, my new confidence with deep frying in my dutch oven this opens up a world of deep friend deliciousness for the blog! If you have had the beignets from the Mint Julep Bar or New Orleans I would love to know what you think of these!
 









Tiana's Man Catching Beignets

Yield: 3 dozen

 Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 7 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  1. Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit 10 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, salt, and evaporated milk together.
  3. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture and mix.
  4. Stir in 3 cups of bread flour. (A wooden spoon is good for stirring.)
  5. Add shortening and stir it in. Stir in remaining flour.Note: The video above shows melted shortening being used, but there is no need to melt the shortening. It will mix in just fine in solid form.
  6. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
  7. Coat a large bowl with oil, place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Let rise at least 2 hours or place in refrigerator overnight.
  9. Pour about 3 inches of oil in a Dutch oven and heat to 350 degrees.
  10. Roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut 2-inch squares. (This is easy to do with a pizza cutter.)
  11. Working about 4 at a time, place in oil and fry, flipping continuously until they are golden brown.
  12. Test one to make sure it is cooked through. Drain on paper towels and coat with powdered sugar. 

Let's be honest, I couldn't put these down. My husband ate a whole plate of them and Mini Mouse munched on her own quite happily. What's cuter than a baby with powdered sugar on her face? Comment below!

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