Puffy, sweet, sugar-dusted beignets are treat anytime, but never more so than on Fat Tuesday, the eat-drink-and-be-merry culmination of Mardi Gras season. Basically just little fried pillows of dough, beignets may look tricky, but trust us: this recipe—which calls for few ingredients and doesn’t require kneading—is one that any cook can master. Be warned, however: the dough is supposed to be quite sticky (it’s moisture that helps the fritters rise up nice and airy), so make sure to generously flour your work surface and your rolling pin.
Hands-On Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Makes 24 beignets
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 cups canola oil
- Confectioners’ sugar, for serving
- Combine the water, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let mixture rest for 5 minutes. Then, stir the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla into the yeast mixture.
- Combine the flour, remaining sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add this to the yeast mixture, stirring thoroughly with a rubber spatula. (The dough will be sticky.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- On a well-floured surface, roll the dough into a large ¼-inch-thick rectangle. Cut the dough into 3-inch squares using a pizza cutter or scissors, then transfer the squares to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Place a wire cooling rack on top of another baking sheet and set aside. In a large pot, heat the oil until it reaches 350° F on a deep-fry thermometer. Add beignets to the oil, 4 at a time, and cook, flipping once, until golden brown (about 90 seconds per side). Remove beignets from the pot using a slotted spoon, and transfer to the wire rack.
- Dust beignets generously with confectioners’ sugar and serve immediately.