New Orleans Cuisine

My Creole & Cajun Recipe Page

This is my blog dedicated to New Orleans & Louisiana cooking! I'll give links to great Creole & Cajun recipes and sites, as well as some of my own recipes. I love talkin' New Orleans, food and otherwise! Incidentally, I'm from Detroit. Go Figure. Lets just say I figured out "what it means, to miss New Orleans" and this site helps ease the pain.

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"Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins."
-Ignatius J. Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces
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Monday, May 16, 2005

New Orleans Cuisine - Beignet Recipe

I just made my wife and I a whole bunch of Beignets for breakfast, I am so full. If you haven't been to New Orleans you've probably never eaten a Beignet, but you've probably had something similar. If you are unfamiliar, Beignet (ben-YAY) is French for Fritter, in New Orleans they're square and topped with a firestorm of powdered sugar and usually served with a steaming cup of Cafe au Lait. Cafe au Lait is equal parts piping hot milk and good, strong Coffee with Chicory (New Orleans Coffee will be another post).
The big place in New Orleans for Beignets and Cafe au Lait is Cafe Du Monde on Decatur on the riverside of Jackson Square, which is legendary, and I guess you have to go once, which I did. The Beignets and Cafe au Lait are great, but I'm not into tourist traps; even when I'm a tourist. I prefer Cafe Beignet on Royal Street (they have a few other locations in the French Quarter), which is a little more low key.
Cafe du Monde also sells a Beignet batter mix that is widely available, I made mine from scratch. The recipe:

New Orleans Cuisine - Beignet Recipe

1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast
3/4 Cup Water (110 degrees F)
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Beaten Egg
1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk
3 1/2 - 3 3/4 Cups A.P. Flour
1/8 Cup Shortening
Vegetable Oil for Frying
Powdered Sugar in a shaker or sifter

Combine the Yeast, Water, and Sugar in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (You could also make this in a food processor, or the old fashioned way, by hand). Let this sit until frothy, about 5 minutes, then add the Salt, Egg, and Evaporated Milk. Mix on low speed, then add half of the flour until it starts to come together, then add the shortening. When the shortening is incorporated start adding the remaining flour, a little at a time until most of it is incorporated. At this time I always turn the dough onto a floured bench to finish by hand, just like when I make bread; it's a touch thing. Knead the dough adding just enough flour as necessary to make a non-sticky, smooth dough. Place the dough into a large oiled bowl, loosely cover and let rise (I made mine last night and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator).
After the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and turn it onto a floured surface and roll out into a rectangle that is about 1/2" thick. With a very sharp knife working at a diagonal to the rectangle, cut into 2" wide strips. Now cut into diamond shapes by making diagonal cuts in the opposite direction. Place the Beignets on a floured baking sheet to let rise about 40 minutes in a warm place (I place them in a barely warm oven).
When the Beignets have risen, heat 2-3 inches of vegetable oil in a large saucepan to 350-360 degrees. Place 2-3 Beignets into the hot oil at a time, being careful not to smash or deflate them. When they are golden brown, flip them over until golden brown on the other side (They go pretty quickly so start checking them right after they go into the oil). Remove to paper towel lined plates to drain. Serve hot topped with plenty of powdered sugar (because the dough doesn't contain much sugar, you will want a lot!). Best served with Cafe au Lait. Enjoy!

Makes about 2 dozen.

**NEW** For more on Beignets & Cafe au Lait check out the Coffee and Doughnuts Podcast at YatPundit New Orleans Food!

55 Comments:

Blogger Sylvie said...

I also had the pleasure of going to Cafe du monde for beignets in New Orleans. Remember to not wear anything black. The powdered sugar will tell where have been. I loved it.

11:24 PM  
Blogger sleepybomb said...

i remember taking the metry road/canal bus early on weekends to the quarter for 15 cents,(with a transfer), and bopping down to 'the morning call', (which was at the head of the island where the french market is, it is now some silly cafe more suited for the suburbs of reno). the donuts were a nickle, as was the coffee. this was the early 70s mind you, even phone calls were 5 cents . . .
we make it a point now to visit 'du monde' every trip home.
best news, when the call left the quarter they moved to metry, 30 years later we buy a house not 4 blocks from it. . .
s.a. just saw this recipe, so i know i am in for some great donuts come saturday!
thanks again danno . . .

11:28 PM  
Blogger Danno said...

Sylvie - Yeah it really is a must stop in New Orleans. So true about the black clothing, they really let that powdered sugar fly at Cafe du Monde!

M.A. - Most folks from New Orleans say they get their Coffee and Doughnuts from Morning Call, or they did in the past. Next trip down I am definately checking it out!
I'm glad S.A. is hooking you up with some Beignets this weekend, that makes me happy! I have some left over raw ones already cut that I'm about to fry up for breakfast right now! Tell S.A. I haven't forgotten about the Shrimp Taco recipe, I just haven't gotten to it yet.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got back from New Orleans. My family and I ate beignets every morning for breakfast at Cafe DuMonde. They were truly delicious. I recommend the Cafe Mocha with the beignets. I could eat them everyday. The children enjoyed getting powdered sugar all over themselves. A sweet treat!!!Anna H. Benton, Kentucky

7:51 PM  
Blogger Texas Chef said...

In the 60s Morning Call was the place New Orleans natives went. Morning Call got the feeling the French Market was getting too "tourista-istic" so they moved to Fat City lock stock and barrel. For me they are the best. I used to say Morning Call had the best coffee and CDM had the best beignets but I think they have evened out and I miss the pouring of the coffee and milk of the old days. CDM now has big urns for both.

6:45 AM  
Blogger blaze said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:47 PM  
Blogger M Lynn said...

I went down to New Orleans in October 2005 with the WA National Guard. When I first arrived most of the stores and shops were closed including the Cafe DuMonde. As the days passed we saw the City come to life and I was there when They opened their doors again. I had never experienced anything like it. The heavy scent of Chickory coffee (which I drank black) hung in the air mixed with the sweet aroma of the beignets. We talked to several workers and some natives that were just returning and we were overwhelmed at the sense of renewal that filled the air. We were treated to the sweets and we found out quickly how to bend slightly sideways or over the table so the BDU's didn't get sprinkled. Over the next month it became a routine that I looked forward to most mornings. Beignets and the Cafe DuMonde will always hold those memories of hope, renewal, and great treats.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey!
i just got back from new orleans the other day, literally lol. and i just had to get the beignet recipe cuz they were awesome at cafe du monde. they deffinately load it with powder sugar... i think they actually give you more powder sugar than beignet... and i deffinately looked like i had just rolled around in powder by the time i finished eating =] ... thanks for the recipe, i'm making it as soon as i can!
- lindsay

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

I just returned home from N O it's a must first think in the morning to get the beignets a cafa du Monde. I make my trip once a year for the last 15 was 1st since katrina very sad things are not futher along than they are 15 months after. Thank You for the recipe.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stop by CDM every time I come to Nola. I like it best very early in the morning, 6am or so,before the tourist crowds come in.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous veron said...

I always dream of the beignets at cafe beignet . Now that I think I have overcome my fear of deep frying , I'm going to try this recipe.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweet sweet memories of when I could drive CDM for beignets, it was only 5 hours from my house, in Florida, but it was ALWAYS on my way to Houston. My car had problems getting past the New Orleans exit, my friends knew I was crazy because I would "swing by" new Orleans for beignets and coffee on my way home.

Now I have moved to Missouri and swinging by New Orleans is no longer an option so I started looking for a recipe and found this site-great! I have two unopened boxes of CDM mix, I think I will try the recipe first, then maybe one time make both home-made beignes and CDN beignets and see if they taste close. Doubt too many farmers here in MO know, or care, what a beignet even is, but I was thinking about opening a coffee shop. We'll see...

9:59 PM  
Anonymous SoCalGal said...

We returned from N'awlins Wed. and enjoyed the beignets like everyone else. We purchased the CDM box mix for beignets and injoyed them this morning. However, they weren't the same. I guessed it was because it lacked the yeast. Found out I was right. Now I'm eager to run a batch from scratch through the deep fryer. Thanks for the recipe.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there a way to make the beignets without letting it go overnight..like will a couple of hours be enough?

4:10 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

If you use the yeast-based recipe, a couple of hours in a warm, draft free place will be fine. If you have a gas stove, just place them in the oven with only the pilot light on. For an electric oven, just turn it on to it's lowest setting for about 5 minutes, and then shut it off. Let the dough rise inside once the heating element has cooled back down.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent recipe. I have tried a couple, but I think resting the dough prior to frying is the key. They came out perfect.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This recipe is the BEST... I actually made a batch and put it in the refridge overnight. Then I got impatient and opened a box of genuine CDM beignet mix and made a batch-- wow, FLAT like pancakes. This recipe was in the fridge for about 2 or 3 hours and I pulled out about 1/4 amount of the dough, rolled it out, deep fried it, and it came out perfectly!

12:29 AM  
Anonymous knittingfreak said...

This recipe was great. I tried it and it was a hit at my place.

3:31 AM  
Anonymous Homesick Gina said...

Growing up in Metairie (or as pronounced Metry) I always used to go to Morning call...the one on Severn. I miss home very much. Thanks for the recipe. I'm eating a muffelata with your olive salad recipe as well right now!

6:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my whole family is in N.O. and i love it down there
if you dont have the time to make hese, order the CDM (cafe Du monde) mix onlne, or pick some up next time your in the cresent city.
the mix is fantstic, and shouldnt cost more than 4$ a box

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer K said...

I just made beignets for the first time and used your recipe. I just got back from New Orleans this past Monday and was dying for more. Your recipe was fantastic. I had little faith in my ability to make them correctly but your recipe was incredible. I wrote up a little post about making them on my own blog here: http://newartriotgirl.com/?p=37

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great recipe. Beignets were light and airy. Was able to speed up time a bit by using quick rise yeast. Since it's blueberry season i ended up experimenting with a few and poking them into the dough before fried. A few others were injected with berry jelly. The blueberry ones were out of this world,

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I come from a family who were born and raised in southern MS. So needless to say I have been to New Orleans just a few times in my life. Well I decided to make Beignets for my children a few weeks ago but was out of mix. I started looking online for a recipe and yours was the first one I found. I tried it and I couldn't believe it. I actually had better results with your receipe then I did with box mixes from Cafe Du Monde. Thank you so much. I have now added this recipe to my book. I'll never go back to the box mixes again.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous eric s. said...

so good you'll wanna slap your momma!

Yep...just that good.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had a coworker/friend bring me back a box mix of the Beignets and I made them at home and they were easy to make and delicious. Of course I am sure not as delicious as the real thing there at the Cafe but I loved them. I wish I could buy the mix somewhere here in Florida.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Jan said...

Love Cafe Du Monde - fond memories of going there when I was just out of high school and eating beignets. I go by every chance I get. Personally, I like the recipe much better than the beignet mix in the box, they are much fresher if you make them from scratch. Letting the dough rest is the key and that's tough when you are in a hurry to eat these. I suggest making the day before, letting rest overnight in fridge or make in the morning to eat late afternoon. There is something about the strong coffee, the humid air, the smell of fried dough and powdered sugar - It just can't be duplicated anywhere but New Orleans!

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It my first date in New Orleans with a graceful ballerina named Mary. She was stunning and we went for a classic beignet and cup of coffee. I was so out to impress her as we were young and very much in love. I almost choked to death as I inhaled the white powdery sugar. A word to the wise: don't inhale as you approach the beignet. It was a near disaster and took me a couple of minutes to catch my breath. She married me and I still make beignets at home only now with our three kids we fill them with whipped creme and I serve them with a mountain of frsh blakberries on top of the mound of beignets. Yep! we love em and each oter 25 years this Jan 2010.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I like the comments here oin thsi blog. Everyone had something intresting to say. My husband and I will be making the trip come mid Jan. Give us some suggestions for good eats and caring, kind inn folk. Thank-you again.

Laura

5:45 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Don't forget the "secret ingredient" fry in cotton seed oil.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! thanx for posting this! im sure alotta of you know this, but I tried thinning the batter and made funnel cakes out of it!!! taste soooo good!

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

Glad to know someone else feels like I do when they have to leave NO. I feel like I'm leaving home, even though I live in Monroe, LA. I just got back yesterday. It was probably the best time I've had ever watching the Saints win the Super Bowl!! I plan to open my own restaurant there one day and live in the quarter! Until then, I'll keep cooking for my friends here in Monroe.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got back from NoLA today! The beignets were awesome, the parades were amazing, the culture and people were...just..well... I think it's time to plan a trip back..!! Cafe du Monde was a very pleasant experience, so relaxing- Starbucks has nothing on Cafe du Monde! Hehe ;) :D

8:16 PM  
Anonymous char said...

I had my first & only Beignet at the base of the Eiffel tower in Paris 03-14-2010 and could have eaten 10 of them. They are so light & airy. So glad to have found a recipe for them.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

I'd love to make these, but I don't know what an "envelope" of yeast, shortening, A.P. flour or the "cup" measurement mean. Oh, you crazy Americans...

12:35 PM  
Blogger Grania's said...

Mary--

An "envelope" of yeast is a little packet. Each envelope contains about 2.5 teaspoons.

"Shortening" is oil that has been made semisolid (like Crisco, a popular brand here in the US).

"AP flour" is all purpose flour; that is, not bread flour or cake flour. Just general, basic flour. :)

Thanks for the recipe; can't wait to try it!

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Carolus said...

I thought the Cafe du Monde never closed but I guess it does for Christmas and Katrina. I remember going there in the wee hours of the morning after Hallowe'en. It was filled with revelers, including a young woman whose costume consisted of a coarse fishnet dress over her birthday suit! It made the coffee hotter and the beignets sweeter...

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to Cafe du Monde when I was about 12 yrs old, it was love at first bite. Even after eighteen years I can still remember the amazing beignets and the dark strong coffee. Yes I think that's what got me hooked on strong coffee in my pre-teen foodie beginnings. I tried this beignet recipe and it brought back so many memories. My nine year old said upon her first bite of the beignets I made"KEEP EM' COMIN TILL I PASS OUT, MOM!" Aww, my little foodies growing up. :) ThanX

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

moved from New Orleans, and am missing it TERRIBLY! There is something in that city that forever attaches itself to your heart. I am getting married this coming April and for our wedding favors we are going to do the dry part of the Beignet mix!!!! That way everyone here in Arizona can experience a lil' bit of the NOLA I love so much!

3:42 PM  
Blogger Sheena said...

I just visited Louisiana for the first time this summer and LOVED IT! My boyfriend's family lives in Baton Rouge and they took me to Morning Call for beignets and cafe au lait. They were one of my favorite things about our visit! We also went to Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans and it was a wonderful experience! The beignets were amazing, and the view was incredible! We were able to watch all the people on the French Quarter. Can't wait to go back!

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just moved to louisiana this last fall and fell in love with it! took my first, long awaited trip to nola last october and the most memorable part was sitting at the cafe du monde with my sweety, listening to the band play then strolling down to the river. A perfect morning made even better by the perfect beignets. My batch is now in the fridge rising. I'm hoping they turn out and bring back that perfect memory. Thanks for the recipe!!!!!!!!!

12:26 AM  
Blogger John Wilson said...

I went to the famous Cafe du Monde with some friends and got into a beignet fight (wearing dark suits). We were drunk--it was 2 a.m.---but the coffee and beignets were great. This recipe hits the spot bringing back this memory.

John Wilson

5:46 PM  
Blogger wick sakit said...

I made this with bacon grease instead of shortening. Holy deliciousness! Thank you.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Quisie's said...

I went WAY back in 1972 when I was stationed at Keesler AFB. I LOVE New Orleans! I would rather go back there then take my first trip to Hawaii. Which isn't happening any time soon! I am now a grandma of 2 little boys here in Portland, Oregon. I am SO going to try your recipe for them. Have a feeling I'll be making them often, since my daughter-in-law most likely will eat more then anyone!! LOL Thank you!!

8:34 PM  
Anonymous medicine forum said...

The positive comments and do well wishes are very motivational and greatly appreciated.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comment on the recipe compare to the benigts you have had no one cares about your memories did this recipe come close or no. Jeez

9:51 PM  
Anonymous philippines catering said...

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9:39 AM  
Blogger Maisam said...

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11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I was missing New Orleans before I made it out of the hotel. One of these days I'll make it back there. Until then, thank you for the recipe. If I can't make it there, I'll bring a piece of it here. I even managed to find some chickory coffee.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Sam Florence said...

I'm with you, Cafe Beignet on Royal is SO much better, we visited NEw Orleans for a week in January and I'm making your recipe for some friends for Mardi Gras (in spirit) here in Melbourne, Australia, this coming Tuesday.
Thank you!!

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Beth M said...

Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. I jtried beignets for the first time in Disney walk, Anaheim CA. I don't have any idea how close or far they are to the real thing but got hooked on beignets. The feedback is inspiring... Will try this recipe. btw, can I substitute shortening with butter?

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. We just came back from New Orleans and WOW we luv it, but our experience on Cafe do Munde was far from a good one... The beignets was good I think but neither the cafe ( we made REAL good cafe at home) or the place was good... Now we can make our owns at home KIDS WILL LOVE THE IDEA :)
By the way if anybody is going to Cafe do Mundo please avoid the BATHROOM!!

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Jerry Lynn said...

I've been telling my grandkids about the wonderful beignets. (I grew up in Metairie and accidentally blew powdered sugar on more dresses! Ha!) The 5 yr old mentioned that he thought he might like beignets. So I used your recipe, but cut them into small pieces. (They cook faster and are easier for small hands.) Those kids gobbled 'em down like crazy! Mais Yeah! Thanks to all your contributors. This was fun to read! Letting them rest would have been great, but the kids were so-o-o in a hurry! (Me, too!)

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Jackie Andresen said...

I went to New oRLEANS FOR cHRISTMAS ABOUT 22 YRS AGO. i WENT WIth a native and he took my 4 yr old son and i to Cafe Du Monde for beinets. My son wanted the one on top with the most powdered sugar on it. While we were talking my son picked up his donut and smacked me in the face with it. I had sugar everywhere. We laughed so hard, then the other visitors began to laugh as well. It was real quiet for a minute as everyone waited to see my reaction. Can't remember when I've laughed so hard. My son has continued to play tricks on me over the yrs. He's a laugh riot!
ssrsuc

8:29 PM  

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