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[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

There are few places in the States as closely associated with Mardi Gras as New Orleans, and while NOLA has gifted us with many wonderful additions to American cookery, beignets are top of the list with Mardi Gras so near at hand.

For folks outside of New Orleans, the square, fried fritters which are covered (perhaps buried) in powdered sugar are probably most closely associated with the French Quarter's famed Cafe Du Monde, a coffee shop established back in 1862. These beignets were adapted from the Buttermilk Beignets recipe from DamGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth, New Orleans Style via Epicurious.

Note: I prefer to use buttermilk powder in my baking because it's easy to keep in the fridge and have it at the ready at a moment's notice. If you prefer you can substitute 1 cup fresh buttermilk for the 4 tablespoons buttermilk powder and 1 cup of water below.

About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered literary agent by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie, a Midtown Lunch contributor, and co-author of the forthcoming book New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks. You can follow her on Twitter at @blondiebrownie.

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