Why It Works
- Yeasted buttermilk dough is baked until soft, golden brown, and mildly sweet.
- The beignets are rolled in confectioners' sugar, then served with a chicory coffee chocolate sauce.
First things first. Beignets are a deep-fried yeast pastry best known for their popularity in the Big Easy. As you can read from the title, these, then, are not beignets. Indeed, I am fully aware that even calling this pastry "baked beignets" puts me at risk of being attacked from all sides by angry beignet-lovers who would probably like to drop me into a bubbling deep fryer and say, "Now that's closer to a beignet."
And yet I've insisted. Why? I have a friend coming over to celebrate Mardi Gras and, for health reasons, he can't eat fried foods. I know, why not just skip it and indulge in Kings Cake instead? Why not go straight to the rice and beans? Because when someone asks me for "not fried beignets" I will not laugh in their face, shove an encyclopedia in their hands, and walk away. I will do my best to please them. Did no one else see that episode of Friends where Monica can't stop making Christmas candy for her neighbors? Cooking in return for love is a psychological problem, so just leave me be.
For those of you still with me, I'll explain what these "beignets" are. They start with a yeasted buttermilk dough that is very similar to the normal beignet recipe. The dough puffs up nicely in the oven, becoming a soft, golden brown, and mildly sweet rectangle.
When they're still hot out of the oven, the beignets are rolled in confectioners' sugar, and, when they're cool, I roll them again. To make them indulgent for Fat Tuesday, I serve them with a chocolate coffee sauce made from another New Orleans specialty: chicory coffee. In fact for those of us not on a diet, I'd recommend pouring the sauce into individual ramekins to serve alongside the warm beignets. They are extra delicious when each bite is preceded by a dunk in the warm, chocolaty sauce.
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
For Chicory Coffee Sauce:
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup strongly brewed chicory coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To Make the Beignets: In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium-low heat until warm to the touch, then take off heat. Whisk in buttermilk, 1 teaspoon sugar, and yeast. Let stand 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
Pour yeast mixture into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add flour mixture, remaining sugar, and butter to mixer. Mix until ingredients are combined and form a ball, then continue to let the mixer knead for 5 minutes. Cover bowl with a dish towel and let sit in a warm place for 40 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Cut dough into rectangles measuring approximately 1 by 2 inches.
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Place beignets on baking sheet, cover with a dish towel, and let rest 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Bake beignets until puffed and golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Fill a shallow dish with confectioners' sugar. While still hot, roll beignets in sugar to coat. When ready to serve beignets, roll or dust them with extra sugar.
To Make the Sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat heavy cream over medium heat until simmering. Whisk in sugar. Take heavy cream off heat and whisk in chocolate until melted.
Whisk in salt, coffee, and vanilla extract. Serve warm with beignets.
Stand mixer, 2 rimmed baking sheets
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 6g||8%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||19%|
|Total Carbohydrate 19g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 11g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|