Add the warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer.Note: When adding the warm water, make sure the temperature is closer to 115 degrees as the water will cool quickly when it contacts the bowl.
Add the yeast and sugar to the water and whisk to combine. Let the yeast mixture sit for 10 minutes until active and frothy.Note: Make sure that the date on your yeast packet is current. If the yeast has not foamed up after 10 minutes, it means that the yeast is inactive and won't work for your recipe. Discard the yeast and water and start over with fresh, active yeast.
While the yeast is proofing, crack the eggs into a separate small bowl and lightly beat them. Add the vanilla and evaporated milk.
Place the bowl on the mixer stand with the dough hook attached. Add the egg and milk mixture to the yeast. Mix on low speed for about 1 minute, or until well combined.
Add half the flour and continue mixing on low speed.
Add the butter and the remaining flour. Mix on low until the dough forms a ball.Note: You'll know the dough is ready when it becomes smooth and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning so that the top side is coated with oil. Cover and place the dough in a warm place until it has doubled in size (approximately two hours).
Lightly flour a work surface and transfer the dough from the bowl. Sprinkled the top of the dough with additional flour. Roll out the dough to a thickness of ¼- to ½-inch.
With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into about 2 ½- to 3-inch squares.
In a Dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet, add oil to a depth of 2-3 inches. Heat to 350 degrees F.
Add the dough squares, a few pieces at a time, without overcrowding the pot. Fry for about 1 minute per side.
Use a large slotted spoon or spider to remove the cooked beignets from the hot oil and drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is used.
Transfer beignets to a serving plate and top heavily with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.
Serving Size: 3 beignetsTips
When adding the warm water, make sure the temperature is closer to 115 degrees as the water will cool quickly when it contacts the bowl.
Make sure that the date on your yeast packet is current. If the yeast has not foamed up after 10 minutes, it means that it's inactive and won't work for your recipe. Discard the yeast and water and start over with fresh, active yeast.
You'll know the dough is ready when it becomes smooth and is pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
For this recipe, choose an oil suitable for deep frying. That is, an oil with a high smoke point. Cottonseed oil is ideal if you can find it, but vegetable oil or canola oil work well, too.
What's the difference between beignets and doughnuts? Beignets and doughnuts have lots of similarities but doughnut recipes tend to have more eggs and, of course, they’re a different shape. Beignets are lighter with an airy center. Both are delicious!Can beignets be made in advance? Unfortunately, no. Beignets are meant to be served and enjoyed while still warm. They don't keep well.Can I make them larger or smaller? A 2-inch rectangle is the traditional size and is what you'd be served at Cafe du Monde. However, you can make them any size you like. Mini beignets are really fun!