We love celebrating just about every holiday here at the young house. One of the best ways we like to celebrate is through the foods of the region or the theme of the holiday itself. Last year my son and I celebrated Mardi Gras with an attempt at king cake for his French class. It wasn’t my best work, but it was super fun to make. Though we have never been to New Orleans and want to make more delicious recipes from the region or other foods that make us think Mardi Gras. So I asked my friends at Nielsen-Massey if we could share one of their delicious recipes. And they said yes with these little but decadent bites called Beignets. Enjoy and thank you Nielsen-Massey for sharing with us.
Vanilla Beignet Bites
¼ cup warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup half-and-half
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar; set aside to activate yeast. In a medium bowl, add butter, half-and-half and vanilla extract; stir and set aside. In a small bowl whisk eggs; set aside.
- In a bowl of a free standing electric mixer, add flour, sugar, salt and cardamom. Place bowl on mixer stand which has been fitted with a dough hook. Turn mixer on low speed and combine dry ingredients.
- Turn mixer to medium speed then add activated yeast mixture. Add half-and-half mixture, then add the whisked eggs. Mix until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary. Dough will be slightly sticky.
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead, about 2-3 minutes; adding additional flour only when needed.
- Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and keep warm until dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours. After dough has risen, place on a lightly floured surface and gently knead. Roll dough into a rectangle, about ¼-inch thick. With a pizza cutter, cut dough into small rectangles, about 1 x ½-inch pieces.
- Heat oil to 375°F; carefully place dough in hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 45-60 seconds. Turn beignets so both sides are golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels; dust with Vanilla Powdered Sugar while bites are still warm.
- Dip Vanilla Beignet Bites in Nielsen-Massey’s signature Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam.
Vanilla Powdered Sugar (Yield ½ cup sugar)
½ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and vanilla powder.