Heart Beignets with Strawberry Powdered Sugar

It’s Valentine’s Day week and I don’t care who ya are, heart shaped beignets with strawberry powdered sugar is the THE WAY TO OUR HEARTS am I right team?! Heavenly vessels of fried dough covered in an abundance of sweet tart strawberry powdered sugar would make any old cold heart go pitter patter.

On our roadtrip from Portland to Atlanta this past summer the last city we stopped in was New Orleans, and it completely stole my heart! The buzz of the city embodied everything I love, from the charming cobblestone streets in the French quarter, to the jazz ringing on every corner, to the delicious comfort food and well-crafted cocktails. But let’s be real…my obsession with New Orleans was thoroughly cemented when they carried out those beignets piled-high with powdered sugar at Cafe Du Monde. I was giddy with joy dunking beignets in my cafe au lait.

I couldn’t get those fluffy fried pieces of heaven out of my mind, so I finally decided to take a crack at making beignets at home and with Valentine’s being around the corner, I couldn’t resist breaking out my heart shaped  cookie cutters to make them festive!

Now I’ll be honest, frying things at home inside my kitchen always makes me very nervous. But I’ve realized now that it’s completely fine as long as you watch your thermometer carefully. You can order a cheap deep fry thermometer on Amazon or pick one up from Walmart!

While this process seems lengthy, you can make the dough ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge for up to 24 hours! Beignets should be served warm, so invite friends over or make a batch for your boo thang and serve them hot outta the fryer.

Can we talk about strawberry powdered sugar for a sec? You guys it’s a game changer! It gives the powdered sug a little tartness so it’s not as sicky sweet and your whole kitchen will have a glorious strawberry smell for days. You use freeze dried strawberries for this, which I’ve bought at Trader Joe’s and Publix. You can probably find them in any grocery store though as well as Amazon.

I hope you guys love these as much as I do! Happy Valentine’s Day Eve! I hope you treat yourself to an entire plate of beignets and a bottle of wine, and maybe a chocolate rose cake for two – YOU DESERVE IT! đź’•

Heart Beignets with Strawberry Powdered Sugar

Ingredients

Strawberry Powdered Sugar

  • 2 cups freeze-dried strawberries
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Beignets

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 tablespoons soft unsalted butter (let rest on counter until very soft)
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading and cutting)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 quart peanut or canola oil for frying

Instructions

For the Strawberry Powdered Sugar

  • Blitz 2 cups freeze dried strawberries with 1 cup powdered sugar in a blender until powdery.

For the Beignets

  • Start by placing the water and milk in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes or so until warm but not hot or boiling.
  •  Next whisk the sugar into the milk mixture, then sprinkle with the yeast and set aside for 15 minutes until the yeast has become foamy.
  • Then add the egg, salt, butter, and 2 cups of the flour to the milk mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula until the mixture is thick but smooth. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour and beat again until just combined. You’re looking for a thick batter-like consistency.
  • Dust a work surface with about 1/4 cup more flour and dump the dough onto it. Gently fold the dough over itself 3 to 4 times (the dough will be sticky and a little loose). Gently shape the dough into a round and place in a well-oiled bowl (you can reuse the mixing bowl if it is mostly scraped clean). Cover with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Set the bowl in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Or you can cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator for around 8 to 10 hours.
  • Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven fitted with a deep-fry thermometer over medium-high heat until 350ÂşF. Line a baking sheet with two layers of paper towels. If the dough is in the refrigerator, pull it out just before you heat the oil to give it 20 to 25 minutes to lose its chill while the oil warms up.
  • While the oil is heating, dust a work surface with about 1/4 cup of flour and dump the dough onto it. Roll the dough out to a 17x11-inch rectangle that is about 1/2-inch thick. Use your heart shaped cookie cutter (or just a knife to cut into 2 inch squares)
  • Fry 3 to 4 pieces at a time: Gently add the beignets to the oil using tongs or your hands if you're not a chicken like me. Immediately use a large heatproof spoon to ladle the hot oil over the pieces. Fry the first side until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Using the spoon or tongs, flip the beignets and fry until the second side is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  •  Transfer the pieces to a paper towel lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Dust the dough heavily with powdered sugar while they're still warm and serve immediately!

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