One of our family’s great goals is to visit all 50 states and capitals! As of this post, we are at 20 (that’s 40%!) and we hope to bring that number to 25 this year. The most wonderful part of this entire experience for me has been getting to see so much of our country – places that I am not sure I would’ve made it to otherwise.
Among the most memorable was our stop through New Orleans several years ago.
And of course, we had to stop at the iconic Café Du Monde for beignets and chicory coffee!
Ever since, my daughter has been begging for beignets. In fact, she’s hoping to serve them for her birthday later this spring. However, these tasty French doughnuts aren’t so easy to come by here in Western Washington. In fact, I reached out to a couple doughnut shops including one self-proclaimed French pastry shop, and came up empty! So I decided to see what I could do to make our own from home.
My first thought was to look up some recipes. But many of them looked more complicated or time consuming (rising yeast? I ain’t got time for that!), so I hit up Amazon and guess what I found? Yup! They sell Café du Monde beignet mix! I ended up buying a set that also contained a canister of their coffee for just under $15. While today’s post isn’t per se a recipe, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the mix and what’s involved to make your own beignets at home!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups of Café du Monde beignet mix (I purchased mine from Amazon, but friends have also remarked seeing it at World Market)
- 7 oz of water
- Oil, enough for 1-2″ of depth in a skillet (I just used vegetable)
- Powdered sugar
Start by prepping your dough mix.
I thought it was pretty specific that the package called for 7 oz of water, and figured there was probably a good reason for that. I ended up using a cocktail cup that had ounces out to measure the 7 ounces.
From there, mix the water until you have a dough ball.
The package says to flour your surface liberally and there’s good reason for that. The dough is very sticky! I found I had to flour and re-flour my rolling pin to prevent it from sticking! Roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thickness.
Next, you are going to make small squares. The box says this recipe makes about 2 dozen, so you can imagine the smile on my face when I realized I just so happened to have created 24 small squares! So very satisfying.
Heat your oil. The box says it needs to come to 370° and that an electric skillet is best. I don’t have an electric skillet, so I just used a thermometer. I actually did look for a skillet like this on the day I assembled my recipe and was unable to find one at two different stores I visited. However, Amazon sells a number of electric skillets if you’re thinking you might be making a lot of beignets (at the time of my posting, I saw several options priced around $25). Once your oil is hot, drop in your beignets and flip, flip, flip for several seconds. They will puff up and you quickly remove them. I’d say it took about 10 seconds per beignet. My husband helped me with this process and we found that about 1-2 beignets was fine at a time. Much more than that, and you risk lowering the temperature of your oil.
I had a large baking sheet covered with paper towels ready. As each beignet was finished, I’d set it on the paper towels to drain.
It probably took only 5 or so minutes to fry them all up! While you could certainly do this by yourself, it was helpful to do it as a team (one person picking up the dough and dropping it in the oil, the other flipping and removing it from the oil). While the beignets are still hot, dust them with powdered sugar.
One thing we remember from our trip to Café du Monde is that the beignets weren’t lightly dusted with powdered sugar, they were doused! I made sure to sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle the powdered sugar on several times for the full effect!
To enjoy, I made sure to make a cup of that delicious chicory coffee, too!
How were these? AMAZING! I don’t care to admit how many I ate in one sitting (but it was more than one!). I am so, so happy to have found a solution to our beignet craving. My daughter is too! She thought they were fantastic and they reminded her a lot of New Orleans!
I think these would be a fun, different breakfast to make for your family or maybe a Mardi Gras treat. As someone that hadn’t made these before, I thought the package directions were clear and easy to follow. My kitchen was a mess of flour and powdered sugar and oil afterwards, but the result was well worth it. If you’ve like to serve up some beignets, make sure to snag a box (or two!) from Amazon.
Have you been to Café du Monde before? I’d love to hear about it!