I tried my hand at making beignets for the first time on Saturday morning. The one and only time I’ve ever tried beignets was at Disneyland, nearly 15 years ago, and from that one taste, I was hooked.
As with pretty much anything else in my life, I glanced at the recipe and jumped in with both feet, hoping for the best. It’s not like the instructions were real challenging, so I gave myself a 75% shot at coming out with at least a few “winners” from the batch.
The original recipe, taken right from the Café Du Monde box of beignet mix, lists 4 steps. Mix. Roll. Cut. Fry.
Easy peasy mac and cheesy, as my 5 year old would say.
So I Mixed. The next step said to Roll the dough to 1/8-inch with a “liberal” amount of flour. Now, numbers are sooooo not my thing. Never have been and at this age, I’m pretty doubtful that they ever will be. So when something calls for 1/8-inch, it’s pretty much a guessing game for someone as “numbers-challenged” as myself. Before I even started, I decided to half the recipe, since this was my first time making these delectable beauties and in case I ruined the whole batch, then I would still have some mix left over to try again. Now, back to the Mixing step.
I Mixed and the dough was extremely sticky, hence, the call for all that flour. Not to worry, the flour did its job and the dough became workable fairly quickly. I Rolled it to what my eyeball said was 1/8 of an inch. Next step was to Cut into 2 1/4 inch squares. Hmmm, there’s those darn fractions again! Again, totally eyeballing and measuring with the width of my finger, I cut those seriously flat squares, while the oil was heating in my fry pan.
The last step was to Fry, but more specifically, the wording said to “baste” the beignets on both sides until they were golden and puffed up. Mmmm….I was practically salivating when I dropped my first batch into the pan. Yep, they popped up soon enough, so I basted them with a brush…I mean, that’s what basting is, right? Making sure the oil is getting to both sides?
I immediately realized I had cut them too small since they weren’t enlarging to what I was remembering them to be. And they weren’t really “puffed” up either. The first batch came out looking more like fried wonton strips than a pastry of any kind. I went back to the cutting board, re-rolled the dough so it was a bit thicker and then cut the pieces bigger. The second batch looked better but still, not very puffy. My hopes were diminishing and since I halved the recipe, I wasn’t going to get many more practice shots.
It wasn’t until I was nearly done with the third batch frying that I realized my biggest mistake. Instead of using a word like basting, they should have used the word flip. Because that’s what needed to happen. I should have been constantly flipping them in the hot oil until they were puffed and golden brown.
They were edible, at least to most of the fam. D ate them up like they were yummy donuts. Hubs tried two and had enough, asking if I had checked online for any tips before making them. My response: Nope! Jumping in with both feet, remember? That’s who you married!
L just licked off the powdered sugar, leaving the naked beignets to whomever might be passing by for a snack. I had a few but decided I hadn’t really cooked them long enough and I just couldn’t get past how much they were NOT like what I was hoping for.
I did end up with ONE beignet that at least looked half-way what I was wanting.
Onward and upward!
Now that I’m on Pinterest (have mercy), there’s a whole slew of recipes that are incredibly easy to try, jumping in with both feet, of course!
And that’s what I did for this morning’s breakfast. Again, easy steps, easy ingredients, easy peasy mac and cheesy.
The buttermilk-blueberry breakfast cake is really just a big blueberry muffin that can be eaten like a slice of cake. The only change I made to the recipe was using thawed frozen blueberries since they were half the price of fresh berries.
I was slightly worried when I put it in the oven because it was a big purple mess. It wasn’t until I was folding the blueberries into the cake mix (which was no easy feat, mind you,) that I realized I should have rinsed the thawed berries and dried them on a towel before dousing them with flour and adding them to the mix. The end result would probably have looked more like the delicious photos on the recipe site instead of my “Barney version” of breakfast cake!
This picture is well after the fact because it all just looked so plain when it came out of the oven; but let me remind you that looks can be very deceiving. And while I thought for certain I had used far too many berries and that the yummy cake portion would be drowned out from all those berries (not to mention I thought it would remain purple), I was WRONG.
This is an absolutely delicious and easy breakfast.
My fave part of this yumminess was the light lemon flavor mixed with the crystallized sugar. Hubs’ favorite was all those blueberries. Next time I make this, I will be doubling it so there are plenty of squares left over for breakfasts during the week!
So while I may not be a whiz with numbers, I’ll always be a cheerleader to try something new, with both feet in of course!