Today used to be one of my favorite days of the year. I won’t bore you with the story as it has already been told here, but suffice to say it still would be one of my favorite days of the year if I wasn’t currently saving my weekly caloric intake for beer now instead of pastry delights.
Oh how I wish I had the metabolism of 9 year old Heather. Actually I might still have it if I ran around in circles the way I used to back then.
Beer. It makes you want to sit, sip and enjoy. And it has become my (our) favorite sport.
But I digress, today is Fat Tuesday and I love everything about it. Even tho I do not give up anything for lent, a day when you are encouraged to over indulge is definitely a day for me.
Last year Jeff took me to NOLA and in between the ghost tours, cemetery trips, live music, swamp boat rides and walking 25 miles a day we ate and ate and drank and ate and drank some more. And for breakfast my favorite delight was the (few hundred or so odd) beignet and café au lait from Cafe Du Monde.
Every culture has their version of the pre-lent treat. My favorite will always be the Paczki, but the beignet now holds a special place in my heart. Mostly because I left some of my heart in NOLA.
This is an easy but time consuming recipe for my favorite NOLA treat. This time I went and Kicked it up a notch (small nod to one of our favs Emeril Lagassee) with a farmhouse ale, which thanks to the overnight stint in the fridge, really shines through these farmhouse ale beer beignets.
Farmhouse Ale Beer Beignets
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm farm house beer (we used Tank 7 by Boulevard)
1 Tablespoon + 1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
oil for deep frying
confectioners’ (powdered) sugar for dusting
In a large bowl or the bowl of your mixer, add the yeast, 1 T white sugar and the warm beer and stir until thoroughly dissolved.Let sit for 10-15 minutes to proof.
Add the hook attachment to your mixer (if you have one. I hope you have one. If not get those hands working!) Now add the rest of the sugar, salt, the egg and the buttermilk. (Evaporated milk would work here too. I just got finished making butter so I wanted to use up the left over buttermilk.)
Add the nutmeg to the flour and slowly add half the flour mixture and mix till smooth and thoroughly blended.
Kick up the mixer to medium and add in the coconut oil. Once the coconut oil is beat in, add the rest of the flour slowly till you have an elastic warm dough.
Add to a well greased bowl, toss around to make sure the dough is oiled as well, cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day remove the dough from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
Roll out the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to a thickness of 1/4 inch, then cut it into squares, rectangles, trapezoids, whatever your heart desires. Oooh hearts too!!
Heat the oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 360 degrees F.
Fry in small batches so that they do not over-crowd each other until they are puffy and golden brown on both sides. Maybe 2 or 3 minutes. Flip them once or twice while frying to make sure they are evenly golden.
Drain on a rack lined with paper towels.
Keep warm till ready to serve in a 200° oven.
Sprinkle (or drown) in powdered sugar and serve warm.