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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oven-Baked Beignets with Cafe au Lait Dip

Good evenin', y'all! I wanted to share my not-so-N'awlin's style beignets with you just in time for Fat Tuesday! These aren't traditional beignets because these are oven-baked instead of deep-fried. (I wanted to find a healthier alternative). The recipe is from Good Housekeeping, and it is delicious!

  • 1/4 c warm water (105-110 degrees)
  • 1 packet quick rising yeast
  •  1/4c sugar
  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp cold butter, cut up
  • 3/4 c low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 c confectioner's sugar
Cafe au Lait Dip
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 c whole milk
  • 1 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
Place warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle with yeast and 1 tsp sugar (take the teaspoon out of the 1/4 cup).
Stir and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and remaining sugar.
With a pastry blender (or two knives, since I didn't have a fancy-pants pastry blender), cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the mixture looks like crumbs. With a fork, stir in the egg and the buttermilk into the yeast mixture and blend well.
Make a well in the flour mixture, pour the yeast mixture into the well, and mix until a soft dough forms.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough lightly a few times until the dough is smooth. Spray the same bowl with pan spray, place the dough in the bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Spray two large cookie sheets with pan spray. Punch down the dough. On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 9x9 square-ish shape.
With a chef knife dipped in flour, cut 36 squares (about 1 1/2" wide).
Transfer the beignets to the baking sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart. Spray sheets of plastic wrap and cover the beignets, sprayed side down. Let rise for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, time to make the dipping sauce! In a saucepan, whisk together the espresso powder, sugar, and corn starch.
The corn starch was kicking up some dust
Then whisk in the milk and heat over medium heat for 8 minutes or until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.

Mmmm like coffee-flavored gravy
Meanwhile, I chopped up my chocolate...
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes, whisking. Then remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Whisk until blended.
This sauce thickened into an amazing coffee-chocolate pudding-y pot of magic. So good!
Preheat the oven to 400. Place the sheets in the oven (unwrapped, of course) and bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
While the beignets are hot, toss them in powdered sugar.
Serve these warm with the warm dip!
These turned out amazing! Unfortunately, my Betrothed has returned to school, so I am going to try to freeze them and the dip so he can enjoy them this weekend.

Have a safe and fun Mardi Gras, everyone! Laissez les bons temps roule!

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