Monday, May 13, 2013

Beignets & Funnel Cakes

I flipped through the Bible, looking for a fun breakfast idea.  Regular donuts take 3-4 hours.  If they kept overnight, I wouldn't mind.  Then the beignet recipe said it takes only 45 minutes, so I read on.

They're just cream puffs that you fry instead of bake!  Reading further, I quickly realized that, if you pipe the dough into the oil instead of drop it, you get kind of a funnel cake.  Even better.  Just decide if you want to be all French-fancy or backyard bbq.  Same dough.  (The funnel cakes you get at the fair are more like waffle batter so that it flows through a funnel.  This is just a thicker version.)

My piped cakes turned out right, but the beignets were a bit doughy in the middle.  Either I made them too big or the oil was too hot.  Or both.  Maybe, smaller is better for this recipe.

1/2 C water
1/4 C butter
1/2 C flour
dash salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
Oil for frying

1.  In a small saucepan, bring water, salt, sugar, and butter to a boil.  Remove from heat and dump in flour all at once.  Stir quickly with a wooden spoon to make a paste.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating mixture until smooth.  Stir in vanilla.

2.  Heat at least 1/2" of oil in a small skillet or a deep fryer to 375º.  For beignets, drop spoonfuls into oil, turning once when bottom is well browned.  Make sure you give them a bit of room, because they will puff up a bit.  For funnel cakes,  Pipe a stream in curly patterns into the oil and fry until bottom is golden.  Turn and brown other side.

3.  For both kinds of cakes, remove cooked pieces to a paper towel-lined plate and dust with powdered sugar.  Serve immediately.

Difficulty rating  :)

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