It may be time for a confession, I have never tasted a beignet. I'm a firm believer in that if a certain food is regional then that's where your first taste should be, so that would be New Orleans for beignets.
Booo for me, I haven't experienced NOLA yet but it sure is on my bucket list. The flavors of the south excite me and a recent trip to Nashville provided me with the bestfried chicken on earth, for reals! The beignet was introduced by the french and some say they're just like *gasp* doughnuts, though I have to disagree on this. The beignet is way more lighter and puffierthan a doughnut which tends to be more dense. I loved how easy this yeasted dough was to work with, it's a soft one so you have to work quickly and have extra flour on hand to prevent it sticking to your hands and the table.
The dough reminds me of a brioche dough, soft and wet with an eggy shine to it. Icould'vejust made plain beignets but since thanksgiving is so close, I decided to add some pumpkin pie spice and I love how they turned out. Powdered sugar is the traditional way to dress them up and don't skimp, In fact if you look at the ones served at the famous Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, they serve their beignets with a mountain-sized heap of powdered sugar. Serve them warm from the fryer with some really good coffee and you have one of my favorite breakfasts. I'll definitely be making these again!
Recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious.com (David Guas and Raquel Pelzel)