New Orleans Beignets with Chicory Coffee
When “Creole” or “New Orleans” cuisine comes up in conversation, usually a discussion will list some of NOLA’s favorites; Jambalaya, Gumbo, Po-Boys, blackened fish, Cajun spices, and beignets. These little coffee accompaniments somehow tie the culture and lifestyle of New Orleans all into one deliciously sweet flavor parcel-- except you would never eat just one. Let me paint you a picture of a summer’s morning in New Orleans.

The warm golden sunlight peeks through the blue shutters across your window and gently reminds you that the day has begun. Once awake you take a walk out onto your balcony which is decorated with wrought iron and brightly colored flowering hanging baskets. The blue shutters contrast beautifully with the bright yellow paint of the hotel. In fact, the whole street is a multicolored wonderland of brightly colored shutters, flowers, and houses. It rained the night before and the narrow rue is covered with small puddles of water which reflect a bright blue sky and white fluffy clouds. The aroma of roasted chicory wafts in the breeze toward you and lures you to the coffee shop across the street. You walk up an outdoor brick stairwell and seat yourself right on the balconies edge. The rain from the previous night has pooled on the palm fronds below you, slowly dripping onto the floor, catching the light as it does, turning the patio becomes a glittering oasis. The jazz band has taken their seat under the awnings and the musicians’ brass instruments gleam in the sunlight. They begin to play and the street is filled with a glorious melody. You place your order with the waitress -- French pressed coffee and a plate of delicious sugary beignets.
You will need.

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 4-1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Powdered sugar
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in luke-warm water.
Add milk, oil, sugar, egg and 2 cups of the flour.
Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (the dough will be sticky). Do not knead.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for at least 2 hours.
Punch the dough down and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll into a rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick and cut into 2-inch squares.
In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 350°. Fry the squares until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and roll in powdered sugar.


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