Then it doesn’t happen. Time and time again. For reals. I really am embarrassed about it!
I actually went through my pictures early this morning in an effort to find the lovely pictures of my favorite, super easy and much-quicker-than-you-think to make Fresh Homemade Beignets. The pictures that I took literally MONTHS ago.
I’ve made them many times before and since and still never gotten this basic recipe posted. It’s time to stop the black hole of not getting things posted. It has gone far beyond the ridiculous. (Certifiable really. Just on the laptop alone (and not including files on the desktop I was using before this) I have WELL OVER 100+ recipes waiting in the wings, photographed, just waiting for editing and sadly in many cases to find my notes.)
My name is Holly and I can’t seem to be organized to save my life.
I guess this is actually a good thing. I have plenty of things to post and just need to do so! Yippee!
It also means I should probably just keep the words to a minimum sometimes and get some of those recipes out into the universe.
What a way to kick things off!
This is HANDS-DOWN my favorite breakfast. Well, except in the winter when I switch the frozen out for hot Hot Chocolate. More on that soon! (I have THREE versions of my *famous* Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate recipe (made famous via Nikki’s blog, Seeded at the Table, and Mom It Forward) including a tutorial. I WILL get that post done!
The Frozen Hot Chocolate recipe is my riff on the ‘original’ from Serendipity in NYC, which was shared years ago on Epicurious. While the recipe hasn’t received rave reviews all the time, I think it may have more to do with the actual written recipe vs the real thing in their shop. That’s my theory anyway. The recipe itself is a bit tough to understand at first glance and the ingredients list may leave some people in the dark about what to use.
Here is my take on it. I’m a bit more specific about the ingredients and have simplified the list a bit as well as changed the directions to how I like to make it. It’s somewhere between a milkshake/smoothie texture that is thinner like a daiquiri as described in their recipe. If you want it thicker, you could use less milk, but I actually prefer the very drinkable texture (much like the Licuado de Banana con Leche I posted previously that I also love for breakfast, snack, whenever).
As for the Beignets… dare I say, they are perfect?
I do actually. They cook up perfectly every time and while I’ve substituted a couple of the ingredients here and there, the recipe below is my favorite. The original recipe comes from a now-gone favorite New Orleans restaurant. (Thank goodness that Chef Greg Sonnier shared this recipe!) My ONLY changes are because I am to lazy to remember to keep peanut oil and evaporated milk in my pantry. I’ve made them that way and they are wonderful (and actually ARE slightly lighter), but they are just as heavenly when I’ve used canola to fry in and used whole milk or half-and-half.
We make these babies. ALL. THE. TIME. Do you know how? There is NO rising time.
Let me repeat that. NO RISING TIME. These still get light and yeasty with no waiting. None. You can have fresh, homemade Beignets in as long as it takes you to heat the oil and stir the ingredients together.
As my boys would say… MIND. BLOWN.
So what are you waiting for? Let the good times roll!
Frozen Hot Chocolate
Adapted from Sweet Serendipity via Epicurious
by Holly at pheMOMenon.com
Recipe Note: Your chocolatey concoction will taste pretty much exactly like the bar of chocolate (or chocolates) that you use. Make sure they are high quality and something you like the taste of and not just some candy, unless that is the taste you want and are going for. While the vanilla and pinch of salt are optional, I recommend them because they just help enhance everything else. Depending on what you feel like, you can customize how rich you want your drink to be.
- 3.5 oz bar good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (I like Godiva’s 72% bar), finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon good quality hot cocoa mix (I like Dagoba’s Drinking Chocolate)
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups cold milk, divided (1/2 cup, then remainder as needed for texture – see below)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
- pinch of fine sea salt (optional)
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups ice cubes
- whipped cream and cocoa powder, shaved chocolate, or sprinkles for topping
- Place a small saucepan over medium heat with about an inch of water. Place a heatproof bowl slightly larger than the pan (so it doesn’t sink and touch the water) on top of the pan with the water just simmering to create a double boiler.
- Place the chopped chocolate, cocoa mix and sugar in the bowl. Stir gently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl carefully from the heat and whisk in 1/2 cup of the milk gently to help cool the mixture.
- Place the ice cubes, remaining milk (use less milk and ice cubes for a thicker drink), vanilla and sea salt in your blender container.
- Once the chocolate mixture is cooled to about room temperature add it to the blender and blend well until very smooth but not too thin.
- Serve immediately in a pretty goblet or glass with whipped cream, chocolate shaving, cocoa powder, sprinkles, etc. and a straw.
Makes 2 large servings or 4 small servings (about 4 cups of drink total)
Fresh Homemade Beignets
Adapted from Chef Greg Sonnier via Food Network
Recipe Notes: A deep fry/candy thermometer (preferably the kind that clips flat to the side of your pan) isn’t too expensive and is worth it whenever you are frying. Deep frying is technically a dry heat method. Anything that ends up being really greasy or burned is going to be because the temperature was off. Altitude can also affect the temperature you should use when frying so a couple different temperatures are included below. I’m at roughly 4,500 ft so use the high altitude measurement. If you are higher or lower, your temperature adjusts a bit accordingly – lower the temp the higher up you live and let the dough cook a bit slower.
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 package)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup whole milk or evaporated milk or half-and-half
- 1 large egg, beaten lightly
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out
- Peanut oil (preferred) or Canola oil, for frying (enough for the oil to be at least 2 inches deep in your heavy pot)
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
- Deep fry thermometer
- Baking sheet lined with paper towels
- Wire or other frying safe metal utensil for flipping and moving frying dough
- Place enough oil in a large, heavy pot to be at least 2 inches deep. Clip the deep fry thermometer onto the side of the pan. Turn the heat on to medium-high and heat to 370 degrees F (355 approximately for high altitude) – the oil will likely be ready about the same time your dough is rolled and cut out.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, dissolve the warm water and yeast.
- Add the milk, beaten egg, vanilla, melted butter, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Add the flour one cup at a time on low speed until combined and the dough starts to come together into a ball (it will still be a bit sticky).
- Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out about 1/8-inch thick (mine is usually just a bit thicker).
- Use a pastry roller (or pizza cutter) to cut the dough into squares approximately 2×2 inches (I usually end up with about 3 dozen). Irregular shapes from the edges don’t matter.
- Prepare a baking sheet lined with paper towels
- Once the oil has reached temperature turn the heat down a bit if necessary and try to maintain the right temperature of the oil. Remember not to overcrowd the pan as you are frying.
- Pick up a piece of cut dough and give it a slight stretch before carefully placing it in the hot oil. Repeat the process with two to three more pieces. Each side will brown quickly so flip the dough over to cook the other side after about 30 seconds. Keep an eye on the beignets (they can go from golden to burned FAST).
- Remove the golden, light fried beignets from the oil and place on the paper towels to ‘drain’ a bit.
- Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough until everything is fried.
- Sprinkle the beignets with powdered sugar and serve warm.
- Store in an airtight container and eat within about a day.
Makes approximately 3 dozen 2×2-inch squares