One year ago today, I married the love of my life!
January); I won't go on forever. But we had a wonderful wedding and have continued to have a wonderful first year of matrimony!
If you remember, we went to New Orleans for our honeymoon. I loved it there, and we found it very easy to be vegan. but walking past all the cafes that advertised fresh-cooked beignets--Café du Monde in particular, which is famous for its beignets-left me feeling a little sorry for myself. I knew I would love beignets: they are a cross between doughnuts and fried dough, Almost as soon as we got home, I started looking for a recipe version to veganize. I am happy to present to you my findings: delicious vegan beignets, perfect to serve to your loved ones (or just to your face, that's totally acceptable as well).
Beignets are deep-fried sweet bread, so obviously they're a sometimes food in terms of health, but also because they are a bit labor-intensive. However, I assure you that they are ENTIRELY worth the effort. This recipe makes about two dozen, but you can easily double or triple it. They're best fresh, but if you don't get to them right away, store in an air tight container and heat in a toaster oven or oven just until warmed through, and they'll be just as tasty as when you first made them.
Vegan Beignets (adapted from Paula Deen's recipe)
1/2 Cup water
2.5 Tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp yeast
2 tsp flaxmeal
2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 Cup nondairy milk of your choice
2 1/3 Cups flour
1 1/3 Tbsp shortening at room temperature (I use Spectrum)
oil (for deep frying)
~1 Cup powdered sugar
Stir together the first three ingredients (water, yeast, sugar) and let sit for a little while (~5 minutes) to proof. (Ideally, that's the amount of time it takes to foam slightly.)
In a large bowl, mix together the flaxmeal, water, salt, and nondairy milk until everything's all well combined. Mix in the yeast mixture, then add half the flour and stir to make a wet dough. Add the shortening, and stir to make sure it's all mixed in before adding the rest of the flour.
Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, until it is consistent throughout and you're tired of kneading. If it starts sticking to everything while kneading, sprinkle on a little flour to stop it. Shape it into a ball, then it put it in a lightly-oiled bowl. Cover with a paper towel, let rise for two hours or until doubled in size.
After it's doubled in size, heat up your oil for deep-frying! If you have a thermometer, you want to get the oil up to 350 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer, heat it up, then toss in tiny scraps of dough to test: you want it hot enough that dough pieces bubble like crazy right away. This is also a good time to line a cookie sheet with paper towels, because you're going to need it later and things move quickly from here.
Now, roll out your dough into a big circle, no more than half an inch thick. If you're like me and have lots of trouble with rolling pins, you can also just squish the dough into place. Use a knife to cut it into little squares, about a square inch and half. When your oil is hot enough, drop in the dough squares, piece by piece, until your pot is full but not overcrowded. You want enough room in there that they don't have to touch while cooking. They should start turning golden brown after only a minute or so; you want to flip them around every 10 seconds or so to get them evenly fried. Once they're a beautiful golden brown color, fish them out with a slotted spoon and plop them on your paper-towel-lined cookie sheet.
Repeat in batches as necessary until they're all done, then sift powdered sugar over top of all of them. Serve immediately, because they're so so so delicious warm, with a side of jam for people to dip them into or spoon onto them.
Enjoy the beignets! And here's to many more years of being happily married vegans ^_^