No need to go to Cafe Dumonde to get your beignets on-the recipe is simple & can be tailored to taste-more/less powdered sugar,filling/ no filling, etc. Traditional beignets use all purpose flour & no vanilla extract. I tweaked that because the gluten in the bread flour gives the pillows a little extra 'umpph' & the vanilla gives the recipe that little extra something. For those of you who want to be a little more healthy, you can switch out the shortening for butter & also bake instead of fry, but the taste/texture will be different. Hope u enjoy!
Mix water, granulated sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Set aside and let sit for 10 mins.
In seperate bowl - beat the eggs, vanilla, evaporated milk and salt together.
Stir egg mixture into yeast mixture.
Add 3 cups of the flour to yeast mix and stir to combine.
Add shortening and continue to stir as you add the remaining flour.
Move dough to lightly floured surface or use food processor/Kitchenaid feature and knead til smooth.
Spray large bowl with cooking spray, place dough in it and cover with warm, damp cloth. Let dough rise in a warm place for 2 hrs.
On a floured surface, punch out dough and knead a couple of times - then roll out into 1/4" thickness. Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into strips and then into 2" squares.
Heat oil in deep fryer or a deep pot to 350 degrees. (Its very important that the oil is hot enough and deep enough or the inside of the beignet will be doughy and uncooked) Fry til golden, turning over the squares so they are fried evenly.
Put confectioners sugar in a brown paper sack. As the beignets come out of the oil, drain them slightly on a paper towel, then tranfer to the confectioners sugar and shake to coat.