Looking for a more sophisticated frying experience this Chanukah? One word: Beignets. The doughnut-like fritter is one of the most beloved culinary treats to come out of New Orleans. Sweet yeast dough is fried to crispy perfection and topped with cinnamon sugar.
Yields 24 beignets
In a small saucepan, warm the milk (to no more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit). Add yeast. Let it sit and bubble for five to six minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine cooled butter, eggs, salt, and milk mixture. Add two cups of flour at a time. The dough will be very sticky.
Grease a bowl and transfer dough to the bowl. Let rise in a warm place for 45 to 60 minutes. Roll out dough and cut two-inch circles from it using a small, deep cookie cutter. Cover circles with a clean kitchen towel and let rise an additional 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a deep-fryer or saucepan to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Add beignets.
While beignets are frying, combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Drain beignets on a paper towel, then roll in cinnamon–sugar mixture.
When ready to serve, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream or non-dairy whipped topping with 1/2 (or up to one) cup confectioner’s sugar. Serve alongside beignets and drizzle with chocolate sauce and white chocolate shavings.
To plate this dish, I spooned dollops of whipped cream in a row on the plate and topped each dollop with a beignet. Then I used a squeeze bottle to dot the plate with chocolate sauce (you can make your own or use store-bought). Finally, I shaved white chocolate over the entire dish.
Photos by Dan Engongoro