Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Beignets

I recently went on a road trip to Detroit and met some kindred spirits. We some how decided to make Beignets after talking about a trip to New Orleans. Beignets, a traditional French pastry, most notably identified with New Orleans are essentially a fancy doughnut that can be topped with confectioneries sugar or stuffed with savory meats. I decided to take some liberties with the traditional form of beignets and rolled my beignets into orbs instead of the rectangle shape, feel free to play around. This recipe requires some prep time to allow the dough to form, but if you don't feel like waiting around, most speciality food stores sell pre made beignet mix that only requires water and no rising time. I hope you enjoy these fried treats as much as we did!

Cinnamon Sugar Dusted Beignets

makes about 3 dozen

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 envelope active dry yeast

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 cup evaporated milk

7 cups bread flour

1/4 cup shortening

Mix together water, sugar, and yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl beat together eggs salt, evaporated milk, 1/2 of cinnamon, and orange zest. Add to yeast mixture. Add 3 cups bread flour to yeast mixture. Add shortening to mixture and remaining bread flour. On a floured surface roll out dough until smooth. Transfer dough to bowl and allow to sit covered for 2 hours. 

Heat oil for frying until 350 degrees. In a bowl add a cup of sugar and remaining cinnamon. Set aside. Next to your fryer, have a plate ready covered with a paper bag. Shape dough into desired shapes and fry until golden brown. Transfer beignet to paper covered plate and allow to cool. Once cool, dip beignet into cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve with preserves. Enjoy!