There’s nothing like a real, homemade doughnut for Valentine’s Day. Jelly Modern Doughnuts cranks them out by the pink-ribboned boxful, decorated with candy hearts, strawberries, chocolate, and Xs and Os. If you don’t live close by – and you’d have to be Canadian to – you can make your own beignets, dip them in chocolate and add your own kisses and hugs. If you’ve never experienced a warm, freshly made doughnut, it’s well worth the calories, and a great way to say good morning to your sweeties on Valentine’s Day.
A beignet is a New Orleans-style doughnut, typically square, without a hole. Cut them into squares or rounds, or even hearts, just don’t make them too large, or they may not cook all the way through. 2-3 inches maximum.
XO Chocolate Beignets
Adapted from Allrecipes
1/2 cup water
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 pkg)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup boiling water
1 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
7 cups flour, plus extra as needed
vegetable oil, for frying
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, or chocolate glaze
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar (plus extra for dusting hearts)
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup milk
In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over 1/2 cup lukewarm water and let stand for about 5 minutes to dissolve. If it doesn’t get foamy, toss it and buy some fresh yeast.
In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sugar and salt. Pour the boiling water over the butter mixture and stir in the milk. Wait for the mixture to cool to lukewarm, then add the yeast mixture and eggs. Stir in half the flour, mixing well, and then add more flour until you have a soft, sticky dough. On a floured surface, knead until it’s smooth and elastic, ensuring it’s still a little tacky. Cover with a tea towel and let stand for an hour.
Roll or pat the dough out 1/2″ thick and cut into squares with a knife, or rounds with a biscuit cutter. In a deep, wide pot, heat a couple inches of oil over medium heat until it’s hot but not smoking.
Slide each piece of dough slowly into the oil and cook until puffed and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined sheet using a slotted spoon. Toss with confectioners’ sugar while still warm, or let cool, mix together the glaze ingredients until smooth, and dip the tops in glaze. If you like, draw Xs and Os on the surface with melted white chocolate or buttercream frosting in a contrasting color.
Makes about 2 dozen beignets.