The Louisiana tradition of beignets, the light and puffy fried-dough treats doused in powdered sugar, stretches back more than 200 years to the early days of New Orleans.
Thought to be first introduced to the Crescent City by French-speaking immigrants in the 1700s, these square, crispy and chewy donuts truly became a phenomenon after they turned up in the city’s French Market coffee stands in the early 1900s. They remain a beloved treat to this day, enjoyed by the thousands daily in French Quarter cafes or among the oak trees in historic New Orleans City Park, often with a strong cup of coffee.
That rich and enduring tradition inspired Community Coffee to create our Sugar Dusted Beignet blend. Made with 100 percent select Arabica coffee beans, this unique French-dough-flavored coffee is lightly dusted with powdered sugar for a delightful finish. For a more traditional combination with your beignets, consider our Coffee and Chicory blend. Our version of this Southern favorite combines rich, roasted coffee beans with high-quality chicory for a bolder, sweeter flavor than coffee alone. We recommend trying it café-au-lait-style with steamed milk for a time-honored New Orleans-inspired flavor.
While New Orleans was the launching pad for the beignet tradition, the fried treats — which are now the official state doughnut of Louisiana — have spread far beyond the banks of the lower Mississippi. They also come in a range of shapes, sizes and flavors.
At the charming Berrytown Corner Cafe in historic downtown Ponchatoula, Louisiana, the beignets are served bite-sized and stuffed with a variety of sweet surprises, from strawberry to white chocolate to real whipped cream.
Their beignet bites come in servings of eight and are often paired with Community® Coffee and Chicory blend, says Berrytown owner Kathy Gueydan. They are among the eatery’s most popular items.
“People eat them for breakfast, they eat them for lunch, they eat them as snacks,” Gueydan says. “They eat them with powdered sugar, without powdered sugar, with whipped cream. They are a great treat.”
They’re also surprisingly easy to make at home. The key ingredient — other than large quantities of powdered sugar — is patience, particularly during the resting time recommended before cutting the dough into pieces and dropping them into the hot oil.
So brew a cup of your favorite coffee, procure the largest bag of powdered sugar you can find and help continue a tasty tradition that has been part of Louisiana for more than two centuries. Just don’t forget to dust yourself off afterward.
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let set for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, eggs, milk and butter. Blend well. Mix in 4 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Add up to 3 cups of flour to make a pliable, tender dough. Cover and chill for 2-24 hours.
Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2 inch squares. Fry in 360 degree F (180 degrees C) hot oil until golden. Drain onto paper towels. Shake confectioners' sugar on beignets. Serve warm.