Not long after that, Tim says to me, "I was flipping through that Rachael Ray Magazine and I saw something that you should make!" And so, we decided to give it a try for Christmas morning. Because, you know, I didn't have enough going on that day and I might as well get up super early to make the dough, let it rise, heat up the oil and on and on and on. Unfortunately, for all the work, they were kind of...meh. Actually, let's be honest. They were really Meh. Light and flakey they were not. Nor were they sweet. The instant coffee did NOTHING for the flavor, other than make them extremely bitter, and being the type to follow a recipe EXACTLY the first time I make something, there was just not enough powdered sugar to lend any sweetness at all. They were big and bitter.
I was a little put off.
Now here we are, two months later, and it's still with me. I can't try something in the kitchen, have it fail (or even have it be "not good enough") and just leave it. A quick search of the Food Network website revealed something that should have occurred to me from the start: If you want a good recipe for southern cooking, perhaps you should start with a southerner. Genius! Enter this recipe from Paula Deen.
OH. YOU. GUYS.
They are so yummy. So easy. So not bitter. I used a little heart shaped cookie cutter (we made them on Valentine's Day) instead of cutting them into squares, and they were just so cute. We plopped them in paper bags! We shook them up! And they came out like little powdered puffy hearts of cuteness and deliciousness. Make them for a brunch. Make them for dessert. Or, heck, make them for dinner like we did! The only recommendation I would offer is to halve the recipe if you're not cooking for a big crowd. This makes A LOT of beignets. I gave half of the leftovers to my in-laws and I still have a huge ball of dough in the fridge, so you know what that means! Beignet Dinner Number Two coming soon! This time I think we'll do some in powdered sugar and some in cinnamon sugar. Dip them in some jam or berry syrup and you have the most delicious, home-made jelly donut.