I just spent the weekend in Palm Springs saying ‘peace out’ to my friend Whitney’s singleness. It was definitely a 30-something-year-old bachelorette party because by 11pm on Friday night all of us were in our pjs and in bed. Lol.
And then the next morning everyone got up at 7am to workout and do yoga. But I wasn’t mad AT ALL because it was super chill and relaxing and ridiculously enjoyable.
This recipe comes from my friend Joy’s (the Baker) new book, OVER EASY. It is a full encompassing brunch book. You really don’t need another. The recipes are creative and fun and so delicious-looking. And, of course, Joy’s familiar, friendly voice opens up each and every recipe.
The background of the book is Joy’s newly adopted city, New Orleans. I’ve been itching to go to New Orleans. I wanna go and eat all the beignets covered in mounds of powdered sugar and (hopefully) see Solange walking down the street looking angelic as she always seems to do.
So, it was no surprise that out of all the recipes in the book, Joy’s overnight beignets were calling my name!
I think the best part about this recipe—besides the taste—is the overnight part. It’s v v important because it makes the recipe totally easy and doable and not a gigantic drag, which frying and doughs can sometimes feel like.
I started it in the afternoon and then the next morning I was only, like, two steps away from pillowy, delicious fluffy beignets.
Also a bonus: these have brown butter in them and we all know that brown butter makes every single thing better.
I threw in the strawberry powdered sugar because I LOVE making flavored sugars. I turned to Billy and was like WHUT IF WE MADE STRAWBERRY POWDERED SUGAR.
The beignets were fluffy clouds of fried, delicious dough and the strawberry powdered sugar made it taste like spring.
- 2 cups freeze-dried strawberries
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons warm water (99 degrees F to 105 degrees F)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup plus a pinch of granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup plus a pinch of granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup warm browned butter
- 1 cup whole milk, warmed slightly
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 1/2 cups to 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1 cup powdered sugar (for dusting the baking sheet)
- To a food processor or high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix), add the freeze-dried strawberries and powdered sugar. Pulse until powdery, about 1 minute.
- In the bowl of a stand-up mixer, whisk together the water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar. Let it rest for 5 minutes, until foamy. Add the browned butter, the warmed milk, 1/4 cup sugar, and egg.
- Add 2 cups of flour, the salt, and baking powder. Beat on low speed, adding more flour (up to 1 1/2 to 2 cups more) until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, sprinkle with a bit more flour, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before placing in the refrigerator overnight.
- In the morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Punch down the dough and dump it onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a roughly 16 x 12-inch rectangle and, using a pizza cutter, cut it into 2-inch squares. Cover lightly with plastic wrap.
- In a medium saucepan fitted with a deep-fry thermometer and set over medium heat, heat about 2 inches of oil to 375 degrees F.
- Spread a generous amount of powdered sugar (not the strawberry kind, we'll use that later!). Working in batches of about four, gently lower the beignets into the hot oil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes total, until golden brown on each side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them directly to the powdered sugar and then dust them with the strawberry powdered sugar immediately. Let the oil return to 375 degrees before each batch and repeat with the remaining beignets. Serve immediately.