Cafe du Monde-style Sugared Beignets for the Neighbours

Beignets 1 Cafe du Monde style Sugared Beignets for the Neighbours

I’ve never been to New Orleans, but I hear they serve up a pretty fab doughnut.

Beignets 3 Cafe du Monde style Sugared Beignets for the Neighbours

Aside: I love mornings – even the regular weekday kind, when everyone is rushing about (or not) getting ready for work and school. Most mornings I wind up running out to the car in the snow in my PJs looking for someone’s backpack or mitts, and I always run into neighbours – walking dogs, heading to work – and a multitude of fashionably dressed media types walking or biking to the hip magazine offices at the end of our block. I joked that one morning I’d come out on the steps with a pan of warm cinnamon buns for everyone on their way to work. Only I wasn’t really joking.

Beignets Collage 2 Cafe du Monde style Sugared Beignets for the Neighbours

Because how cool would that be to be walking down the street and pass someone making fresh beignets on the sidewalk for you to have with your to-go coffee on a regular Wednesday morning?

Beignets 4 Cafe du Monde style Sugared Beignets for the Neighbours

And so when this rolling kitchen cart arrived by courier last week, my first thought was: extra storage! My second thought was: with a solid mini kitchen counter on wheels, I could do some fun things.

KitchenAid Collage Cafe du Monde style Sugared Beignets for the Neighbours

It’s got drawers and shelves and a solid wood top, and the wheels lift it high enough that it doesn’t hurt my back to work at. Hello summer porta-pie-station. (Want one? They’re available here.)

Beignet dough Cafe du Monde style Sugared Beignets for the Neighbours

And so this morning I got up early and made a batch of smooth yeast dough and let it rise. Then we wheeled the cart down the front steps, I pulled some napkins and paper popcorn boxes from the basement, and we made beignets on the front steps, dousing them in icing sugar as cyclists, dog walkers and commuters paused to wonder what was going on, then stop for a laugh and a few warm doughnuts. It was a Wednesday morning neighbourhood beignet pop-up. Next time I’ll add coffee.

cart Collage Cafe du Monde style Sugared Beignets for the Neighbours

Beignets, in case you’re unfamiliar, are doughnuts without holes, typically cut square and loaded with powdered sugar. They’re also typically plain; you could doll these up with cinnamon sugar or a sticky glaze, or fill them with jelly or Nutella. But the best way to eat a beignet – especially when making a batch this big (it takes the same amount of time to make a big batch of dough as to make a small one) – is to share them with as many people as you can find.

Beignets Collage Cafe du Monde style Sugared Beignets for the Neighbours

They’re perfect for a party – and if you don’t have a party, warm doughnuts will create one for you.

Cafe du Monde-style Sugared Beignets

1 1/2 cups warm water
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. (1 pkg.) active dry yeast
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. salt

canola oil, for frying
plenty of icing sugar

In a large bowl, stir together the water, a spoonful of the sugar and the yeast and let it sit for 10 minutes. If it’s not foamy, toss it and buy new yeast.

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla. Add to the yeast mixture along with 3 cups of the flour, the remaining sugar, the butter and salt and stir to combine. Gradually add another 4 cups of flour, stirring (or letting your dough hook do the work) until you have a sticky dough. If it’s not too sticky to knead, knead it on a floured surface or with the dough hook; if it’s still pretty sticky, add another 1/2 cup flour. Knead until it’s smooth and elastic, yet still tacky.

Put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rise for 1 1/2-2 hours.

When you’re ready to cook, heat a couple inches of oil in a deep-fryer or heavy saucepan until hot, but not smoking (about 350F).

Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thick and cut into 1-2 inch squares with a knife. Carefully drop a few at a time into the hot oil, without crowding it (cooking too many at a time will bring the temperature of the oil down) and cook until golden on both sides, carefully flipping with tongs as necessary. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool, then douse in powdered sugar.

Makes about 4 dozen beignets.

This post was generously sponsored by Canadian Tire, but the opinions and images are my own. For more information, visit the Canadian Tire Destination Home Guide.

pixel Cafe du Monde style Sugared Beignets for the Neighbours
button print gry20 Cafe du Monde style Sugared Beignets for the Neighbours

March 22 2013 10:52 am | bread and breakfast

56 Responses to “Cafe du Monde-style Sugared Beignets for the Neighbours”

  1. Voula Martin on 22 Mar 2013 at 10:59 am #

    What a fun idea! I love beignets! You are so awesome; I bet your neighbours think they live on the best street in the city! :)

  2. sue on 22 Mar 2013 at 11:00 am #

    wow what a wonderful day in your neighbourhood! Bet everyone loved, loved, loved, walking by, the smells, the taste, mmmm.

  3. Buddiegirl on 22 Mar 2013 at 11:03 am #

    Why don’t you live in my neighbourhood?? Those beignets look delicious and you look so cute out there in your winter jacket.

    Love the rolling cart. I know you will find lots of uses for it.

  4. Fareen on 22 Mar 2013 at 11:05 am #

    My fabulous neighbours are moving away. Can you come be my neighbour? Those look amazing!

  5. Jill on 22 Mar 2013 at 11:08 am #

    I wish I was your neighbour Julie! not just for the beignets….but, hey, even better. What a great way to start the day!

  6. Amy B on 22 Mar 2013 at 11:22 am #

    Ha! Oh, Julie, that cart and YOU are awesome! I love it!!

  7. Susannah on 22 Mar 2013 at 11:24 am #

    Love it! So wish I lived near you!!!

  8. merry120 on 22 Mar 2013 at 11:50 am #

    Call a neighbor, would ya?

  9. Jessica on 22 Mar 2013 at 11:51 am #

    I cannot NOT leave a comment on this post. My home is New Orleans, and I love the city dearly. And I think it’s great that you did this – another shining example of how food brings people together. Maybe next time you can stream WWOZ.org online (local New Orleans radio station) with the beignets and coffee, ‘cuz it would be the traditional jazz show playing around that time, and you would feel just like you were sitting in The Quarter across from Jackson Square – minus the snow. Bravo, Julie!
    PS. This is the Jessica that used to live in Red Deer, then Brazil, and we’ve now moved to Michigan. :o)

  10. Angela on 22 Mar 2013 at 12:11 pm #

    What a wonderful and generous idea. Got me thinking.

  11. Nicole Boyhouse on 22 Mar 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    I’m a Brentwood girl, but this post is making me think I could be a Julie’s Neighbourhood girl.

  12. Misty on 22 Mar 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    I love everything about this post!!!

  13. Dana on 22 Mar 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    What an awesome story!

  14. Betty on 22 Mar 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    How come I don’t have a neighbor like you? I am so jealous. By the way, what kind of deep fryer are you using?

  15. Marlaine on 22 Mar 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    Love this Julie!!! Wish I was your neighbour!

  16. Avery on 22 Mar 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    I am still kicking myself about this! R and I took the car to playschool that day – therefore heading to the garage out the back door, rather than the front, where I’m sure we would’ve noticed someone making fresh beignets across the street. Let me make the tragedy of this clear to everyone: I LIVE ACROSS THE STREET. FROM JULIE. AND BEIGNETS. AND WE MISSED THEM.
    I love this idea, Julie. My Mom has a nifty deep-fry-er and I’d love to whip up a batch of these for all of the people walking to and from the river pathway by her house as a “pay-it-forward/random act of kindness” kind of thing!

  17. Brigitte on 22 Mar 2013 at 4:30 pm #

    Like ! Like! Like!

  18. Cheryl Arkison on 22 Mar 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    You are the most awesomest of awesomeness ever.

  19. Julie on 22 Mar 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    Avery – I know!! I totally should have run across the street, but the boys all left and I didn’t want to leave a deep fryer unattended.. and then I had to be at a meeting at 9:30!

  20. Sarah Galvin (All Our Fingers in the Pie) on 22 Mar 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    You are amazing! I wish I lived in your neighbourhood.

  21. Shannon Scott on 22 Mar 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Wow!!! What a wonder you are, I have enjoyed your blog for a while, very entertaining, informative, heartwarming, and just amazing!!!! Like the way you roll girl. I have your Grazing cookbook, love it. This is the first time I have ever commented on anything on line-

  22. Korena on 22 Mar 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    Julie, you are the coolest!

  23. Julie on 22 Mar 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    You guys are so wonderful – my day has been made reading all these comments as they come in on my phone. Thank you!!

  24. Vincci on 22 Mar 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Julie, you are amazing.

  25. Marilynn on 22 Mar 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    wow, I was hungry just reading…you sure know how to meet the neighborhood…good idea…wonderful receipe, too, thanks Julie.

  26. the other Al on 22 Mar 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I found out about this too late. sniff

  27. CathyH on 22 Mar 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    As always, you are amazing. Have you ever thought of the wonderful memories you are creating for your son? Carry on……

  28. Allison E. on 22 Mar 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    A w e s o m e idea!!! What a way to start the day and enhance the neighbourliness of your neighbourhood!! You’ve inspired me!!

  29. Anita on 23 Mar 2013 at 12:36 am #

    This is totally AMAZING! I love it! You are an inspiration!

  30. rose on 23 Mar 2013 at 6:52 am #

    Hi Julie
    Is that yellow bowl you are using vintage? It brings back memories from the sixties of mixing up jello (which used to have a hard, gumdrop shaped flavour bud in it) for my mom. We had matching little yellow bowls too.
    So cool!!

    Rose

  31. Marlene on 23 Mar 2013 at 10:31 am #

    Cool!!!! Wow!!!

  32. Barb on 23 Mar 2013 at 11:47 am #

    Julie, you are the greatest! :)

  33. Julia on 23 Mar 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    As one of the fashionable (ha!) people from the cool magazine offices at the end of the block, I think you are the best ever. But you already knew that.

  34. Mia on 23 Mar 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Thoughtful, kind, wonderful, wow-worthy, generous, neighbourly, awesome…these are all the things that you are, Julie. Bravo to you! You are a great example to your neighbours but more importantly, to your family.

  35. Aimee @ Simple Bites on 23 Mar 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Reason #87736666 why I would love to be neighbors!!! You are such a rock star. PS. I just nominated you for a Saveur food blog award. You’re totally my inspiration to blog!

  36. bev dyck on 23 Mar 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    Ok, how fun is that – you are the BEST!! I love gestures such as this – I think it is a totally work-for-peace attitude! You are my hero!

  37. Renee on 23 Mar 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    What a fabulous idea! Wish I was living in your ‘hood!

  38. Erica B. on 24 Mar 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Love this!!!

    Julie, you’re amazing! and like everyone else who said it before me-I wish you were my neigbour!

  39. Julie on 24 Mar 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    OK, you guys are amazing! What a wonderful stream of comments – I’ve been reading them and re-reading them and they make me smile. Huge. Thanks all. xo

  40. Jan @ Family Bites on 24 Mar 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    I am in awe of you! You are so thoughtful and generous and the people who pass by your house each day are very, very lucky you live where you do.

  41. molly on 24 Mar 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    okay, if I hadn’t JUST sent you cookies, I would totally send you cookies right now!

    just so awesome, from idea to execution to chutzpah. love love love it. (and now, you’ve got me thinking… hmmm…. )

    man, what lucky neighbors.

    enjoy that cart. you earned it :)

  42. Sue V on 25 Mar 2013 at 10:44 am #

    Julie, you are amazing. I love how quickly you act on these delightful ideas you come up with. I wish I had your courage, your thoughtfulness, your energy. What a delightfully wonderful thing for you to do on a random Wednesday morning. Lucky neighbors on your street!

  43. Jaya on 25 Mar 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    Julie, Ozai and I must have walked a different route that morning and missed your lovely face and luscious beignets! All the same, this is one more reason why you deserve a gold star for being an all around, amazing person! Yum yum!

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  45. Helene on 27 Mar 2013 at 10:50 am #

    This is amazing. I went two times at Café du Monde in New Orléans and the beignets are so good.

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  47. den on 01 Apr 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    i was one of the lucky neighbours on the receiving end of these treats! truly was one of the best pastries i’ve ever had. just another example of why i love Ramsey and my street!

  48. Anita Mac on 07 Apr 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    I had the beignets in NOLA and fell in love. Brought a box of the mix home and made them today. They were awesome! Thanks for the recipe…I only bought one box!

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