Sometimes it’s okay for things to be simple.
Not every blog post has to be love lost, love found, break up, make up, draining.
In spite of my blog’s name, not every moment of my life is an emotional roller coaster.
Every once in a while, I am eating just for the hell of it.
A few months ago, I took a vacation from the delicious drama of my normal eating patterns and had a simple breakfast with two of my best friends.
We were at a grubby little diner in Charlottesville. Formica tables, a rickety booth, checked floor, our server with his graying beard and ponytail. It was perfect.
Foolishly trying to be health conscious, I ordered eggs and fruit salad – yawn – but luckily one of my girls thought to order Blueberry Beignets.
Little puffed pillows of greatness to be dusted with confectioner’s sugar and soaked in vanilla syrup.
We dunked and drizzled and munched and giggled.
And there was nothing else to it. Just a couple of girls filling their faces on a beautiful morning in Virginia.
And what more could you ask for?
Oh, right! The recipe –
Dissolve yeast in warm water, let it foam, 5 – 10 minutes.
Add sugar, salt, egg, evaporated milk, vanilla, and blend until smooth.
Add 1/2 of the flour and mix.
Add shortening, stir until smooth. NO LUMPS!
Add the rest of the flour and mix until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
At first it will look like a shaggy mess. Don’t worry, it will smooth.
Add blueberries and fold in gently!
See? Smooth! Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Next day, roll out to 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut into 1 1/2 inch-ish shapes.
Heat a big ol’ pot of oil to 350°F. Add the dough shapes a few at a time. FRY!!! 3 – 4 minutes on the first side, 2 – 3 minutes on the second side until golden brown.
Drain that oil. And make vanilla syrup. Place water, sugar, and vanilla bean in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil while stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Dust with sugar, dunk in syrup, do whatever. But most importantly, enjoy!
BFF Blueberry Beignets
1 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
3/4 cup of warm water
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup of evaporated milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla
3 1/2 cups of flour
1/8 cup of shortening
1/2 pint of blueberries
48 oz of vegetable oil for frying
Vanilla Syrup (optional):
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit, covered with plastic, for 5 – 10 minutes until yeast starts to foam.
When yeast is foamy, add sugar, salt, egg, evaporated milk, and vanilla. Mix to combine.
Next add 1/2 of the flour.
Add the shortening and stir until it is completely incorporated, no lumps.
Add the rest of the flour and stir until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Add the blueberries and fold in gently.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic, and place in the fridge to rest overnight.
The next day, roll the dough out until it is 1/8 of an inch thick.
Cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch squares, rectangles, triangles – it doesn’t have to be perfect.
When you are ready to fry, heat the vegetable oil in a pot over medium-high heat.
When the oil reaches 350°F, add a few beignets at a time. Don’t overcrowd the pot.
If they sink to the bottom, your oil is too cold. The beignets should rise to the top and sizzle around the edges.
Fry for 3 – 4 minutes on the first side, then flip and fry for another 2 – 3 minutes. Once the beignets are golden brown, remove from oil and transfer to a wire rack. Blot with paper towels.
Repeat with the rest of the dough.
You can toss the warm beignets in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.
If you would like to make the vanilla syrup, which can be made days in advance, put all ingredients in a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Store in an airtight container and chill.
Dunk warm beignets in vanilla syrup or drizzle generously.