I know, I’m a terrible person, I’ve said it before and I’ll stand by that fact. But in addition to being a Jewish girl who loves a good bagel, I’m also a Southern girl who would sacrifice life and limb for a good beignet. Or a sopapilla. Or both.
While they are made a little differently, sopapillas and beignets are similar in texture and similarly adored across the Gulf Coast states. I like to think of them both as little donut pillows which are known to make people exceptionally happy. Except for that whole grain thing. That’s a problem.
If you know me you know that I am all about the recreation of things that are off limits now due to dietary restrictions. It’s like a challenge that I need to tackle so that I can show the world that I can eat good stuff too. And also for the simple fact that I want to eat all my old favorites and am hell bent on figuring out how to.
So yes, here I am on National Bagel Day making beignets. But who could blame me?! Oh, and I took it a step further and made them heart shaped because Valentine’s Day but feel free to not be ridiculous like me and just make them the good old fashioned way!
- 1 packet quick acting yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
- 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (or almond milk or flax milk)
- 3 tablespoons melted sustainable palm shortening
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1 cup cassava flour
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- Light olive oil or avocado oil for frying
- Additional cassava flour, arrowroot, or tapioca for dusting
- 1/4 cup maple sugar or organic corn free powdered sugar
- Combine the yeast, water and maple syrup in a bowl. Give it a quick stir and allow the yeast to froth, about 5 minutes.
- While the yeast blooms, combine the coconut milk, egg, and salt in a bowl. In a 3rd bowl, mix the remaining dry ingredients.
- Now pour the egg and milk mixture into the dry bowl and stir to combine.
- Next pour the yeast mixture into the other combined ingredients and stir once more.
- Heat the frying oil in a large skillet, about an inch deep over high heat
- Take the dough and roll it into a ball by hand. You can add a bit more cassava flour if the dough is still sticky, 1 tablespoon at a time, working it in.
- Roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment paper until it is about 1/8 inch thick. If your beignet dough is too thick it might not puff.
- Now cut it in desired shape. I used a heart shape cookie cutter. Traditionally you would cut it into squares using a pizza cutter or knife. The squares can be around 3×3 inches.
- In small batches, fry the beignets, using a slotted spoon to flip them over after about a minute. There are two tips I learned: 1. if the oil is not hot enough, your beignets will not puff. 2. You need to flip them before they burned because hot oil also cooks them quickly!
- You can flip them back and forth a few times but I recommend leaving them on the original side until you see the exposed side begin to puff. Then you can flip them, knowing they will fill with air or at least have some good air bubbles.
- After they are done frying, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them on a towel-lined plate.
- Combine the maple sugar with a bit of tapioca, arrowroot, or cassava flour and then sift it over the beignets.
- Serve warm!