Beignets- Makes 3-4 dozen.

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup evaporated milk
7 cups bread flour
1/4 cup shortening
Nonstick spray
Oil, for deep-frying
3 cups powdered sugar

Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix egg mixture to the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, measure out the bread flour. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. It will be hard to stir, but work as hard as you can to get all of the flour incorporated. Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour.

Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350°. Add the powdered sugar to a paper or plastic bag and set aside. Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares or triangles. We find triangles seem to fry better as they start to flip on their own once they start getting done on one side. Deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color.

After beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, and then toss them into the bag of powdered sugar. Hold bag closed and shake to coat evenly. Serve with chocolate milk, hot tea or coffee, or your favorite dessert beverage. To be truly ‘authentic’, serve with chicory coffee to bring the taste of Cafe Du Monde from New Orleans to your home.

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