Mari Gras is next week! Do you celebrate Mari Gras?
Typically I don’t do much. When I was growing up my mom would always make either red beans and rice or jambalaya on Mari Gras. I figure I will continue the tradition and make some jambalaya this year. I was feeling a little more festive than usual this year and decided to try my hand at beignets.
These aren’t your average fried beignet, but rather they are baked. I didn’t want to go through all the fuss of frying the little pillows of dough, plus by baking them I could have a few and not feel bad afterwards!
When I decided to bake the beignets I went to one of my favorite food bloggers to see how she did it. Jenna has a great website called Eat, Live, Run and her oven baked beignets were just the inspiration that I needed for my own.
Some of the changes that I made to the recipe were, cutting the proportions in half so I wouldn’t have so many of these heavenly treats staring at me, replacing some of the all purpose flour with whole wheat, replacing a tablespoon of butter with Greek yogurt, and adding a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. The beignets turned out wonderful! They had a crispy exterior and a super moist, light middle. I topped the beignets with the traditional powdered sugar, but then I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I decided these beignets needed a little something special to be spread on them. What better than a blackberry vanilla bean jam spiked with Bourbon! The jam was DELICIOUS! I think I could have just sat there with a spoon and ate the whole jar. The vanilla bean and bourbon really brought the jam to life and turned it into something special. I love foods that have depth of flavor and this jam was one of them. After devouring a couple of the baked vanilla bean beignets with the blackberry bourbon vanilla jam (longest title ever!), I decided to look up a little history on beignets, here are some of the things I discovered.
1. Beignets were declared the official state doughnut of Louisiana in 1986. (I didn’t know there were official state doughnuts!)
2. French settlers brought beignets with them when they migrated from Canada to a region called Acadia.
3. Many years later Acadians settled in Louisiana bringing the beignets with them.
4. Beignets are synonymous with the English fritter and were sometimes filled with fruit
5. Café du Monde is a popular New Orleans food destination specializing in beignets and chicory coffee.
6. Beignets are served hot because the dough hardens quickly and becomes heavy.
However you choose to celebrate Mari Gras make a little time to bake up a batch of these baked vanilla bean beignets and don’t forget the blackberry bourbon vanilla jam!
Mari Gras King Cake French Toast– The Law Student’s Wife
Homemade Monkey Bread Muffins– Dessert for Two
Easy Jambalaya– Iowa Girl Eats
Red Beans and Rice– The Kitchn
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Gumbo– Oh My Veggies
Traditional Mari Gras King Cake– Brown Eyed Baker