Secret Recipe Club Beignets and New Orleans…

A while back,  I made a chocolate tart form Lisa’s blog, Tarte Du Jour and said that I would like to try new things, not get into a boring routine and only cook what I am comfortable with.

Then I saw Peggy’s post about Secret Recipe Club on her blog, My Fiance Likes It So It Must Be Good. She was assigned to another blogger’s site and she cooked something from their collection. That sounded like a great way to accomplish what I want, meet new bloggers and learn new recipes along the way. She was nice enough to let me know about the details and how I enter the club.

So here I am with my first post. I was assigned to A Bountiful Kitchen. I did not know her before so I loved spending time going through her recipes and see what I would like to try. Besides her great recipes, also loved “Bountiful Kitchen” series where she posts pictures of some cool kitchens since I am gathering ideas for our kitchen renovation, which will happen, hmmm…say 5 years from now,maybe?

After getting mad at the little bastards in my backyard for emptying the bird feeders, I seriously wanted to give her Fried Squirrels  recipe a try. It turns out, in SC, if the animal is within 50 yards of my home, I can claim he is nuisance and have the right to kill it but since discharging firearms within the city limits is illegal, I had to let go off that recipe! So there are still little annoying animals in my backyard.

Then I saw her beignet recipe. And all my New Orleans memories came back, however limited they might be.

First and only time I was in New Orleans was in early 2000s. I was there for three days for a conference with my advisor. Everytime I had a free hour or two, I dashed out of the conference center, walked, walked and walked in the city. Sat on the benches and listened to the street jazz, saw artists painting some cool things, soaked the humidity and heat (it was June!), watched the river silently flow by the beautiful city and had beignets and coffee at Cafe Du Monde several times in that short time period.

My husband knew how much I had liked beignet when we started dating.  On my birthday, then-my-boyfriend husband woke up way too early, made the dough and cafe latte. I woke up to the sizzling sound of the frying dough and soft coffee smell in the air. I wish I could say that it became a tradition but somehow he dropped the ball on the beignets on my other birthdays! Honey, maybe next year? :)

From the pictures you can tell that I fried a tad bit too long maybe. They are not golden brown but darker. I kept them two minutes in the oil, one minute per side, now thinking it should have been 30 seconds each side. It makes 12-14 pieces, depending on how small/big you want. The dough freezes well, so I divided up rest of the dough in serving portions, wrapped and put them in the freezer for the next birthday! Enjoy with your coffee :)



  • 1 envelope dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg – room temperature
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 1/2-3 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons solid shortening
  • 2-3 cups vegetable oil for frying (depends on your pan, should fill it up to 2 inches or so)
  • Powdered sugar (enough to cover them all, 3 cups or so)

1. Mix yeast, warm water and sugar in a bowl, set it aside for 10-15 min until the yeast becomes bubbly.

2.Slightly beat the egg in a big bowl, add salt, evaporated milk and the yeast mixture. Stir.

3. Add half of the flour, combine with the ingredients in the bowl.

4. Put the shortening in microwave, and soften it until it starts to melt. Add to the dough.

5. Add the other half of the dough gradually, then knead on the lightly floured surface.

6. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, let it rise (you can put in the fridge for next day’s frying at this step)

7. Once the dough is doubles, punch it down, on a floured surface, roll it out into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle.

8. Cut 2 inch by 4 inch portions or however small/big you want.Cover, let it rise again.

9. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Add beignets without crowding the pan.

10. Once it turns golden brown, place them on paper towel. Sift powdered sugar on the beignets and enjoy with your coffee.

If you want to join the Secret Recipe Club, please visit the website. I am looking forward to visiting all the talented ladies below.





  1. by Melissa@IWasBornToCook
    7:10 am
    Sep 12, 2011

    Great idea to freeze the dough for future birthdays! They look amazing.

  2. by Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy
    7:14 am
    Sep 12, 2011

    Oh, my, those look so yummy. I’ve never attempted beignets (or any kind of donut) before.

  3. by Si
    8:37 am
    Sep 12, 2011

    Great post! Love your photos. I wish I could jump into the screen and have one for breakfast. I have a great place about 20 mins away that makes beignets on Friday and Sat mornings. Not quite as wonderful as Cafe Du Monde, but close! Glad you joined the SRC :)

  4. by Parsley Sage
    9:23 am
    Sep 12, 2011

    Fun! I can’t wait until I have enough recipes to play :) I think your beignets turned out beautifully! I don’t mind a little extra brown, still yummy

  5. by Astrid
    10:09 am
    Sep 12, 2011

    Ooooh that brings back lovely childhood memories. In Austria these are called “baked mice” and my grandma used to make them for us when we were little…

  6. by Tanvi@SinfullySpicy
    1:33 pm
    Sep 12, 2011

    What a fun idea of secret event :) These little beignets look like pillows and your have puffed up so so perfectly! Send me some.

  7. by Hezzi-D
    3:36 pm
    Sep 12, 2011

    I am determined to make beignets before my next birthday. Yours are such a gorgeous color they look delicious!

  8. by Marie Sheneman
    4:25 pm
    Sep 12, 2011

    Can’t wait to try the beignets! Your pictures look scrumptious!!

  9. by Shumaila
    4:45 pm
    Sep 12, 2011

    Have never made or eaten beignets. But those pictures inspire me to get my hands on some! Great pick for SRC and glad to have you on board!

  10. by Jem of the South
    5:07 pm
    Sep 12, 2011

    You are brave! I love beignets! I think I will add these to my dessert bucket list 2012. I’m so afraid of using yeast. I know, sounds crazy from a baker. :-) Your photos are also fabulous!

  11. by Peggy
    6:31 pm
    Sep 12, 2011

    I’m so glad you got to be a part of the club Ilke! And in my own group! These beignets remind me of my own favorite past times in New Orleans (still my favorite city to visit!) They look great and make a perfect choice for your first SRC =)

  12. by Lisa~~
    6:53 pm
    Sep 12, 2011

    Welcome to the SRC and what a great recipe choice. I’ve never had or made beignets but they do look and sound wonderful…one of these days!

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my SRC recipe this month: Welsh Cakes.

    Cook Lisa Cook

  13. by Mrs. Jen B
    7:33 pm
    Sep 12, 2011

    I love beignets! My husband is wondering when I’ll make them again. ;) Sounds like a reversal of your household!

    Glad to have met you via SRC!

  14. by Trisha
    10:01 pm
    Sep 12, 2011

    I love A Boutiful Kitchen too, there are so many great recipes. The beignets looks so good, I wish I could help myself to some right now. Nice to meet you through SRC!

  15. by sara
    10:42 pm
    Sep 12, 2011

    These look lovely! I adore beignets, but I’ve never tried to make them at home. Delish! :)

  16. by Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen
    11:07 pm
    Sep 12, 2011

    These look delicious! Did you have any trouble with them being undercooked in the middle? Fried pastries can be tricky, especially with sugar in the dough. They look like they turned out perfectly light and airy!

  17. by Joanna
    11:25 pm
    Sep 12, 2011

    These look fabulous! Welcome to SRC!

  18. by cooking rookie
    12:08 am
    Sep 13, 2011

    They look so yummy!!!

  19. by Ilke
    5:00 am
    Sep 13, 2011

    Thank you ladies! What a group!! I am so happy that I joined.
    Tori, that is why I kept 2 min, I was afraid about the middle. It was cooked all the way through. But will try shorter frying time next to see the difference. Maybe as long as the oil is hot, it happens in a flash. Dont know. I am not the best at frying.

  20. by Katherine Martinelli
    9:55 am
    Sep 13, 2011

    Welcome to the SRC! I think you’ll find that it’s a great group to be a part of. I love beignets and have always been too intimidated to try making them myself! Maybe I finally will give it a shot… yours look beautiful!

  21. by Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking
    10:34 am
    Sep 13, 2011

    Great first SRC post! The beignets look delicious and I’ve always wanted to get to New Orleans to try them. Now I can make them at home!! Probably a good thing you chose these as opposed to the squirrel recipe. We don’t have easy access to those critters out here in AZ, and the beignets are so much more appealing. ;-)

  22. by Lisa
    10:35 am
    Sep 13, 2011

    Those are some of the best looking beignets I’ve ever seen. What a way to bring NOLA to your home via SRC :)

  23. by Lisa @ Tarte du Jour
    8:24 am
    Sep 14, 2011

    Your beignets look mouth watering! I’ve made them once before and recall it was well worth it! I really wish I had one right now with my coffee!!

  24. by Melinda
    2:45 pm
    Sep 14, 2011

    will you make these and bring them to a meeting sometime? dang those look good and they are some of my most favorite things in the world.

  25. by Holly
    9:17 am
    Sep 15, 2011

    Those beignets look gorgeous! I love how you piled them with the sugar too – eating them in a cloud of sugary powder is the only way to go! I’m so glad you liked Si’s blog – she is awesome!

  26. by Rituparna
    9:57 am
    Sep 15, 2011

    I just love beignets. To be truthful I have just made them once & it was love at first sight & taste. They were delicious, soft & perfect with a cup of tea …
    Love your beignets. I need to make them again ASAP.

  27. by Shelley
    11:53 am
    Sep 15, 2011

    Beautiful beignets! NO is one of my favorite places to visit and when I’m there, I usually indulge in beignets at Cafe du Monde. I’d be afraid to learn how to make them at home since I can’t resist them. Here’s hoping you wake up to beignets on your next birthday!

  28. by Erin @ Making Memories
    3:04 pm
    Sep 15, 2011

    Oh my heck! These look wonderful! Can’t wait to make these!!!

  29. by Shelby
    7:48 pm
    Sep 15, 2011

    Would love a warm plateful of these on my table in the morning with a steaming cup of coffee! They look great. Welcome to the SRC!

  30. by Margaret
    3:42 pm
    Sep 16, 2011

    LOL on your squirrel comment. (But they are good eatin’!! says another Deep South cook.)

    Your beignets look absolutely perfect. And they are such fun to make!!!

  31. by redmenace
    12:43 pm
    Sep 18, 2011

    I hear ya. This year the squirrels dug up all of my lovely shallots. Then, the raccoons killed my only surviving cat. I’m so fed up with pests, I can’t tell you. However, I am not fed up with sweets. Beignets are one of my faves. Thanks for sharing! xo

  32. by Island Vittles
    10:03 am
    Sep 20, 2011

    Welcome to the SRC! You take beautiful photos, and these beignets look pretty delicious! I know exactly how you feel about squirrels — we don’t have any of those on our little island, but deer? Oh yes, we have WAY too many of those. Venison jerky, anyone? Theresa

  33. by Dan
    12:18 pm
    Sep 20, 2011

    A tasty substitute for Squirrel Casserole, indeed.

    Lucky you didn’t think of throwing rocks or setting a trap.

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