Vanilla-Scented Beignets
© David Tsay

Vanilla-Scented Beignets

  • SERVINGS: makes 50 beignets

Gerald Hirigoyen's airy beignets (doughnuts) can be deep-fried a few hours in advance and recrisped in the oven just before serving.

Cost: $8

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  1. 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  2. 1 cup water
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. 1 1/2 cups plus 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  5. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  6. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  7. 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  8. 1 1/2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
  9. Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
  1. In a saucepan, combine the butter, water, salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the granulated sugar; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Return the saucepan to high heat and cook the dough, stirring until very smooth, 1 minute. Transfer the dough to a bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat in the vanilla, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the oil to 375°. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Scoop 10 scant tablespoons of the dough into the oil and fry, turning, until golden and puffed, 6 minutes. Transfer the beignets to the baking sheet and poke a small hole in the side of each to release steam. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  3. Pour the 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar into a bowl. Toss the hot beignets in the sugar; transfer to a platter. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve.