I love Chowhound and since it's NYs Day... I thought I would gift all you foodies with one of our favorite FAMILY RECIPES! Seriously... this one has been in our family for forever and I remember making these with my Mom growing up all the time at family gatherings! And.... when I finally got to go to Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans.... I would say the recipe is just pretty darned close. you can kiss me later. (***NOTE*** recipe makes a TON so feel free to halve it)
COSTAS FAMILY FRENCH MARKET DOUGHNUTS
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
7 1/2 cups flour
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting or SHAKING in a big paper bag! (kids LOVE to do this part!)
1. Pour 1/2 cup room temperature water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand for about 5 minutes to dissolve.
2. Combine the shortening, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the shortening mixture and then stir in the evaporated milk. Wait for the mixture to cool down until it is lukewarm. Then, add the yeast and water mixture and beaten eggs.
3. Slowly mix in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
4. Working with a small portion (a little larger than a baseball) at a time, roll out the dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut the rolled out dough into strips 2 to 3-inches wide, then cut again in the opposite direction and at an angle, making diamond shapes.
5. Heat your oil for frying in a deep and wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat to 360 degree F (180 degrees C).
6. Slide dough slowly into the oil to avoid splattering and deep fry until they puff up and are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully remove onto a rack with paper towels underneath and allow to cool until you can handle them. Place in a clean paper bag with confectioners' sugar and shake gently until covered generously or, use a sifter to dust the beignets with powdered sugar.