Celebrating the end of the season of Carnival, Mardi Gras has been a state holiday in Louisiana since the 19th century. Steeped in rich traditions, New Orleans is a city full of sights, sounds, and flavors that you can bring into your home this Mardi Gras season.
For a sweet end to your celebration, try the recipe below for Vanilla Beignet Bites with Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Pure Vanilla Powder add a sweet twist to this New Orleans classic that is sure to please your guests.
Read Related: Celebrating Mardi Gras with the Kids in New Orleans
VANILLA BEIGNET BITES WITH VANILLA-LEMON RASPBERRY JAM
Makes: 6 dozen
¼ cup warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 cup half-and-half
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar; set aside to activate yeast.
- In a medium bowl, add butter, half-and-half and vanilla extract; stir and set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk eggs; set aside.
- In a bowl of a free standing electric mixer, add flour, sugar, salt and cardamom. Place bowl on mixer stand which has been fitted with a dough hook. Turn mixer on low speed and combine dry ingredients.
- Turn mixer to medium speed then add activated yeast mixture. Add half-and-half mixture, then add the whisked eggs. Mix until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary. Dough will be slightly sticky.
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead, about 2-3 minutes; adding additional flour only when needed.
- Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray and place dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and keep warm until dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- After dough has risen, place on a lightly floured surface and gently knead. Roll dough into a rectangle, about ¼-inch thick. With a pizza cutter, cut dough into small rectangles, about 1 x ½-inch pieces.
- Heat oil to 375°F; carefully place dough in hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 45-60 seconds. Turn beignets so both sides are golden brown.
- Remove from oil and drain on paper towels; dust with Vanilla Powdered Sugar while bites are still warm.
- Dip Vanilla Beignet Bites in Nielsen-Massey’s signature Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam.
VANILLA POWDERED SUGAR
Makes: 1/2 cup
½ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar and vanilla powder.
VANILLA-LEMON RASPBERRY JAM
Makes: 1 cup
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
½ teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Lemon Extract
In a small bowl, add jam, vanilla and lemon extracts. Whisk until jam is smooth and serve with warm Vanilla Beignet Bites.
Note: Vanilla-Lemon Raspberry Jam can be refrigerated and also served with whole grain toast, English muffins or scones.
Recipe and photo courtesy Nielsen-Massey Vanillas