It wouldn't be right if I made an entry dedicated to Chris Bauer's character Sheriff Andy Bellefleur without referencing the love affair with cops and doughnuts.
Cops like doughnuts and coffee. It's true. While some prefer ones filled with custard or jelly, Andy enjoys his spiked little V. Since this is a True Blood themed MOFO, I couldn't go the entire month without making beignets. So I did.
Andy is also a fan of Peet's Coffee. FoodBuzz's Tastemaker Program sent me a care package with two different kinds of Peet's and I chose to pair the Cafe Domingo with Sookie's Sticky Buns, then paired the lil' fritters with Cafe Solano. This was a match made in heaven. The robust flavor of Solano was just the thing with the deep fried sweet goodness of the beignets. Seriously, my house smelled like a doughnut shop and for an elastic second I pretended that I wasn't me, but the owner of the Bon Temps Bakery. Thanks to FoodBuzz and Peet's Coffee for making this experience so complete.
Have I mentioned I've never had or made these babies before?
I glossed over many recipes on teh interwebs, and all of them were basically the same: flour, fat, evaporated milk, eggs, yeast, and deep fried. I figured I couldn't possibly fuck this one up because it involved frying.
I was correct. Check out this recipe I veganized and have a little Cafe Du Monde at home. To fill these with your V spiked custard, take one 6 oz. container of vanilla vegan yogurt and add a little strawberry or raspberry jam to it. You can use a piping bag with an extra fine tip, but I got all punk rock and used my kids wide mouthed plastic syringe. Hardcore, right?
Sheriff Bellefleur's Beignets
*Patience pants: you WILL need to refrigerate this dough overnight. So don't make these in the morning thinking you'll surprise everyone with fresh doughnuts. That ain't gonna happen. This recipe makes a shit ton, so you can half the recipe if you so desire, but I just threw the leftover dough in the freezer. I'm such a scientist.
- 2 1/4 t. yeast
- 1 1/2 c. warm water
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 t. salt
- 2 T ground flax seeds
- one 6oz. container of vanilla or plain vegan yogurt-room temperature or warm
- 1/4 c. vegan liquid coffee creamer-room temperature or warm
- 7 c. AP flour
- 1/4 c. spectrum shortening
- powdered sugar for dusting fresh doughnuts
- oil for frying
Get a mixer or a food processor with a dough hook to mix this. Combine your yeast, sugar, and water--set aside. You want to see it foam so you know the yeast is good. Measure out your flour, salt, flax seeds, and put this in the food processor/mixer. Add your water/sugar/yeast mixture, then the yogurt, then the creamer, and add tablespoons of the shortening last. The dough will be SUPER sticky, so don't freak out like Sheriff without his V. Using a rubber spatula scrape out the dough and put in a greased bowl. Cover it and put in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, dust a clean counter space with extra flour and roll out your dough in small batches. Get your Fry Daddy or stock pot ready for frying by filling it with several inches of oil. If you're gonna go big and fry the whole recipe, heat an oven up to 200 degrees so you can put finished batches in the oven to keep warm.
Get the dough about 1/8 inch thick and cut into little squares with a pizza cutter. Once the oil has heated throw a few squares into the heated oil and watch 'em float. This is really cool. Monitor closely, they'll puff up quite a bit, and turn them over to fry on the other side. Once a golden brown, take the finished beignets out to drain on paper towels. Immediately sprinkle with the powdered sugar so it sticks to the hot doughnuts.
Play some zydeco and enjoy these with coffee with cream. I served these to my family and friends and all were really impressed. They could hardly believe they were vegan. I ended up being the only one that liked the custard filled ones, so don't feel like you have to fill these, they are fine plain.