They’re crispy on the outside and airy on the inside all topped with a pile of powdered sugar. Come fall, I love the warming combination of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. This spice combination, also known as pumpkin pie spice, doesn’t actually contain pumpkin but is named as such since they are all the spices that typically go into pumpkin pie.
I like to make my own since the proportions can vary among different brands. If you don’t have all these spices on hand you can substitute with 1¾ pumpkin pie spice.
The holidays are when I really get into baking but I try to make sure I pick the best ingredients for the job. Bob’s Red Mill is my favorite brand for grains and flours; they offer a wide variety of products so I can always find exactly what I need.
The brand is non-GMO verified, and has been around since 1978, and since 2010, is 100% employee owned. I trust that their products are of the highest quality – I always choose Bob’s Red Mill Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour For all my holiday baking, from beignets to cakes and cookies.
Add the milk to a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until the milk has small bubbles and the temperature reaches 110ºF. Remove from heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir in the buttermilk, yeast, sugar and vegetable shortening and let stand for 10 minutes. The yeast should begin to foam.
Add the egg and stir to combine. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the stand mixer and mix on low speed until a shaggy dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a clean lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth. Add to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place for 2 hours, until the dough rises.
Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a ½” thick rectangle. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into 2” squares.
Add enough oil to a large cast iron pan or heavy bottomed pot to reach 2” up the side of the pan. Heat the oil to 375ºF. Working several pieces of dough at a time, add to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Use tongs to flip the beignets and continue to fry, about an additional 2 minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain and repeat with the remaining dough.
To serve, add the beignets to a large plate or serving bowl and generously dust with the powdered sugar. Serve warm.
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