One of my favorite memories, is back in 2005, when my mother and I drove from Florida to El Paso, Texas. It was the first major road trip, I have ever taken with my mother alone. The trip took 3 days! We had so much fun! I drove from Miami, Florida to Fort Myers, Florida, where I met my mother and mother-in-law. We had a wonderful time showing my mother around that area (Alicia, you are awesome!!!!) If you have never been to the Fort Myers, Florida area, you are missing out. It is a beautiful place!
From Fort Myers, Florida, we drove onto Mobile, Alabama. It was the first time my mother had ever been to a Golden Corral. It was Veterans Day and there was a long line but we had a good time hanging out with the Veterans that were on line with us. Mom and I thoroughly enjoy eating steaks at that restaurant. The next morning, because of excitement for the trip and time changes, we woke up earlier than usual. We went to this wonderful BBQ restaurant that serves a hearty breakfast. I wish I could remember the name of it, I will definitely be researching it! They had the best biscuits and homemade peach preserves, I have ever tasted! The coffee was wonderful as well!.
From Mobile, Alabama, we drove on to Dallas, Texas. On the way there, we both saw a sign for New Orleans, La. This was just after Hurricane Katrina and knowing that it was unlikely I would make a trip along that way again, I asked my mother “So, want to go?” Now it has to be said, that when my mother is spontaneous, she is at her best. She is so much fun to hang out with! She said “Sure! Let’s Go!” So I handed her my cellphone and told her to look up any address in the “French Quarter” and we plugged it into our GPS and we were on our way!
In New Orleans, we saw a lot of devastation. It was heartbreaking seeing the signs for “help” and the damage. I can’t imagine what the people of this beautiful city had to deal with. When we got to the outer area of the French Quarter, we could see a lot of construction. We parked in a parking garage, where all the walls were gone. It was just a skeleton structure, still open for business. We walked to the French Quarter, taking in the sites and viewing all the famous streets and shopping for small souvenirs. The best part, was stopping at Cafe Du Monde and having a fresh cup of coffee and a Beignet. This open area cafe was so refreshing. Once you purchased your food, you could go outside to the tables and sit and listen to jazz music playing. I watched the clouds of powdered sugar waft through the air, as patrons enjoyed their beignets. The trip continued on to Dallas, Texas, where we stayed with my uncle and the onto El Paso, Texas. It was a great trip and gave us many memories to enjoy.
Beignets are a delicious deep-fried, hollow on the inside, crisp on the outside doughnut and covered in powdered sugar. It is best warm with a cup of coffee and a chocolate dipping sauce. I try to avoid frying where possible, so I decided to try an oven version of these treats. I hope you enjoy!
Ingredients For Beignets:
3 tablespoons of warm water
2 heaping teaspoons of rapid yeast
2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of cold butter, cut in small pieces
6 tablespoons of buttermilk
3 tablespoons of powdered sugar (For dusting)
Ingredients for Chocolate Sauce:
1 1/2 tablespoons of chocolate cocoa powder
1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
Heavy cream or milk
- Combine all ingredients for Beignets (minus powdered sugar) and knead to make a soft dough
- Allow dough to sit for 10 minutes
- On a floured surface, press dough into a rectangle 1/2 inch thick, cut into 1 1/2 inch strips and cut each strip into 4 pieces
- Transfer pieces to a greased cookie sheet leaving a space between each and let beignets rise for 20 minutes (covered)
- Preheat oven to 400F and bake beignets for 10-12 minutes (golden brown)
- While beignets are baking, combine cocoa powder, sugar and butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat until butter is melted.
- Add enough milk to cocoa mixture to become a sauce.
- When beignets are done, toss each in powdered sugar (place powdered sugar in a bowl and coat beignets or place powdered sugar in a plastic bag with beignets, seal and shake)
Serve with chocolate sauce and coffee!