These Peppermint Snowflake Beignets are a fun, festive and delicious holiday treat. Dusted with crushed candy canes!
I spotted these festive Peppermint Snowflake Beignets on Pinterest a while back, but tucked the recipe away for just the right holiday baking time. And that time has arrived! These come from baker Dominique Ansel, from the New York bakery of the same name and of "cronut" fame. These were super fun to make and surprisingly easy. Not to mention delicious :)
The simple snowflake pattern involves just a sharp knife to cut slits into a square of dough. The dough is quickly fried, then dusted with icing sugar and finely crushed candy canes and enjoyed warm.
The dough is very amenable to being left in the fridge until just the right moment, so go ahead, indulge in this fun sweet treat over the holidays!
Cook's Notes for Peppermint Snowflake Beignets
I made a half-batch of these beignets, as the original recipe will make about 4 dozen and with all the other treats around this time of year, I thought 2 dozen was plenty :) If you're feeding a crowd, this recipe will double well.
You don't need a deep fryer for these, though it does make life easier, mainly because it maintains a constant frying temperature. If you don't have a deep fryer, simply use a deep heavy pot with about 2-3 inches of oil in it. A thermometer helps to keep the oil temperature constant.
When cutting the squares, keep a small pile of flour next to you. It's handy for dipping your fingers in, if they start to stick. I also like to dip the end of my knife in the flour between every few slices. It prevents the slices from sealing back up, so it keeps the nice snowflake shape.
If you'd like to make these ahead, freeze them, un-dusted once cooled. To serve, simply re-warm them slightly and dust them right before serving.
Top Tip: When it comes to deep frying, oil temperature is all important. Too cool and your dough will absorb too much oil, as it doesn't form an outer skin quickly. Too hot and your dough will cook too quickly on the outside, but the inside will be undercooked. For best results, use a dedicated deep fryer or at least a thermometer to gauge the oil temperature.
Peppermint Snowflake Beignets
For the beignets:
- 1/3 cup milk (at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 1/2 tsp active dry or instant yeast
- 3 Tbsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 large egg (mix together 1 egg and use half)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter (softened)
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- Oil for deep frying
- Icing/confectioners' sugar to serve
- Candy Canes (finely crushed to almost a powder with a food processor or in a bag with a rolling pin)
- In a medium bowl combine the milk, warm water and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the sugar, salt, egg, butter and flour. With the mixer on low speed, pour in one third of the milk mixture. Allow the dough to come together completely before adding the next third of the milk mixture. Mix on medium speed for 3 minutes, then slowly add in the last third of the milk mixture. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and mix for 5-7 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, adding a bit more flour, as necessary.
- Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 hour, until about doubled in size. Punch down the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Remove the bowl from the fridge and turn out the dough onto a heavily floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 8x12-inch rectangle and about 3/4-1 inch thick. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares, to give you 24 squares.
- To make snowflakes: With a 2-inch square in front of you, cut 1 inch in from each corner towards the centre, then make four more cuts one each side of the square. *Tip: dipping the end of your knife in flour in between every couple of cuts helps keep the slices from joining back together. You can also dip your fingers in the flour if you find they're sticking to the dough as you work.
- These can be fried right away or stored in the fridge on a tray and tightly covered in plastic wrap for up to 24 hours.
- In a deep fryer, heat the oil to 375F. In batches, gently lower the dough squares into the oil, using heatproof tongs or a slotted spoon to turn them regularly as they fry, until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on a cooling rack or paper towels. Dust generously with lots of icing sugar and crushed candy canes, and enjoy while they’re still warm.
Deep Frying Made Easy
I love my small deep fryer! I don't use it too often, but it more than earns it's keep for the times I do use it. It's clean, keeps smells to a minimum and it maintains a constant frying temperature. Plus it doesn't use a ton of oil to fill. If you'd like to add one to your kitchen, here are a few good options ...
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