Everyone has their favorite sweet. For some, it's pie, others love a good cookie. Personally, I'm a little obsessed with doughnuts. I prefer a yeasted doughnut, and if I had to pick a favorite type it would probably be simple, dusted with cinnamon sugar (and warm from the fryer, of course). But I'll take a cake doughnut any day, and in that case I like chocolate with coconut icing. A few years ago I was lucky enough to do a doughnut training at the famed Stan's Donuts in Los Angeles, where I fell in love with the epic apple fritter pictured above.
In New Orleans, beignets, small, yeast-risen, deep fried doughs, are part of the culinary legacy, and it wouldn't be Mardi Gras without them (which starts on Tuesday, February 16th). Believed to have been introduced in the city as early as 1727, beignets are an integral part of the standard New Orleans breakfast, heavily dusted with powdered sugar and enjoyed with a cup of chicory coffee. A trip to New Orleans would not be complete without a visit to Cafe du Monde, where beignets are the only thing on the menu. They are even the official Louisiana state doughnut! Gotta love a state with an official doughnut.
So if you're in the mood to celebrate Mardi Gras and Super Bowl champs the Saints, whip up a batch of beignets this weekend.