December72011

Gingerbread Mickey Beignets

Makes 24 beignets

1 cup evaporated milk, heated until warm but not hot
1 envelope dry active yeast
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup shortening
Vegetable oil for deep-frying

  1. Combine evaporated milk and yeast in a large bowl; add egg, molasses, 2 tablespoons sugar, and vegetable oil. Stir until yeast dissolves and mixture is combined.
  2. Sift together 4 cups flour, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves in a medium bowl.
  3. Add half of flour mixture to milk mixture. Mix well.
  4. Add shortening, blending until combined, then add remaining flour mixture. Knead until mixture comes together, adding remaining 1/2 cup flour, a bit at a time, if needed. Form dough into ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  5. On a floured board, roll dough to 1/3-inch thickness. Cut into 24 squares. Cover with a clean dish towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free area for 45 minutes.
  6. Line a plate with paper towels; set aside.
  7. Add vegetable oil to a deep-sided pot to a depth of 3 inches. Heat oil to 375°F. Drop in dough squares a few at a time, turning frequently with a long-handled slotted spoon. Cook until puffed and golden. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to the plate lined with paper towels. Lightly tent with foil to keep warm while remaining beignets cook.
  8. Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Dust hot beignets with cinnamon-sugar mixture; serve warm.

Eggnog Crème Anglaise
2 cups eggnog
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

  1. Combine eggnog and milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until very hot but not simmering.
  2. Meanwhile, combine sugar and egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until light, thick and fluffy.
  3. Very slowly drizzle in hot eggnog mixture while beating at medium-low speed.
  4. Transfer mixture back to saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and becomes creamy, 10 minutes. Do not simmer or the egg yolks will curdle.
  5. Remove the sauce from the heat, whisk, and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in nutmeg and cinnamon, if using. Serve warm with Gingerbread Beignets.
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