Our beignet flavored popcorn recipe combines one of our favorite treats, popcorn, with our other favorite treat, beignets. New Orleans is our happy place and especially at Mardi Gras. We’re obsessed with the music, the food, the drinks, the people and the whole vibe.
Give us a crawfish dinner. Let us spend the night drinking bourbon cocktails and listening to good jazz. And then let us wake up to strong chicory coffee and a plate of beignets. If you’ve never had the pleasure, beignets are a type of doughnut commonly eaten in New Orleans. They’re fritters, or fried dough and are usually square shaped as opposed to a more traditional round doughnut. They can be made with choux pastry (like cream puff dough) or with a yeasted dough.
NOLA’s famous Café du Monde makes the yeasted variety. They are prepared the night before and fried fresh in the morning. Then they’re served to you hot, with a generous dusting of powdered sugar, and a cup of café au lait. If you don’t have the good fortune to be eating these fresh at the restaurant, Café du Monde actually sells a box mix that you can order and then make their beignets at home. It’s not exactly the same thing as seeing that hot, powdered sugar plate make it way out to you in the dining room but we need our beignet fix however we can get it!
So, the question became, can we replicate the taste of beignets in a popcorn coating? We definitely thought it was worth a try. But what is the flavor of beignets, exactly? They are a sweet, buttery fried dough so we made a syrup with granulated sugar and butter but also included some brown sugar for that caramelized fried taste. A pinch of salt brings out the flavor in all foods so don’t forget to add it. After coating the popcorn, we spread it out on a sheet pan to dry and then dusted all that sweet, crunchy goodness with some powdered sugar for the true beignet experience. All we needed was the cup of café au lait.
Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring often. Boil for a couple of minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and season with sea salt.
Add the popped popcorn to a large bowl and pour the cooked syrup over the popcorn. Stir to coat thoroughly. Spread the coated popcorn on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and allow to cool. Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Store any leftovers in an air-tight container.
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