I know exactly what excited looks like. It’s when Pretty Girl jumps up and down and squeals a little and laughs a lot and says the same thing over and over again. It’s when Handsome copies his sister but ends up head butting the couch instead and forgets to cry because he can only think about the excitement part. It is a frenzy of uncoordinated happiness that explodes from my children who are seemingly unable to resist its intoxicating effects.
So yes, I know exactly what excited looks like, so that is not my problem. My problem is that I am struggling to remember exactly what it feels like to be quite beyond yourself with excitement. It is not that exciting things haven’t happened to me in a while, because they absolutely have, it’s just that my excitement hasn’t quite moved me like it seems to my kiddos, and I feel this lack a bit like a loss.
Perhaps the adult version of excitement just needs to look different. Maybe we are too influenced by fear. A fear that appearing too excited about something will make someone experiencing a lack of it feel too bad. Perhaps a fear that acting out our excitement will make us look foolish, a bit like Tom Cruise on Oprah’s couch. Perhaps it’s a fear that Life will let us down and take it all away, especially if Life has done that to us before. Perhaps we just think we are too grown up to act out our excitement.
Oh how I hope not. How I hope that the next time I am excited I will simply let go of inhibition and fear and just go a little crazy and enjoy the all of excitement and the possibilities it represents. Maybe jump a little, maybe squeal a little, maybe even head butt the couch.
It is (regardless of how I may appear )with great excitement that I am sharing this recipe for Beignets. In these gorgeous puffed up cushions, filled with soft custard and coated with sugar I see the possibility of one day eating them early in the morning fresh and warm from a bakery somewhere in New Orleans. A little bit of food magic right there on my plate.
How do you show others that something has you excited? I would love to know.
What you need
1 packet active dry yeast
1 ½ cups water, warm
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
7 cups flour (divided 3 ½ cups, 3 ½ cups)
¼ cup (60 g) butter, softened
Vegetable oil for frying
Icing sugar for dusting, quite a bit, maybe 2 cups
Crème Patisserie to fill made using this recipe
Nutella to fill
What you do
- Place the yeast, warm water and sugar in the bowl of your mixer. Fit your dough hook attachment.
- Allow it to stand for about 10 minutes until light foam shows on the surface.
- Add the salt eggs, and buttermilk, and mix on medium to combine.
- Add in the first measure of flour, and mix on medium combine.
- Add in the butter, and mix on until incorporated. It may look lumpy, but that is fine.
- Gradually add in the second measure of flour. Mix until the dough begins coming together.
- Turn out from the bowl and knead lightly with your hands, forming it into a ball.
- Place the dough into a floured bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand in a warm place until it doubles in size. (About 2 hours)
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a floured work surface. Do not knead or bash out the air bubbles in the dough.
- Gently roll out the dough, don’t roll too thin.
- Cut the dough into diagonals, no rectangles, um shapes that look something like a slightly squashed square.
- Fry the beignets immediately in hot oil, about 3 or 4 at a time until they puff up and go golden brown. You do need to turn them over in the oil so that they fry evenly on both sides.
- Drain the excess oil off quickly on paper towel and then toss the beignets in the icing sugar.
- At this point you can choose to fill them with Crème Patisserie or Nutella. Use a syringe to draw up the Nutella from the jar and literally squirt it into the beignet. I piped the crème Patisserie into the beignets using a piping bag.
- You do not have to fill the beignet, but you absolutely must eat them while they are still warm.
A quick note on this recipe is that I did not cook all of the dough on the first day. I placed the rest of the dough into a covered bowl (I did not refrigerate it ) and the following day I cooked off the remainder of the beignets and they were just as wonderful.
I wish you a life that feels the warmth of Excitement, that you will smell fresh and new possibility on her breath.