Pretty much every bakery in Karachi sells Palmiers or French Hearts. They are one of those things that I can rarely resist picking up when I am back in Karachi, but am frequently disappointed by. The thing is they are just a little… boring you know?
In one of my recent nostalgic moods I pulled out a sheet of all butter puff pastry from my freezer and looked around for inspiration. It came quickly in the form of two lackluster oranges lying in my fruit bowl. Remember the citrus sugar I had made for beignets? I zested the oranges, rubbed the zest into some granulated sugar, added a teensy bit of salt and wow, these were really good. The orange zest brightens the flavor of these flaky petite puff pastry treats and transforms them into something extraordinary.
They’re also really pretty (if I do say so myself) and would make great hostess gifts or a very welcome addition to the usual smorgasbord of Christmas cookies.
When my husband first had a beignet we were at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans and he said “It’s just fried dough with sugar”.
I am no dum dum though, instead of launching into a discussion about whether this marriage was going to work or not I went ahead and finished them heh heh heh
Somehow the idea of making them seemed a little intimidating, but when my little girl watched the Princess and the Frog and asked me what a Beignet was then I knew I had to get cracking. The dough recipe is pretty straightforward. I just halved the usual amount and found it still made several dozen. The dough that I fried up on day one was airier than the more flavourful dough of day two. Either way it is a win. I rolled mine thinner than most recipes suggested because doughy is not a word I am keen on and I must say it worked very well. These petite beignets were slightly chewy on the outside and light on the inside. Yum.
Confectioners’ sugar and I aren’t best buds so I decided to create a citrus sugar for my beignets and folks, there is no turning back. My taste testers tried them with regular powdered sugar as well as cinnamon sugar, but the citrus sugar was the clear winner.