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The history of the beignet (pronounced ben-YAY) dates back to the 16th century in France, and when translated, means “fritter”, much like a doughnut or piece of fried dough.  The origin of the word can be traced to the Celtic language, and the word “bigne” meaning to raise.  Although now considered a French pastry, the beignet has connections to ancient Rome and today, similar recipes can be found in many countries around the world. 

Beignets made their way to the United States via New Orleans, and local legend states that the Café du Monde’s recipe, was brought over in 1727, by the Ursuline Nuns, from France.  Beignets are a New Orleans specialty, they are fried, raised pieces of yeast dough, about two inches by two inches, and after cooking, are sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar or coated with icing.  Try your hand at making this classic pastry, a definite crowd pleaser!