[I]’m really excited to spend my first holiday here in New Orleans. There’s a chill and a palpable spirit in the air.
New Orleans is such a unique place, it’s only natural that I would want to dive all the way into the holiday spirit here. I’m hitting the streets to put together a casual holiday gathering with my friends at NYDJ. In order to make it feel as special as New Orleans, I’m stopping in at some of favorite local shops: LoomedNOLA for sweet and cozy gifts, Keife & Co for amazing wine, and St. James Cheese Company to make the perfect cheese plate.
No New Orleans gathering at my house would be complete without freshly-fried beignets. They’re best enjoyed from scratch with your friends gathered around a heaping plate of fresh fried dough and powdered sugar.
I hope you find loads of holiday inspiration here! Add a little New Orleans spirit to your holiday!
Loomed Nola is my favorite textile store in New Orleans. They sell lovely Turkish cotton kitchen towels, scarves, and blankets. It’s the perfect place to shop for a thoughtful hostess gift or a comfy treat for your best girlfriend.
Keife & Co. is my go-to spot for wine in New Orleans! Not only is it stocked with really unique bottles, the brothers that own the shop are more than willing to find the perfect bottle of bubbly for your holiday party without totally breaking the bank. No pretension, just great wine and bubbles!
One of my favorite stops in New Orleans is St. James Cheese Company. Step inside and the staff will dazzle you with cheese knowledge and let you sample your way through your cheese purchase. Putting together a cheese plate can feel rather daunting but St. James makes it easy… and it’s always fun to eat all the cheeses before you buy them!
I set out into the streets of New Orleans sporting my favorite pair of NYDJ jeans. Super flattering, fitted, slimming, and real. They’re perfect for jaunting around town in style and hoping in the kitchen to get down with some beignets. My style also has to be functional. I want to feel pretty, stylish, and I definitely need plenty of room to fry up and eat my fair share of New Orleans treats.
This holiday I’ve paired up with NYDJ to bring you flattering comfort, radiant style, and a big bundle of holiday inspiration and confidence. Let’s look great, eat well, and entertain in easy style! Here are all the recipes you need to do it!
jtb+nydj holiday recipes: for cocktail, salad, and gifting inspiration!
Let’s make these delicious Buttermilk Apple Beignets! We’re making a soft and tender dough studded with fresh apples, frying the dough, and smothering each little friend pocket in waaay too much powdered sugar.
Yeast is combined with warm water and sugar and allowed to foam and froth… that’s how you know it’s active and alive. I stirred in the remaining sugar, a beaten egg, and buttermilk into the yeast mixture before adding to the flour and salt mixture.
The dough will be fairly thick. Give it a stir just combine. Next up: shredded apples!
Shredded apples are added to the dough and stirred in well. The dough will become more wet with the addition of the apples. That’s right.
Add a bit more flour and really stir together the dough. I used a wooden spoon and some serious elbow grease to bring the dough together. About 10 minutes of stirring and kneading before we cover the bowl with plastic wrap to rest for 1 1/2 hours.
After some quality rising time, the dough will still be a bit wet. Nothing that a well-floured work surface can’t handle.
Knead until smooth and supple, about 5 minutes.
There’s no such thing as a baked beignet. It just can’t be a thing. Beignets, in their very nature, are deep fried (and delicious). A fry/candy thermometer comes in very handy when it comes to deep frying. You’ll want to know that your oil is heated to exactly 350 degrees F before frying.
The beignets are cut into rectangles, but since this dough is fairly wet, a few misshapen pieces here and there are more than welcome. No one ever said fried dough had to be perfectly shaped.
Beignets are fried for about 1 minute on each side.
Fresh from the frier and immediately into the powdered sugar bath!
Don’t stop until you fry them all!
Call your friends to gather around the powdered sugar bowl These beignets are best served right out of the frier and sugar.
This kind of powdered sugar is a New Orleans tradition! There’s no way around it. Embrace the mess, the clouds of white powder… enjoy every delicious bite!
I’m totally getting the hang of this New Orleans living. It’s all about embracing tradition and making it your own, making it pretty, thoughtful, and absolutely delicious!
I hope you have the most simple, delicious, and stylish holiday season. Sprinkle in some New Orleans inspiration! May it rain like powdered sugar over your holiday!Print
- 3/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 peeled and shredded Fuji (or other sweet) apple
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
- canola oil for frying
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- In measuring cup, whisk together warm water, sugar, and yeast. Allow to sit and rest for 10 minutes. Mixture should foam and froth. That’s right!
- In a small bowl, whisk together egg, butter, and buttermilk. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 3 1/2 cups flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture, and egg mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will be fairly thick. Add the apples and cinnamon (if using) and stir to combine. The mixture will become more wet when the apples are added.
- Use a wooden spoon to work and knead the dough together for about 10 minutes. Remove from the bowl and place on a lightly floured work surface and gently knead for 5 minutes.
- Lightly grease the large bowl with a bit of melted butter or nonstick cooking spray. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rest and rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Towards the end of the rising time, place about 2 inches of canola oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan. Insert a fry or candy thermometer and place over medium heat. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.
- Place powdered sugar in a large bowl and set aside.
- Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Use a pizza sliver to slice the dough into 2-inch squares.
- Carefully lower 2 or 3 dough squares into the frying oil. The oil temperature will go down once the dough is added so just make sure to bring it back up to temperature before frying more beignets.
- Allow the dough to fry for 1 minute on each side, or until a beautiful golden brown. Immediately remove from the fryer and toss in the powdered sugar to coat. Serve immediately fresh from the powdered sugar bath.
- Return the oil to 350 degrees F and continue frying until all of the dough is sugared and devoured.