2 TABLESPOONS unsalted butter room temperature and cut into small pieces
1 egg lightly beaten
½ CUP evaporated milk
¼ CUP melted butter
1 CUP confectioners’ sugar
Combine the lukewarm water, a pinch of the sugar and the yeast in a bowl and let it proof for 5 minutes. It should froth a little. If it doesn’t froth, your yeast is not active and you should start again with new yeast.
Combine 3½ cups of the flour, salt, 2 tablespoons of butter and the remaining sugar in a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the egg, evaporated milk and yeast mixture to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon (or the paddle attachment of the stand mixer) until the dough comes together in a sticky ball. Add a little more flour if necessary to get the dough to form. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours or until it has doubled in bulk. Longer is better for flavor development and you can even let the dough rest in the refrigerator overnight (just remember to bring it to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe).
Roll the dough out to ½-inch thickness. Cut the dough into rectangular or diamond-shaped pieces. You can make the beignets any size you like, but this recipe will give you 24 (2-inch x 3-inch) rectangles.
Pre-heat the air fryer to 350ºF.
Brush the beignets on both sides with some of the melted butter and air-fry in batches at 350ºF for 5 minutes, turning them over halfway through if desired. (They will brown on all sides without being flipped, but flipping them will brown them more evenly.)
As soon as the beignets are finished, transfer them to a plate or baking sheet and dust with the confectioners’ sugar. Serve warm with a chocolate, strawberry or raspberry sauce.
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