The Easy Crescent Roll Hack Beignet Fans Will Want To Know

Who doesn't love a beignet? The irresistible, fluffy fried dough covered with copious amounts of powdered sugar has been a Mardi Gras staple in France since at least the 16th century and were originally known as Spanish beignets or "pets de nonne," which translates to "nun's puffs" (via What's Cooking America). The medieval dessert, which was likely brought to France from Spain, was a deep fried pastry made from sugar, vanilla, flour, butter, rum, and eggs (via European Cuisines). But nowadays, the treat is more similar to the choux, a loose dough made from water, milk, butter, flour, and eggs (via Olgas Flavor Factory).

My Shipley Donuts explains, beignet dough uses more eggs than the traditional choiux and also add yeast for the rise, which gives them a lighter weight and texture. Cultured Table also points out beignets use bread flour, which is higher in protein. This strengthens the gluten, which helps create their beloved fluffy middle. But because they are a high gluten dough, you have to mindful of over-mixing, which can make the beignet tough (via Pratesi Living). Once the dough is mixed, then kneaded for six minutes, it's left to rise for an hour or two before being rolled out, cut into triangles, and dropped into oil heated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit(via Simply Recipes). Once fried and drained, they're covered with powdered sugar.

While beignets' lengthy cooking time certainly isn't ideal, an intrepid team member at Trader Joe's has shared a helpful hack.

Crescent rolls simplify the French fritter

According to a Trader Joe's podcast, titled "Trip the Light Hackstastic," a container of store bought crescent rolls makes a great stand-in for the finicky choux. 

Crescent roll dough — made from yeast, sugar, milk, eggs, and flour — is strikingly similar to the beignet's, but with an additional rise (via Taste of Home). Normally, the twice-risen roll is popped into the oven; But, when deep fried, they come wonderfully close to the soft and chewy beignet. Using the pre-made crescent rolls found in the supermarket cuts the recipe down to three ingredients — the pre-made rolls, oil, and sugar — and 25 minutes (via Baked Broiled and Basted). Simply unroll the tube, cut into small squares, and deep fry in oil until golden. If you prefer using an air frier, Blue Jean Chef recommends basting the dough with butter first. Then, finish with powdered sugar.

While it's not quite Café Du Monde, it can hold you over until you make it to NOLA for Mardi Gras.