Homemade New Orleans French Beignets with Powdered Sugar
The Distinction Between French And New Orleans-Style Beignets
New Orleans has close ties with French cuisine, including its own version of the French pastry called beignets. While similar, French and NOLA beignets also have differences.
French beignets are usually round, with a lighter, airier texture because they're made with puffy choux pastry. Modern versions are typically filled with jam or dusted with sugar.
New Orleans-style beignets are made of heartier yeasted dough in a square shape. The city offers tons of creative variations, such as stuffed, savory, or fruit-topped beignets.
Choux pastry, or pâte à choux, is made with flour, water, eggs, and butter. It's light and airy with hollow pockets inside, and is usually baked, though French beignets are fried.
New Orleans-style beignets have a denser texture, and the yeasted dough is easier to cut into shapes. This may be why NOLA beignets are square, while French ones are left round.