What’s old is new again – Beignets

January 10, 2013

We see it in fashion, style and food.  Everything is recycled to be new again particularly in recipes and food.  They are classic recipes that take on a new spin of the New Year.

Celebrate with donuts

When I was a young girl, my Baba would always make little donuts to celebrate the New Year.  This was done typically for Malanka or Ukrainian New Years Eve and not December 31.  The donuts symbolized a new beginning, a new start.  Like in many traditions, the New Year has the ability of renewing hope that the upcoming year will be better than the last.

The making of traditions

So unknown to me, I started making little donuts or beignets for New Year day dinner, just like my Baba did for our family.   I didn’t know this until my father pointed it out.  Our recipes are different but the intention was the same.  We all gathered as a family to remember the past year, to be grateful and to have wish each other of a better upcoming year.  We enjoyed fresh warm donuts with powdered sugar, or cinnamon and sugar and a strong cup of coffee.  There is nothing like it!

Prepare the beignet batter ahead

I have included the beignet or little donut recipe to celebrate the New Year with family and friends.  The secret is letting it rest in your fridge overnight and of course frying the donuts in canola oil at the right temperature 375 F.  Once you have rolled it, you can cut them into squares or into circles or if you have the metal donut maker, you can create the circle and hole.

Enjoy! Happy New Year and I wish you the best for 2012 even if you celebrated on December 31 or January 13.

Be Well…Ellen





  • 1/2 Tbsp yeast (7 mL)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (60 mL)
  • 1/2 cup hot water (125 mL)
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil (30 mL)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (60 mL)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (2 mL)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk (125 mL)
  • 1 egg, beaten (1 )
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (875 mL)


  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
  2. In large bowl, combine hot water, canola oil, sugar, salt, and evaporated milk. Stir to dissolve sugar, then add dissolved yeast and egg. Stir in 2 cups flour and beat until smooth. Add the remaining flour to make soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Roll out chilled dough to 1/8 inch thickness on a floured board; cut into 2-inch squares. Deep fry at 375°F (190°C) for 2 – 3 minutes until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle generously with icing sugar. Serve warm.

About the Author



Ellen is two things: bossy and a foodie. She loves to tell everyone why they should cook with canola oil by indulging in her love of cooking and teaching. Follow Ellen on twitter @Ellen_Pruden.

See More Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *