This recipe is straight from my Grandmother’s kitchen with one exception, I use butter flavored shortening
LOWER 9TH WARD BEIGNETS
1 cake compressed yeast, 1/4 cup lukewarm water (110 degrees), 3/4 cup evaporated milk, scalded, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 cup butter flavored shortening, melted, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 large egg, beaten, 3 cups self-rising flour, powdered sugar for dusting, and oil for frying.
Get out a bowl. Add the water and the yeast to the bowl, allow to soften. In another bowl add the milk, sugar, salt, extract, and shortening to the bowl, mix and set aside for at least 10 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, and the baking powder, mix well. Add the yeast and egg, to the bowl mix well. Add the remaining flour and fold in until everything is combined and the dough is soft. Turn the dough out on a floured surface. Knead until the dough is smooth. Get out a large glass bowl and lightly grease the bowl, put the dough into the greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and set aside until the dough doubled in size. This steps should take approximately 90 minutes. With your fist punch the dough down, let the dough rise again. This step should take 60 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to 1/3-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares, set aside. Allow the squares to rest for another 30-minutes. Get out the Dutch oven, add a couple of inches of oil, heat the oil to 375 degrees, when the oil is hot add the dough squares and fry to golden brown and crisp on all sides. Remove from the oil, drain on a paper towel. With your pointer finger punch a hole in the side of half the beignets. In the beignets with a hole add raspberry seedless preserves, lightly dust all the beignets with powdered sugar.