Mini Banana Beignets [recipe]

What to do with that one last over ripened banana? Nobody wants to eat it, throwing it away seems like a waste, and yes sure, banana bread is always the easy answer, but why make that when you can make some delicious and fluffy mini banana beignets (aka fritters) in half the time? They will also disappear from the plate in half the time as well.

I made this for a dinner with friends a few weekends ago. I mixed all the dry ingredients and made the cinnamon sugar in advance, and waited until we were done with dinner to mix the wet ingredients, heat up the oil, and combined both wet and dry ingredients together. It probably took about 10-15 minutes and we had a batch of freshly fried beignets for dessert. Very simple and quick enough for entertaining or a weekday night indulgence. (Or a quick snack to refuel for all you Black Friday shoppers!) Any leftover fritters (doubtful) can be wrapped in foil and keep in the fridge for a couple of days, simply use the toaster oven to reheat.

Mini Banana Beignets

(adapted from Foodnetwork.com)

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk (recipe said whole milk, I used 2%)
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 overripe banana)

Directions

  • Heat about 2 inches vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F. (I used a deep pot so the oil wouldn’t splatter everywhere)
  • Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/3 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl.
  • Whisk the egg, milk, mashed banana and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in another bowl. Add the banana extract, if desired. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a shallow bowl and set aside.
  •  Whisk the banana mixture into the dry ingredients until just moistened. Working in batches, drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 15 seconds per side. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels, then roll in the cinnamon sugar while still warm.

 

These were so great rolled with cinnamon sugar. To go an extra step, drizzle with chocolate and caramel sauce, and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

I’m going to try to make these with pumpkin puree instead of banana and see how they turn out!

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