Beignets is a French word for doughnuts.
When used in America, though, the word takes on the meaning of a specific doughnut made in New Orleans. These are small, square doughnuts about 2 inches by 2 inches square (5 by 5 cm.) There is no hole in them.
The doughnuts are made from wheat flour and yeast, often flavoured with lemon zest, cognac or rum. After rolling the dough out and cutting the doughnuts out, they are let double in size again before frying. After frying, the doughnuts are dusted with icing sugar (aka powdered sugar in America) or iced.
In cafés in New Orleans, Beignets are served with cups of coffee (made from a blend of dark-roasted beans and chicory) that are half coffee, half hot milk.
Beignets were brought by French settlers, In 1986, Beignets were reputedly declared the State Doughnut of Louisiana (but CooksInfo.com has been unable to verify this by finding it listed in the State’s archives with all its other official proclamations.)