When thinking of what would be the first recipe for this blog, it was pretty much a no-brainer. Flitters are a Sunday morning tradition in our home, so they pretty much selected themselves as the first recipe. Sunday is usually a day when we stay home, and it’s the best day for me to get started on my new blog. So Flitters it is!
Flitters is the name given to these tasty treats on the islands, but they are better-known as “Beignets” in New Orleans and can be found at the famous Cafe du Monde. Growing up, Flitters was a special treat for us when my Gram came to visit because my Mama never made them too often (more on that later!). Coconut Bread, Chocolate Fudge, and Flitters were here thing.
Here is a picture of my Gram, and this first blog post is a tribute to her and her famous Flitters!
Steps in Making Flitters
Gram’s recipe is simple. Only five ingredients: Flour, Sugar, Salt, Baking Powder, and Water. The measurements are even more simple. Two of everything: 2 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 2 teaspoons of baking powder.
Except for the water. Measure about 3/4 cup of warm water (That’s the secret! The water must be warm.)
Pour the water slowly and the baking powder will begin to foam like this:
Then mix with a fork until it looks like this:
Now comes the part that my Mama hates and why she never made them much. You have to get your hands sticky and full of flour! Put the ball of dough onto a floured surface and knead it until it is no longer sticky, adding more flour if needed.
Let it rest under a damp paper towel (so the dough does not dry out) while you get the frying pan ready.
Next, get the oil ready. A cast iron skillet like this one works best, but any frying pan would do.
Add the frying oil to the pan. When adding the oil, my husband (taking the pictures) asked, “That much oil?!” and the answer was, “Yes, that much.” You need a good inch to inch and a half of oil so the Flitters can float and not touch the bottom of the pan and burn.
I used Carrington Farms coconut oil, and I can just hear you, Islanders, saying, “Why on earth would you use store bought coconut oil when you can get it here?” Well, for two, no three reasons: One, this oil has a lighter flavor than the oil made locally and my hubby doesn’t like the strong taste that the local coconut leaves in anything cooked with it. Two, it is a bit cheaper per ounce than the locally produced oil. And three, because it can be found online and if any of you know me, I am the Amazon.com Queen, and this baby is on auto ship.
Next, you’re going to roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4″ thick:
Then cut it into squares with a pizza wheel:
Now it’s time to fry them! Line a plate with paper towels before you start because if you turn your back to do this while the frying has started, you will likely burn the first batch. So do this before the first Flitter goes into the oil.
Make sure the oil is hot, then place the first three to five Flitters in the pan. The hot oil is what makes them “puff up”. Make sure your oil is good and hot you’ll have a nice little pocket for stuffing with mango jam, refried beans, eggs, avocado, or all of the above.
Once they have puffed up and a nice golden brown on one side, give them a flip to cook the other side. Then, remove them one by one and place them on the paper-lined plate.
That’s it. You’ve made Flitters!
Now, enjoy them with your favorite breakfast eggs and a cup of coffee. You could also sprinkle powdered sugar on them and they will be more like New Orleans Beignets, but this is the way we like them!
Tasty Island Style Flitters (Beignets)
- 2 Cups Flour
- 2 Tbs. Sugar
- 2 Tsp. Salt
- 2 Tsp. Baking Powder
- ¾ Cup Water
- Add flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder into a mixing bowl.
- Add warm water slowly to the mixture.
- Mix with a fork until all ingredients are incorporated.
- Place dough onto a floured surface and knead with palms until no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed.
- Cover with damp paper towel.
- Heat coconut oil in a cast iron skillet.
- Roll dough with a rolling pin until ¼" thick.
- Cut into squares.
- Fry in batches of 3-5 at a time.