Beignets are known in the Netherlands as "oliebollen". They are traditionally eaten on December 31st, to celebrate the new year.
Mix the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and optional raisins in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and lemon juice and stir until everything is well blended. Cover with a damp dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.
You can fry the beignets in a deep fryer or a large saucepan or wok filled with oil to a depth of about 3 inches. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. It is important that the oil is hot enough, or the beignets will soak up too much oil. Drop the batter in the oil by large spoonfuls, about 4 at the time. Cook them until both sides are golden brown, turning them once. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels.
Sprinkle them with vegan powdered sugar and serve them either hot or at room temperature.
Mix the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
To make the batter for the apple beignets, follow the same directions as for the plain or raisin beignets. You can also use batter left over from making either plain or raisin beignets. Thin the batter with water, until it reaches the consistency of a thick pancake batter. Dip an apple slice in the batter and fry it in oil like you would plain or raisin beignets.
After draining on paper towels, dip the apple beignets in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
When you make a large amount of beignets, make sure to refresh the oil now and then. When the oil gets older, the beignets will become oilier and less fluffy.
If you are planning on making both regular and apple beignets, make sure to bake the apple beignets last, since apples contain more moisture.
Vegan Powdered Sugar
The brand Wholesome Sweeteners sells vegan, organic and fair trade powdered sugar.
You can also make powdered sugar yourself by blending 1 cup
unbleached cane sugar with 1/4 cup cornstarch in either a blender or food
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