Praline Cream-Beignet Tower Recipe

Make the praline filling and dough up to two days ahead. If your beignets don't cover the entire cone, trim the excess. You'll still have a nice tree shape.

Praline Cream-Beignet Tower
Photo: Linda Pugliese, Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas, Buffy Hargett Miller
Hands On Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
6 hrs 35 mins
12 to 15 servings



  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt

  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 tablespoon pecan liqueur


  • 1 (1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (100° to 110°), divided

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar

  • 1 cup evaporated milk

  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 teaspoon table salt

  • 1/4 cup shortening

  • 6 1/2 to 7 cups bread flour

  • Vegetable cooking spray


  • Vegetable oil

  • 120 heavy-duty 2-inch wooden picks

  • 1 (177/8- x 415/16-inch) plastic foam cone

  • Powdered sugar


  1. Prepare Filling: Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan; whisk together half-and-half and egg yolks in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk half-and-half mixture into brown sugar mixture, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, about 7 minutes or until mixture just begins to bubble. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 more minute; remove from heat, and whisk in butter and pecan liqueur. Whisk until butter melts. Spoon mixture into a medium bowl, and place plastic wrap directly onto filling (to prevent a film from forming). Cool 30 minutes. Chill 4 to 24 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare Beignet dough: Combine yeast, 1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°), and 1 tsp. granulated sugar in bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Add evaporated milk, eggs, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar to yeast mixture, beating at medium speed until combined.

  3. Microwave remaining 1 cup warm water in a 2-cup glass measuring cup until hot (about 115°); stir in shortening until melted. Add to yeast mixture. Beat at low speed, gradually adding 4 cups flour, until smooth. Gradually add remaining 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour, beating until a sticky dough forms. Transfer to a lightly greased (with cooking spray) bowl; lightly grease top of dough with cooking spray. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.

  4. Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface; roll half of dough to 1/4-inch thickness. (Refrigerate remaining dough until ready to use.) Cut into 2-inch squares with a pizza wheel or a sharp knife. Repeat with remaining half of dough.

  5. Pour oil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches into a large Dutch oven; heat to 360°. Fry dough, in batches, 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on a wire rack.

  6. Insert a small metal tip (we used a #17) into a large pastry bag. Using a long wooden skewer, poke a hole in the side of each beignet. Fill pastry bag with half of chilled Praline Cream Filling. Pipe a small amount into each beignet. Repeat with remaining filling and beignets.

  7. Assemble: Starting at bottom, insert 1 pick into cone. Press 1 beignet onto pick. Repeat with remaining picks and beignets, covering entire cone. Dust entire beignet-covered cone heavily with powdered sugar.

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