Recently, after a trip to the amazing Anju Noodle Bar in Kittery, ME, we went next door to Lil’s for coffee.  They have amazing, gorgeous pastries.  I had a French cruller there that was different than any I’ve tried.  We determined that they were made from pate a choux dough.  Here is my attempt.  They are light and delicious, if I must say so myself! The shapes are kind of crazy as I’m still trying to master the pastry bag.


1 cup of water
6 tablespoons butter
pinch of salt
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
4 large eggs, must be room temperature
1 quart of organic, non GMO canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

You’ll need a pastry bag or a ziploc bag, a deep frying pan or dutch oven and a candy thermometer.

Make the pate a choux:

Crack eggs into a liquid measuring cup or bowl.

Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add the butter in a saucepan. Simmer until butter melts. Dump in flour all at once and stir vigorously to incorporate.

Remove saucepan from heat and add eggs, one at a time. The mixture will be lumpy as you mix in each egg, but will smooth out. Allow to cool briefly.

Frying the doughnuts:

Mix cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.

Bring oil to temperature in your frying pan, I used a 10 inch cast iron skillet and it held 4 doughnuts. Ideally, you should start frying at 375 and maintain the oil at 350.

Pipe out dough into round shapes. Fry on both sides until golden brown- about 3 minutes on each side.


Drain on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels or has a wire rack on it. Cool slightly.

Roll each doughnut in cinnamon sugar while still warm. Return to wire rack or plate lined with clean paper towels.


Repeat frying until all dough is used.

Enjoy! Makes 9 doughnuts

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