Today, we’re wishing our readers happy holidays with another seasonal treat — Gingerbread Beignets — courtesy of guest author Kelli! Let’s take a closer look at this holiday specialty from Disneyland’s Mint Julep Bar!
The Mint Julep Bar located in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square can be considered a hidden gem. Located close to the Disney Railroad stop in New Orleans Square, this spot is the perfect resting ground for those needing a short break from all the walking and a quick bite to eat.
A note to those who may not be as familiar with the New Orleans Square area: the Mint Julep Bar is not visible from the main road. To get to it, turn left from the main road (Rivers of America will be on your right), as if you are going toward the eating section of the French Market Restaurant. Mint Julep Bar is in one of the corners of the Market’s outdoor patio seating.
While the small walk-up spot is known for its New Orleans Mint Julep — a refreshing mint drink featuring a hint of lime — the classic Mickey-shaped beignets are a house specialty. These treats come coated generously with powdered sugar in packs of three ($4.19) or six ($7.19).
For those who don’t know: beignets (pronounced “ben-yays”) are doughnut or fritter-like pastries that are dipped in batter and deep fried. These delightful treats are derived from the Middle French “bignet” pastry that included a meat or fruit filling.
For the holidays, the Mint Julep Bar takes these Mickey-shaped beignets to the next level and features limited-time “Gingerbread Beignets” for the entire month of December only. According to the cast member working at the window, these gingerbread-flavored treats can only be found at the Mint Julep Bar, in neighboring Café Orleans — which is known for its version of the beloved Monte Cristo sandwich — or in Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen Restaurant, located in Downtown Disney.
As a gingerbread lover, I would always get the Mickey Gingerbread Cookie that can be found in Downtown Disney’s Marceline’s Confectionary or at the Penny Arcade on Main Street (fun fact: a cast member told me these Mickey Gingerbread Cookies are actually available year round because gingerbread was Walt Disney’s favorite cookie).
But for this Disneyland trip, I knew I had to divert from my usual treat to try the gingerbread beignets. All in the spirit of the season, right?
After standing in a short line at the Mint Julep Bar around noon on a crisp, sunny Tuesday afternoon, I finally got the highly anticipated Gingerbread Beignets.
A list of the walk-up spot’s seasonal treats are in the window, and some of the treats are also listed on a separate menu board at the bar’s entrance.
I opted for the three-pack, consisting of three decently sized, gingerbread-flavored, Mickey-shaped beignets served in a white paper bag. Knowing that the treats would be messy, I asked the cast member for a plate, which he willingly retrieved for me from the adjacent French Market Restaurant.
I opened the bag and peeked inside… and was instantly greeted with the sweet aroma of gingerbread.
I used my fork to gingerly lift one of the powdered sugar-laden treats out. Note: Get ample napkins when eating these treats and especially watch out if you’re wearing dark colors!
As soon as I sunk my teeth into one of the gingerbread beignets, it was like sheer bliss. The beignet was warm and chewy, and powdered sugar covered every inch of it. The beignet itself did not feature an overwhelmingly strong gingerbread flavor; it was more like a subtle hint of gingerbread and cinnamon.
There was still a lot of powdered sugar at the bottom of my bag, so after taking out each beignet, I would shake some of the sugar on top to coat each one further (waste not, right?).
The seasonal Gingerbread Beignets are a must-try before the holidays are over. This is the perfect treat for both gingerbread fanatics and those looking to try a new Christmasy treat. If you are with a friend, however, I would definitely recommend getting the six-pack … after the first bite, sharing won’t be a fun option!
Kelli Shiroma is a freelance writer from Honolulu, Hawaii. She is currently a graduate student at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Kelli hopes to pursue food journalism upon her graduation from USC in 2014. In her spare time, Kelli enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching movies, taking trips back home to O‘ahu, exploring new food joints, and, of course, going to Disneyland.
Have you tried the gingerbread beignets? Let us know in the comments below!