1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs, beaten
7 1/2 cups flour
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting
Pour 1/2 cup room temperature water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand for about 5 minutes to dissolve.
Combine the shortening, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over the shortening mixture and then stir in the evaporated milk. Wait for the mixture to cool down until it is lukewarm. Then, add the yeast and water mixture and beaten eggs.
Slowly mix in the flour until the dough forms a ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Working with a small portion (a little larger than a baseball) at a time, roll out the dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut the rolled out dough into strips 2 to 3-inches wide, then cut again in the opposite direction and at an angle, making diamond shapes.
Heat your oil for frying in a deep and wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat to 360 degree F (180 degrees C).
Slide dough slowly into the oil to avoid splattering and deep fry until they puff up and are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully remove onto a rack with paper towels underneath and allow to cool until you can handle them. Place in a clean paper bag with confectioners' sugar and shake gently until covered generously or, use a sifter to dust the beignets with powdered sugar.
Wrap any remaining dough with plastic wrap and it will keep in the fridge up to a week.