RASPBERRY DIPPING SAUCE: In a small saucepan simmer raspberries, sugar vanilla extract and water until sugar is dissolved. Pour raspberry mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour mixture into a fine sieve to remove seeds; allow mixture to cool.
BEIGNETS: In a large bowl, whisk together water, sugar, and yeast; let sit for 10 minutes.
In another bowl, whisk eggs and evaporated milk together. Whisk egg mixture into the yeast mixture.
In a separate bowl, measure out the bread flour and salt. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture, using a wood spoon, stir to combine. Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour 1 cup at a time.
Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees.
Add the confectioners' sugar to a large paper bag; set aside.
Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 2-inch squares.
Deep-fry squares, flipping them constantly, until they become a golden color. After beignets are fried, drain them on paper towels for a few seconds, and then toss them into the bag of confectioners' sugar. Hold bag closed and shake to coat evenly.
Serve warm with raspberry dipping sauce.
This makes quite a few beignets (mini doughnuts). Feel free to 1/2 the recipe OR store 1/2 the dough in the refrigerator (for up to 4 days) OR freeze remaining dough (for up to 6 months) to use at a later date.