1 cup water
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (optional)
1 cup flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
Mild flavored oil
Granulated sugar, or a blend of sugar and cinnamon
Orange marmalade at room temperature, with or without toasted chopped walnuts
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
¼ cup honey (optional)
1. Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
2. Put the water, butter, sugar and salt (and orange zest, if using) into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add all the flour at once and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, just until the ingredients are blended and the dough pulls away from the sides of the pot, then STOP! Set the pot aside for two minutes.
3. Pour oil to a depth of three inches into a heavy gauge saucepan. Heat the oil to 375°F. Unless you have a deep fryer, I strongly advise using a candy thermometer to monitor the oil temperature, which will fluctuate rapidly and wildly as you cook. Too hot and the oil will burn, burning the bimuelos with it. Too cold – anything lower than 350°F – and they won’t expand properly or cook thoroughly inside without overbrowning.
4. Add the eggs to the still-warm dough one at a time, blending each in thoroughly with a wooden spoon before adding the next. The dough will be very shiny and sticky, but there should be no runny egg left.
5. Dip two soupspoons into the hot oil. Scoop up a tablespoon of dough with one, use the other to nudge the dough into a globe shape, and slip it into the hot oil. Cook no more bimuelos at one time than can float freely without crowding, in a single layer in the oil. At first they’ll sink like a stone, then float up to the surface. Leave them to cook on one side, until medium golden. When they’re cooked on one side, bimuelos usually roll over by themselves, but might not if the pot is crowded. If they don’t, coax them with tongs, and finish browning on the other side.
6. Remove them with tongs as they are done. They will not need draining on paper. If you’re not filling them, roll immediately in a bowl of sugar, or sugar and cinnamon. If you’re going to fill them, set them aside to cool slightly, then gently prod open like a clamshell, spoon in the filling and shut them again.
7. To make the syrup, bring the water to a boil, add the sugar, and reduce until slightly thick but still runny. Blend in the honey off the stove, if using, without letting it boil.
Serve the bimuelos soaked in syrup, or pour the syrup in small bowls for dipping.