1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
oil, to fry
powdered sugar, to taste
1/2 fresh orange zest (optional)
In saucepan over medium heat, combine water, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring, until butter melts. Add flour all at once.
Over low heat, cook and stir until mixture forms into a ball.
Remove from heat and vigorously beat in eggs, one at a time, until mixture is smooth and shiny (similar to eclairs).
Add vanilla and zest (if using), mixing well. Drop rounded teaspoonsful of dough into deep hot oil at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Correct frying temperature is very important.
Fry the dough a few at a time until golden on all sides (they may turn themselves over in the oil). Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper toweling. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.