You can find variations of Nuégados throughout Central America. In Guatemala, they are balls of orange-scented (sometimes anise), flour based dough that are fried and coated in a sugar glaze. Neighboring countries often make Nuégados using yucca or corn.
The dough is rich with the addition of 4 eggs and 8 egg yolks. It still has a lightness compared to American doughnut holes since the dough itself only has sugar from the orange juice. They were definitely addictive.
This recipe makes about 45 mini doughnuts. They are best the day they are made, so this recipe can easily be halved if you don’t need to feed a crowd. You can also make the dough in a large food processor fitted with a dough blade.
My sugar glaze ended up being quite thick. Add more water as needed to make a consistency thin enough to coat the balls of dough. Depending on how fast you coat the Nuégados, the glaze may need to be reheated if it begins to harden. Once coated, place the doughnuts into stacks of 4-5 balls for serving or allow to cool separately for easier storage.
Nuégados Guatemaltecos (Guatemalan Orange Scented Fried Dough)
Adapted from Latin American Street Food: The Best Flavors of Markets, Beaches, and Roadside Stands from Mexico to Argentina
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
8 large egg yolks
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
Vegetable oil for frying
12 cups sifted powdered sugar
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange extract
On a large counter, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center and add eggs, egg yolks, and orange juice. Whisk together the ingredients in the well to combine, then slowly incorporate the flour mixture until dough comes together. Add additional flour to the counter as needed to prevent sticking. Gently knead the dough until soft and smooth. Cover and let rest for about 15 minutes.
In a large skillet, add vegetable oil until 2-3 inches deep. Place over medium heat to reach about 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with wire racks.
Roll the dough into balls about 3/4 inch in diameter. Flour hands as needed to prevent sticking. Once oil is heated, add the balls of dough in batches, being careful not to overcrowd. Turn often so they brown evenly. Once lightly golden and cooked through, remove to wire racks, 2-3 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.
Fill a large saucepan with about 2-3 inches of water and place over medium heat to bring to a simmer. In a large, heat-proof bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, water, corn syrup, vanilla extract, and orange extract. Place the bowl over the pan of simmering water and stir until smooth. If too thick, add a little more water until thin enough to coat fried dough. Remove from heat.
Drop the fried dough into the glaze in batches and coat on all sides. Use a spoon to transfer them back to the wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough. Allow to set separately or stack into piles of 4-5 balls of dough. Store in airtight containers once set and serve within a day.