Preparation / Directions:
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the boiling water, butter, salt, sugar, and orange rind. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, sift together the flour and baking powder.
Add the dry ingredients all at once to the hot mixture, beating hard with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the mixture forms a compact mass and leaves the sides of the pan.
Remove from the heat and let cool for 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating hard after each addition; the mixture should be smooth, glossy, and thick.
Heat the oil (which should be 2-1/2 to 3 inches deep) almost to the smoking point, then drop the batter by tablespoons into the oil, without crowding, to form puffs. When the puffs surface, turn them to fry on all sides, using tongs, then lift them out, drain off excess oil on absorbent paper. Place on warm platter and keep warm.
If using the syrup, boil the syrup ingredients for 5 minutes; spoon the syrup, or warm honey, over the puffs, sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve hot.