To make the spiced water, combine 1 cup of water, cinnamon sticks, cloves and anise seeds in a small saucepan and bring to boil, simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and strain out the spices, it should be lukewarm when added to the dough.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the food processor and pulse until mixed. Add ground spices at this point if you are using plain water instead of spiced water.
Add the butter, cut in small pieces, and mix well.
Add the yolks, lemon juice, aguardiente and ½ cup of the spiced water. Mix until the dough start to form into small clumps, add additional spiced water, one tablespoon at a time, if needed.
Remove the dough from the food processor, work it gently and form a ball. Let the dough rest at room temperature for about an hour.
Take half of the dough and roll it out on a floured surface until you have a thin layer of dough.
Use a knife to cut the dough into 1 inch wide and 6-10 inch long strips. Make small cuts that are about 1/3 to ½ deep into the side of each strip, then form the strip into a circle to make a crown like shape. Press the edges together to seal the crown, use water or egg white to help glue the edges together if needed.
Heat the oil in a medium sized frying pan, test by dipping the dough into the oil and if it sizzles then it’s ready. Carefully add the fritters to the pan. Do not overcrowd, fry 2-3 at a time depending on the size of the pan. Turn them over when golden. Remove pristiños from pan and place on plate with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
Serve warm with miel de panela o piloncillo spiced syrup. Can also be served with dulce de higos or figs cooked in panela syrup. Honey can be used as a replacement or alternative for panela syrup. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon if desired.