Masa dough is what you use to make tamales with.
It's mostly just corn flour (Masa Harina) with some liquid (water or broth) and lard in it with a touch of salt & such.
To make it sweet you would just add some sugar to the mix.
So it kinda sounds like your basically after some little fried/baked balls of dough or something,it kinda sounds like your after a mexican hush puppy or such.
When making tamales you pretty much cook them with steam,so I dunno how they're cooking those ones your talking about?
But it's all just a basic dough,how you cook it is almost limitless.
Here is the whipped/beaten Masa recipe I use is for my tamales,IIRC I got this one outta my local newspaper a while back:
1 1/4 cups lard
1 tsp salt (to taste)
(can reduce or omit salt if not using low sodium broth)
3 1/2 cups Masa Harina
2 1/4 cups fairly hot water
2 to 2 1/2 cups broth
Mix Masa & hot water together and mix loosely & set aside.
Whip lard till fluffy.
Add salt and continue whippng/mixing lard while adding in some small pieces (2 oz./appx. 1" dia balls) of the masa/water dough to that mix with the whipped lard,keep doing this till like 1/2 that masa/water dough is used up then start alternating between adding that and the broth till all the rest is mixed up.
You'll know your good when a 1/2 tbsp. of the stuff floats in a bowl of cold water,if it sinks it's needs more mixing.
Too dry,add more broth.
Too wet add more masa.
To make it "sweet" just add 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (brown or white).
In the end it's sorta a balancing act to get the masa dough "just so".
It'll be the consistency of somewhere between ice cream & peanut butter,it should spread nice & evenly.
Now this makes an assload of dough as no one only makes a few tamales,now do they.
But it can be refridgerated overnight,any longer than that and you should freeze it (about a month or so max though).