Miracles for the sweet-toothed

Category: Art & Culture, Food & Drink, Shopping October 3, 2012

Biscuits from Las Carboneras

The sweets appeared as if by magic. The revolving window transformed a few euros into some delicious cookies that seem to have been made by angels but are in fact the handiwork of the cloistered nuns at Convento de las Carboneras. This post is devoted to cakes and pastries: cookies, rosquillas, pastries and jams made using age-old recipes and exquisite, no matter what your tastes are.

Convento de las Carboneras was founded in 1607 by Beatriz Ramírez de Mendoza, one of Queen Anna of Austria’s ladies in waiting. The church is decorated with some curious artworks, including a Last Supper by Vicente Carducho and a panel of the virgin, which, if tradition is to be believed, was found in a coal bunker without so much as a smudge on it. But what really drew me to this secluded spot in the Hapsburg Quarter are the famous cookies made by the cloistered nuns who live here. Knock on a small door on the right of the main entrance to the church in Plaza del Conde de Miranda 3, and ask for the number of cookies you want to buy through the revolving window (known as the torno).

And if you haven’t yet satisfied your sugar cravings, nearby there is a specialist delicatessen shop, El jardín del convento, selling products made by the nuns. Go to Calle del Cordón 1, there you’ll find everything you want, pestiños, marzipan, jellies… Very good for your health, as they’re all handmade, but even better for your soul.