In the Plaza del Conde de Miranda, a simple set of double doors in the wall of the Monasterio del Corpus Christi lead to a place where visitors can buy cookies directly from cloistered nuns. Although the monastery has been in operation since 1607, only more recently did its inhabitants get into the baking business. As word spread, what started out as an informal neighborhood affair quickly grew.
Since the nuns are strictly forbidden from contact with the outside world, they designed a rather ingenious system. Simply ring the buzzer that says “Monjas” (nuns) on the door and ask, “Tienes dulces hoy?” (“Do you have sweets today?”) If the nuns buzz you in, walk to the end of the corridor, following the signs that read “Torno.”
When you get there, you will see a turntable, or torno, as well as a menu offering classics like mantecadas de yema (egg yolk shortbreads), nevaditos (iced shortbreads), and naranjines (orange-scented biscuits). The cookies are ordered by weight, so tell them how much you want and put your money on the turntable. The nun on the other side will rotate the turntable so that your money disappears and is replaced by freshly baked biscuits.
Know Before You Go
A sign on the door will tell you if cookies are available, and if not, when they will be selling next. Be sure to bring cash.