“Eh, Celedonia, put on your new skirt and go to Botin’s.  I will write down on a piece of paper just what I want and be sure not to make a mistake ». And when all was said and done, what else could the woman ask for in order to make everyone’s mouth water on such an important occasion: Two roasted hens, four pieces of fried fish and a thick slice of sirloin steak, in addition to some sweet ham and scrambled eggs, accompanied by a dozen bartolillo fritters?… Voilá!”

This was what Galdós wrote on one of the pages of his novel “Misericordia” in 1897. At that time the cream-filled bartolillos were a very typical dessert in Madrid and also at Botín, whose pestiños (honey-covered pancakes) and bartolillos were famous throughout the city, to the point that they were served as “Bartolillos a la Botín” at the dinner which King Alfonso XII gave in honor of the British monarch when Edward VII visited Spain.  Today, our pastry chefs have recovered this recipe from Grandfather Emilio in order to delight the palate of our sweet-toothed diners.

The origin of this pastry is not all that clear:  some say it was brought to Spain by the Romans, while others attribute it to the Arab heritage, and there are also those who believe that, like many sweets and pastries of Spanish gastronomy, it was created by the skilled hands of the cloistered nuns.

The Bartolillo is a kind of fritter or turnover made with a very fine pastry mass and filled with tasty whipped cream.  They are fried and sprinkled with glazed sugar and cinnamon.  And “Voilá”, as Galdós said: “Enjoy!”  It does not matter if they are served hot or cold… either way they are absolutely delicious!


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