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Sweet pads. Traditional Toledo dessert

Sweet pads. Traditional Toledo dessert

people icon For 10 euro icon € 0.35 /pers. calories icon 305 kcal/100g


  • 1 glass of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 200g sugar
  • 300 g of wheat flour and whatever the dough calls for
  • Plenty of vegetable oil for frying
  • Ground cinnamon, amount to taste

How to make sweet pads. How much we like traditional recipes is not written. That’s why we wanted to try making the pillows, a typical sweet from the Toledo town of Guadamur.

They are a pan-made sweet, like many others so characteristic of our gastronomy ( rosquillas , torrijas , pestiños , buñuelos , etc.), for which you only need a handful of basic and economical ingredients. Although in Toledo they compete with their marzipans at Christmas time, but if you like sweets, I advise you to have both types on your tables.

In Guadamur they are usually prepared in autumn and winter, because they are quite a lot and the type of snack that the body asks for in the cold months. However, they are not linked to any holiday or month of the year, so there is a green light when it comes to making and eating them. To us they seem perfect to celebrate a birthday or another special occasion or Christmas .

The name comes from the fact that the dough , which is stretched thinly and cut into rectangles, swells in contact with the hot oil, leaving it hollow inside and shaped like a pillow . It is slightly reminiscent of the Galician ” entroido ears “, although these have another equally characteristic shape.

The dough can be flavored with anise and lemon or orange , but in their basic formula they are already delicious. To do this, you would have to heat the oil with a teaspoon of anise grain and the peel of the citrus that you like the most and let it cool before using it to make the dough. We have made the basic recipe and we think it is great, we can’t imagine how things can improve if we add a little flavor and aroma. Uffff.

Preparation of the pad dough

  1. We pour the flour into a wide, deep container and make a hole in the center, like a volcano. Inside we pour the white wine and the oil, which must be cold. We stir from the inside out to incorporate the flour little by little.
  2. When we cannot stir more because the mixture is too thick, use our hands (very clean) to knead on a work surface.
  3. As with all these traditional recipes, the amount of flour is indicative and we may need to add more. We must obtain a soft and elastic dough, but one that does not stick to the hands.
  4. We take portions of the dough and spread them thinly with the help of a rolling pin. If we have a large table we can stretch all the dough together and save some time, but most likely we will have to do it in portions.

Preparation of the pads, frying and final presentation

  1. When the dough is stretched, cut it with a sharp knife into rectangular strips.
  2. We heat plenty of oil in a frying pan and drop three or four rectangles of dough inside, no more. It is better to fry little by little so that the temperature of the oil does not drop.
  3. We will notice how the dough swells in contact with the hot oil. We turn them so that they brown on both sides and remove them to a plate covered with absorbent paper. We repeat the operation as many times as necessary to finish the dough.
  4. The last step before finishing is to coat the pads in a mixture of sugar and ground cinnamon . It is best to do this while they are still hot so that the batter adheres to the pads. It is best to have a dish prepared with the mixture so that, as they come out of the pan and drain, we can coat them.
  5. We plate and serve freshly made.

Here you have a step by step photo of these delicious sweet pillows . Don’t miss any details so that they turn out perfect.

Tips for perfect pads

  • The frying oil has to be very hot so that the pads form and become crispy.
  • We can flavor the dough with lemon, orange and/or anise . To do this, we heat the oil in the dough along with the chosen aromas and let it cool completely before straining and starting the recipe.
  • With these quantities many pads come out. If you do not eat them all at once, it is best to store them in an airtight container so that they do not become mushy.

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