If you have a sweet tooth, you are in luck; Oklahoma City is host to a number of Mexican bakeries that will tug at your heartstrings. You will be a regular customer before you know it!

Stroll into Panadería la Herradura, 2235 SW 14th St.; ask for capirotada; and prepare yourself for the most wonderful bread pudding experience. This is the stuff of childhood memories; it is most often eaten during Lent but is available throughout the year.

“We have traditional Mexican wedding cookies, a popular favorite,” said Kathy Montoya, co-owner with her husband, Sotero Montoya.

These cookies are wonderfully addictive; they taste similar to a shortbread cookie.

“We make everything fresh; we use no mixes whatsoever,” said Kathy Montoya.

“A lot of people come from out of town just for our pastries” she said.

All of the pastries at Panaderia la Herradura are delightful to look at; the flaky orejas pastries are shaped like two ears and the seashell-shaped conchas are topped with sugar, as are the half-moon shaped empanadas (Mexican turnovers). Choose from pumpkin, pineapple or cheese empanadas, or pick up all three. I chose the cheese empanada. It was just like biting into a cheese pillow (one of my food fantasies). A wide assortment of colorful Mexican sugar cookies was also on display.

Choose your pastries Mexican-style at the family-owned Mexico Bakery, 1906 S. Central Ave. Pick up a charola (tray) and a set of pinzas (tongs) and help yourself to your hearts’ content. Here, you can delight in the traditional “piggies” (puerquitos), spiced molasses flavored cookies shaped like pigs.

A must-have are the basket-shaped pastries that have a pineapple filling peeking out on top and are sprinkled with sugar. You will get sugar all over you as you eat these bejeweled pastries, but dusting the sugar off your clothes is worth every heavenly bite.

Yoyos are here
Yoyos are a Mexican sweet bread (pan dolce) resembling the toy of the same name. These are two sections of pastry pressed together, filled most often with a luscious raspberry filling and then covered with coconut.

It’s virtually impossible to walk past La Oaxaqueña Bakery, 741 SW 29th St., without stopping in — the aroma of baked goods wafts outside, enticing customers inside. This cheerful Mexican bakery features the well-known tres leches cake. The tres leches cake is made with three different types of milk: evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and regular milk (or sometimes coconut milk).

Popular in Central and South America as well as Mexico, this cake’s origins are difficult to trace; but in any case, tres leches cakes are a permanent fixture in Mexican bakeries.

Churros are Mexican crullers introduced to Mexico from Spain. Resembling a doughy breadstick, it is fried and glazed with a sugarand-cinnamon coating. While many cuisines and cultures have some variation of fried bread with sugar, the addition of cinnamon adds a uniquely Mexican touch.

La Oaxaqueña offers two choices of churros: caramel and cream.

Get both. Bring a bag of these home and serve them with a Mexican chocolate dipping sauce, churros con chocolate. While most frequently eaten for breakfast with a cup of hot chocolate, you can dip them in your afternoon coffee for a perfect pick-me-up.

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Angela Botzer

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