Monday, November 16, 2009

Cuban Pastelitos de Guayaba y Queso (Guava and Cheese Pastries)

We had almost forgotten about these little treats. I first had these guava and cheese pastries several years ago when JS and I, along with a couple of the gongs (our cousins), went on a trip to LA. One of our stops was Porto's Bakery. Actually, we made a few stops at Porto's, including a stop to stock up on pastelitos before flying back to to Vancouver.

Porto's Bakery (Glendale, CA)

My original plan was to grab a couple (okay, TWO DOZEN) of these pastelitos from Porto's on our way up to San Francisco (to attend the Foodbuzz Food Blogger Festival). But, as you well know, that didn't happen.

Oh well. I consoled ourselves with the thought that there's always a next time.

I didn't know that next time would be today, when TS had it in her sight to make these morsels of deliciousness. I casually reminded her that we did have guava paste in the pantry. The guava paste was a purchase several months ago, just a purchase on who-knows-what-whim.

I never expected that the guava paste would be enlisted to a higher calling.

I rushed out of the house to buy puff pastry. Then, I realized that I wouldn't be able to make these pastries the same day because the puff pastry had to thaw! The waiting!

The next day, I prepared the cream cheese filling -- cream cheese loosened with some milk and lemon juice, and sweeteened with the smallest amount of sugar -- and the rest was basically an assembly job.

For various reasons, I had a really trying time with the whole job. I was actually very annoyed during the whole time, but I willed myself to finish because despite the annoyance, I was still very excited to eat them.

I decided to cut each pastry sheet into 9 pieces, as I knew the more pieces there are, the better. Look at how sorry my pastry squares looked.

I filled each square (or whatever shape these can be called) with some cream cheese filling, then some of the guava paste.

The first 9. Look at how ugly those shapes are. The next 9 didn't fare any better. I brushed egg wash on them before placing them in the oven. When they were fairly golden, I brushed some simple syrup on them -- equal parts of water and sugar, heated until the sugar is dissolved -- and baked them some more.

Here they are out of the oven. Almost all of them were not sealed properly and had either cream cheese or guava, or both, oozing out of them. I guess that's what happens when one greedily overfills tiny pastry squares. As I said, it was a very bad day for me and these pastelitos.

But, no matter.
These Cuban pastelitos were fantafreakingbuloutastic!

Brushing them with simple syrup seemed to be a must, as it gave the exterior the same quality as the pastries from Porto's. I was quite powerless to resist these, stuffing my face even though I was extremely full. It was probably for the better than I only made so few. And yes, 18 small pastries is a few.

Just like the Refugiados from Porto's, I couldn't stop eating these! The filling was the perfect balance of sweet, tangy, fruity, creamy. Needless to say, we finished off our batch in a couple of hours.

interior of a pastelito

I made sure to save some to give to the gongs. They had no trouble at all remembering these pastelitos.

Actually, gong2 almost missed out altogether! She mistakenly held out until the next day to eat one, and only managed to snag HALF of one as she caught someone taking the final pastry.

One could probably just wing it when making these pastries. But, this is the recipe I referred to. For the Love of Food: Guava Pastries

[eatingclub] Cuban
Cuban Pastelitos de Guayaba y Queso (Guava and Cheese Pastries)
Grilled Cuban Chicken
Cuban Arroz con Salchichas (Yellow Rice with Vienna Sausages)
Slow-Roast Pork Shoulder, Two Ways

[eatingclub] vancouver Regional Recipes posts
Greek Meatball Soup (Giouvarlakia)
Simmered Saba Mackerel with Daikon Radish (Saba Oroshi-ni)
Thai Fried Chicken
Roast Pork Belly with Puy Lentils
Beef "Ribbon" Kebab (Pasanda Kabab) with Cilantro Chutney
Canadian Onion Soup with Oka Cheese
Börek with Beef Filling
Korean Pork Bulgogi (with Muu Namul, Kong Namul)
Lobster Congee from a Lobster Feast
Pork Jowl (Pork Cheeks) with Brown Sugar Rub
Beef Salpicao
Cuban Arroz con Salchichas (Yellow Rice with Vienna Sausages)
Cuban Pastelitos de Guayaba y Queso (Guava and Cheese Pastries)
Vietnamese Spring Roll (Cha Gio)
Grilled Fish Fillet on Oregano
Pastéli (Greek Sesame Snaps)

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Blazing Hot WokWe're submitting this to Regional Recipes, a blogging event created by Blazing Hot Wok that celebrates food from all over the world.

The region for this edition is Cuba. The round-up will be hosted at Blazing Hot Wok and will be posted after November 15.

Regional Recipes information


  1. these look fantastic and are our favorite treats at Portos! Hopefully we'll see you at the next year's Foodbuzz event!

  2. lovely. i am so sorry to read about your eye; at least you are back to health. and maybe next year if I go, we can trade real names.

  3. I live in So FL and see these a lot. I've always considered them a guilty pleasure when I bite into one. I never even considered making them. I think you did a great job. They look authentic...and it's great when a little oozes out.

  4. Who cares how those look they sound fantastic! Now you have me inspired to try making them using apple sauce instead of guava

  5. Jim-49 said
    These look so good!! I guess,because I've only started really making pastries,in the last year,or maybe its my area,some of the ingredents,are very hard to find.This,guava paste,I have never saw it,but will look better.Here in the south,we lost many "Baking supply stores,to Katrina,and they didn't come back,many were older businesses,people,and just didn't make it back.Most of the large stores,really don't keep the baking supplies,and shipping is "very high"!! Our main,supply is a "Wilton Dealer",few cake pans,molds,candy making supplies,and sorta slim.Love the site!!!

  6. OK, that recipe is way too easy. I want to run out and make these now!

  7. i love these! we eat them empañada=style. YUM.

  8. Cheflalo said?

    Wow looking for this recipe for long long, I ask my wife, how can I learn to make this delicious guava pastelitos as Miami bakeries, she reply well easy just ask life and you will get it, thanks foodbuzz Internet

  9. Ravenous Couple:|
    Yeah, we do hope we'll be able to make it to the festival!

    maybelle's mom:
    Oooh, hopefully we do get to meet live! =)

    Joan Nova:
    Thanks! It's great we managed to capture a little authenticity.

    Oh, that does sound very intriguing indeed, using applesauce and cream cheese. Hmmm.

    Good luck on your baking! And I do hope those small businesses get back on their feet. Thanks for visiting us!

    Wandering Chopsticks:
    This is what we have to resort to when unable to find these items around here. =)

    Haha... glad to be able to provide you with link to the recipe! =)

  10. Hi, can you please tell me where you get guava paste in Vancouver? I can't seem to find it here in Nanaimo. Many thanks and keep up all the great writing.

  11. Lynn W:
    We bought ours at Panaderia Latina Bakery. 4906 Joyce Street. 604-439-1414.

    Hope this helps! Thanks for the kind words. =)

  12. Delicious! I made them tonight and OMG! I had to walk away from them. I gave some to friends and they loved it too. This is going to me a keeper recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    1. We're glad you like them! And YES, I KNOW! One has to literally walk away from them or else! =D


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