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Jul '08

Guava and Cheese Abuelita Pastries

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“Abuelita” means “little grandmother” in Spanish. These sweet little treats are based on the deep-fried and very delicious Cuban empanadas filled with guava & cheese that I used to buy in Union City, NJ (where there are more Cubans and Cuban restaurants per square mile than in Havana!).

When I first made these, a friend said that they seemed like the kind of after-school snack that a little old Cuban grandmother would bake for a favorite grandchild. Serve them warm from the oven with a cup of espresso for a very grown-up dessert.

Here’s a photo of the Guava and Cheese Abuelitas below.

Doug DuCap's Guava and Cheese Abuelitas

Doug DuCap's Guava and Cheese AbuelitasIngredients:

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp sugar
4 oz guava paste (see Cook’s Note)
1 15 oz box rolled refrigerated pie dough, brought to room temperature (see Cook’s Note)
Cooking oil spray


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix the cream cheese, lime juice, and sugar. Cut the guava paste into four slices. Cut each slice in half lengthwise, and cut each of these halves into three pieces, giving you 24 small pieces. Unroll the pie crusts and use a cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut the dough into 2 1/2 inch rounds to make 24 pieces (12 from each roll of pie dough). Lightly coat mini muffin pans with cooking spray and gently press a dough circle into each cup. Add about a teaspoon of cheese to each cup and push a piece of guava paste into the cheese.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Makes 24 mini cups.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Refrigerated pie dough rolls come two to a box and can be found in the refrigerated biscuit dough section of the supermarket.
  • Guava paste comes in a rectangular block and is available in the International foods section of the supermarket. If guava paste is not available, guava jelly can be substituted.


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