Guava and Cream Cheese Twists
In Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean, pastelillos (also known as pastelitos) are flaky pastry turnovers that taste like bliss when eaten fresh from the bakery, their jammy guava centers fused with creamy cheese. These cookies capture a bit of that magic in packable, sturdy sweets that can be kept for days and easily shared or shipped. Instead of being filled with perishable cream cheese, these have it blended into their buttery dough to incorporate that tangy richness. Guava paste seals into the pastry while baking, delivering a chewy fruitiness with each bite.
- Serves: 50 persons
- ½cup/113 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 4ounces/116 grams cream cheese, softened
- 2tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¾teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1large egg, yolk and white separated
- 1cup/130 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
- 11 ⅓ounces/320 grams guava paste (see Tip)
- Sparkling sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Step 1Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed or a large bowl and wooden spoon, beat butter and cream cheese until creamy and smooth. With the machine running, add sugar and salt, and continue beating until a little fluffy. Add egg yolk and beat until incorporated. (Reserve egg white.) Add flour all at once and mix just until incorporated. Halve the dough, and place each half on plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap, press each half into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
Step 2When ready to bake, cut guava paste into 50 1/4-inch-thick rectangles (2 inches long, ½-inch wide). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 3On a generously floured surface, using a well-floured rolling pin, roll out 1 dough rectangle until roughly 15 1/2 inches long, 6 1/2 inches wide and 1/8-inch thick. Trim the edges, then cut into 24 (2 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch) rectangles. (You will have 48 rectangles from the initial rolling; the final two rectangles will come from rolled-out scraps.) Transfer to a prepared sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. If the dough has gotten too soft to handle, refrigerate until firmer but still very pliable.
Step 4Place a guava paste rectangle in the center of each piece of dough on a diagonal. (It should not extend past the dough.) Take the dough corner opposite the top of a guava rectangle and wrap it over the guava paste so that the point meets the opposite edge; press the dough corner gently to secure. Take the corner diagonally opposite to the folded one and fold over the other end of the guava paste, pressing the corner gently against the other edge. Repeat with the remaining dough and guava paste. Chill and reroll dough scraps. If the assembled dough is soft, and you’d like to decorate the tops, chill or freeze again.
Step 5For a sparkly, crunchy and sweet top, lightly brush the top of the dough with the reserved egg white and sprinkle with sparkling sugar. (These taste just as good without any topping.) Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until golden brown around the edges, 13 to 15 minutes. (The paste may ooze out.) Cool completely on the sheets on wire racks. The cookies are best the day they’re made, but will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.