I’m sure you have heard me mention it before: I’m Cuban and I wouldn’t trade growing up in Miami for the world. Even if you aren’t actually Cuban, in Miami, Cuban food is likely a part of you life. Lucky you!
I’ve lived in Georgia for many years and I’ve found a few places that sell Cuban food, but they are always very far away and don’t stay open very long unless they are in Atlanta. I think this is because people think Cuban food is spicy, or like Mexican food, but it isn’t. I’ll tell you a secret, southerners, Cuban food is right up you alley! Savory meats and sides, CUBAN BREAD, endless side dishes and pastries that will give you a reason to get up on Saturday morning and run to the bakery. I STILL wake up from time to time thinking that I should run to the little place down the street and get pastelitos, pan and cafe…but then I remember: I live in a town without a panaderia cubana.
Instead of sulking, I decided to make a go at making some simple recipe hacks that will make these foods do-able and accessible to anyone!
Pastelitos de Guayaba
- 2 Packages of Puff Pastry sheets / I used the Pepperidge Farm version found in the freezer section
- 1 Package of Guayaba (Guava) Paste / Found in the “International” or “Ethnic” Food Section.
- 1 Baking Pan, preferably non-stick
- 1 Can of Cooking Spray / If not using a non-stick pan
- A knife
- A pizza cutter
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Follow the thawing directions on the puff pastry package.
- When the sheets are thawed, lay them on a nonstick pan.
- Next, carefully open the guayaba package. Make sure your remove all the plastic. I know this seems like common sense, but guayaba paste is SUPER sticky!
- Now use a knife to cut the guayaba into strips that are about a quarter of an inch thick. The bars are a pretty standard size, so just pay attention to the width.
- Lay the strips in an even pattern on the baking sheet like this:
- Next, lay the puff pastry sheets over the guayaba and use the pizza cutter to cut to desired size.
- Put in the oven for 25-35 minutes. You’re looking for golden brown. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!
Pro tip: You WILL want to eat one right away, but I assure they are filled with fiery lava. Just give them about 5-10 minutes before you dig in. You’ve been warned!
Once you know how to make pastelitos, you can make them with different fillings!
My faves include:
- Guayaba + Queso Crema
- Picadillo or other savory, potted meats
- “Pizza” pastelito with pizza sauce + cream cheese
- Queso Crema + Herbs
- Guayaba = Guava
- Panaderia = Bakery
- Pastelito = Pastry
- Queso Crema = Cream Cheese