While attending BlogHer Food in Miami this past May, I attended a workshop taught by my gal, Meseidy of The Noshery, and Carla of The Cuban Brit. The workshop was on cooking traditional Puerto Rican and Cuban foods or putting spins on those cuisines. I walked away from the workshop very full indeed (SAMPLES!!), and inspired to introduce some of these ingredients and recipes in my home kitchen.
Most especially, I walked away ready to put guava paste in and on EVERYTHING. Oh my word, friends. Have you TRIED guava paste? It’s tangy, sweet, and perfect for adding a burst of fresh, fruity flavour to main dishes, appetizers, and desserts alike. We have taken to slicing guava paste and serving it with our cheese trays when I’ve been too lazy or busy to get to the store for fresh fruit. It is something I don’t want my pantry to be without now. In the workshop, Meseidy and Carla prepared a traditional Cuban dessert of cream cheese and guava paste wrapped in dough and fried. Today, I’m going to share this quick, simple, and impressive sweet with you. I like to fry them up, cool them slightly, then wrap them in foil and tuck them into our picnic basket. I think they’ll make an appearance for packed lunches on field trips this coming fall, too. It’s a perfect little combination of creamy, sweet, fruity, and tangy in a flaky little hand pie package!
I love using Goya Discos for this job for the sake of speed, but my friend Meseidy has a fantastic recipe for a homemade version of the dough. I highly recommend it!
Guava paste is widely available (most grocery stores who carry it will have it in the Goya or Hispanic foods section.) I order Guava Paste (affiliate link) from Amazon.com, though, because I prefer guava paste that doesn’t have artificial colours or high fructose corn syrup.
I prefer the texture of my little hand pies when they’re deep fried, but I know a lot of people fear deep frying. The recipe includes instructions for baked hand pies. One of these days, though, I will convince the world that deep frying is easy-peasy as long as you’re paying attention!
Guava and Cream Cheese Hand Pies
- 10 Goya discos or homemade empanada pastry discs. empanada wrappers
- 1 brick of cream cheese 8 ounce, crosswise rather than lengthwise, cut into 10 slices
- 10 slices of guava paste that are about 2 1/2-inches long by 1-inch across by 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
- 1 beaten egg
- oil for frying or non-stick cooking spray if baking
To Prepare Hand Pies:
- Lay out the discos or homemade empanada pastry discs. Brush the edges of the disc with beaten egg.
- Lay one slice of cream cheese and one of guava paste just to the side of the center of the disc. Lift the empty side of the dough and drape it over the guava paste and cream cheese, then use your fingers or a fork to crimp the dough closed.
- Preheat oil to 350°F. Carefully lower two or three of the hand pies into the oil and fry until golden brown and delicious, about 4 minutes. Use tongs or a slotted spoon or spider to transfer the pies from the oil to a paper towel lined plate. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before eating. These can be eaten at room temperature!
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush both sides of the pies with more beaten egg and place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake until puffy and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes before eating. These can be eaten at room temperature!
To fry these little beauties, I used my brand-spankin’ new T-Fal Cool-Touch Deep Fryer from JCPenney. After having made due for years with frying pans on my oven (and cleaning up the inevitable oily mess that resulted from it) I was excited to delve into tidier, safer deep frying. Besides being a cleaner, safer way to deep-fry, it has the added bonuses of keeping my house from smelling like a professional kitchen during pub hours AND being a convenient place to store my frying oil.The good folks at JCPenney have a fantastic and robust home goods section. In fact, throughout the month of July, they’ve been hosting a celebrity designer in store, fielding LIVE design questions that you can submit to them via Facebook. Be sure to submit YOUR design questions via the JCPenney Facebook page and watch to see if you’re answered live by a celebrity designer! As a bonus, you can also receive a 20% off a home product offer. The final Designer Day is this Wednesday 7/30 with designer David Bromstad in Dallas – make sure to submit your home design question! And check out all the great home advice from the previous participating designers on the JCPenney Designer Days Playlist on YouTube here.
That’s not everything, though! To help you all solve your own home design or gadget needs, JCPenney is offering a $100 JCPenney Gift Card to one Foodie with Family reader. All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is answer the following question in the comments: What is the one item you need or want the most for your kitchen or home?
- 1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the [email protected] email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 7/28 -8/25/2014. Be sure to visit the JCPenney brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!