For the Love of Pastelitos

I live in Southern California. In a sweet peanut-butter-and-jelly type suburban neighborhood. In other words, I live FAR from the nearest Cuban restaurant. In fact, I have to travel if I want Cuban food. Usually in traffic. Yes, that was a complaint. Hungry for Cuban food. Don’t want to drive to get it. What to do?

My solution to this conundrum is that I have learned to cook. When I get a craving for Cuban food, I run to the store for ingredients and just cook the food of my childhood and current craving.

There is even a small Mexican mercado not far from my home where I can get Goya products, Cuban-style galletas, plantain chips and most especially, guava paste. (Let’s have a moment of silence here, shall we?)

What I cannot get, unless I drive through six area codes through intense traffic is Pastelitos de Guayaba. My favorites. So I have learned to improvise. And came up with my own super-easy recipe to take care of this problem. My pastelitos have become a hit. (*she says proudly*)

But wait. There’s a 2nd half to this story.

Through a series of circumstances involving his wife and my blog, I have developed an unlikely friendship with Desi Arnaz, Jr. Yes, the adorable (still!) son of iconic TV couple, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz of “I Love Lucy” fame.

He had never even tasted pastelitos de guayaba. (Shocking. I know.) So I took it upon myself to right this terrible wrong.

I made Desi a batch of my pastelitos and traveled through the fierce Nevada desert in 110 degree heat. (Of course, I was in an air-conditioned car. I was just going for some drama there, but that’s not important right now.)

Here’s Desi (*be still my heart*) loving on my pastelitos.

Desi & the pastelitos

To read the full story of Desi and the Pastelitos, go here.

Here’s my killer pastelito recipe. After you read this, you, like Desi, are going to want to be my friend, too. =D

pastelitos 5

Marta’s Homemade Pastelitos de Guayaba

1 pkg. Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets
1 bar guava paste
1 pkg. Cream cheese (optional)
1 egg white, beaten
1/2 tsp. sugar

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Thaw the puff pastry according to package directions.

pastelitos 1

3) Use baking parchment to line your cookie sheet so the guava won’t stick.
4) Unfold one of the pastry sheets and place on pan.
5) Cut guava into 1/4 inch slices and place on the pastry sheet.
6) Spread cream cheese over guava paste slices (optional).

pastelitos 2

7) Unfold second pastry sheet and place on top of guava paste.
8) Cut into desired size before baking.
9) To add a slight glaze, beat together: 1 egg white and 1/2 tsp. of sugar. Brush mixture over pastry before baking.

pastelitos 3

10) Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

pastelitos 4

When you start smelling the baking pastries and that timer goes off in your oven, you will be confronted with the most voluptuous, mouth-watering pastelitos ever. But heed this warning: Let them cool before you decide to taste them. That is all.

Buen Provecho!

You can order other Cuban ingredients, like guava paste, etc. online at the Cuban Food Market.

(This recipe was previously posted on Babalú blog in another form.)

Share, por favor!

By Marta on August 31, 2009 · Posted in casa + cultura, food, headline

12 Comments | Post Comment

Yoly says:

Thank you for sharing this recipe. Like almost every latina love the pastelillos de guayaba. I’ve been afraid of puff pastry but you made it sound easy. I’m going to surprise my sister when she comes to visit with this recipe!

Posted on September 1st, 2009

LSW says:

Thank you thank you thank you!

I am 6 months pregnant & desperately craving pastelitos. Unfortunately I also live in a land of peanut butter & jelly & the closest cuban anything (other than my kitchen) is about 1 hour away. In my desperation I tried making really bad pastelitos de guayaba with white bread & a panini press the other night. They were subpar to say the least.

So thank you for this recipe, tomorrow night will be pastelito night!

Posted on September 1st, 2009

Marta says:

Yoly,
You will be surprised at how easy it really is, but shh! don’t tell your secret. Let your sister praise you with great praise while you smile and say…”it was nothing.” =D

Besos,
Marta

Posted on September 1st, 2009

Marta says:

LSW,

Wow. White bread and a panini press? I totally understand the craving thing. Especially 6 months pregnant.

I feel like my work here is finished. ;-)

Besos,
Marta

Posted on September 1st, 2009

Sophie says:

this sounds like a great recipe! but fortunately I have a cuban bakery 1/2 mile from my house so it’s easier just to drive over and pick up a box full ;)

Posted on September 21st, 2009

Dariela says:

My God, this looks so easy!! We live really close to Porto’s where I can get good pastelitos, but it’s nice to be able to make them at home. I’ll try it!!

Posted on October 11th, 2009

Tamara says:

Marta,

Thnx for the great recipe. Is guava paste ‘ate de guayaba’?

Posted on October 25th, 2009

El Tiki Tiki on Calle Ocho says:

[...] (gossip) and to have a little cortadito (espresso topped with steamed milk) and a pastelito de guayaba. The walk-up window boasts the peculiar distinction of serving over 1,000 espressos a [...]

Posted on June 1st, 2010

A round-up of Guava and Guayaba recipes and products. says:

[...] magazine did a cream cheese and guava pastry in June. Probably not as good as Marta’s Cuban guava and creme cheese pastelitos. These are approved by Desi Arnaz, Jr., after all.Guava and Manchego Phyllo Pouches with Passion [...]

Posted on November 15th, 2010

perudelights says:

OMG!!! I loooove this pastelitos de guayaba. I adore guayabas. When I have a craving but don´t want to bake, I just eat the guava paste with some cream cheese or Mascarpone. Now I´m heading to the kitchen to bake pastelitos!!! Can´t wait. Thanks for this recipe.

Posted on November 16th, 2011

Karina says:

My husband and I love your recipe! We make these every now and then. Every time we do, they are gone in a snap. We are making them tonight and I can’t wait! Thank you so much for this!

Posted on July 10th, 2012

Jose Cedeno says:

Thank you for this recipe. I have been craving some for over a year now. I haven’t found any like these here in Boston.

Posted on August 1st, 2012