Empanadas de Guayaba y Queso – (Guava and Cheese Turnovers)

Empanadas de Guayaba y Queso are a classic Hispanic dessert and every Hispanic country has their own variation of this treat. I took a Cuban version of this dessert and gave it my own little twist. Instead of using a pastry dough I substituted Fillo dough and added a cinnamon streusel to it. This makes the empanadas light and crispy. Also Empanadas are usually fried but mine are baked. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

3 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp salted butter, diced (ice-cold)
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 sticks butter (melted)
½  package Fillo dough sheets (about 24 sheets)
2 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese
1 package Guava Paste

Thaw the Fillo dough according to manufactures instructions.
To make the streusel add sugar, cold butter pieces, flour and cinnamon into a small food processor and pulse until mixture resembles small pellets. Put the streusel crumbs in a small bowl and place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Open the thawed Fillo dough, unroll  and lay on counter. Cover the dough with a sheet of parchment paper then cover parchment paper with a damp (not wet) towel. The dough will dry out and get crackly if it is not kept covered. After streusel is removed from the freezer, loosen it up with a fork. Place 1 sheet of Fillo dough on counter top (short side to you). Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the dough with melted butter. Lightly sprinkle streusel over sheet. Lay another sheet over the first sheet then lightly butter second sheet.

Cut sheet into two strips 3 inches wide with a pizza cutter.  Separate the 2 strips. Put 1 tsp. of cream cheese at bottom of the strip then top with 1 tsp. guava paste.

Start loosely folding sheet up in triangles like folding a flag. If folded too tight they will crack while baking. Place triangle on an un-greased non-stick cookie sheet and cover with parchment paper and a damp towel. Repeat until all of the Fillo dough is finished. Brush the top of the triangles with butter then lightly sprinkle streusel on top. (At this point you can freeze for later use by freezing triangles on the cookie sheet wrapped in plastic for one half hour then placing the frozen pastries into an air tight container layered with parchment paper in the freezer. They can be frozen for up to 1 month. If freezing do not thaw before baking.)  If baking them fresh place the cookie sheet into a 375 degree pre-heated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Keep an eye on them because they can burn easily. (Cook for 20 minutes if baking from frozen.) Serve the Empanadas while still warm. Yield: 24 Empanadas

Shown below are some of the products used in this recipe.


About Renee Lalane
I was born and raised in New York. Later in life I moved to Central Florida. I am of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Puerto Rican and Cuban decent. I have been working in the restaurant business for most of my life and have owned five along the way. Recently I became aware of the fact that as my elders passed away their recipes passed with them. I call these recipes "Heirloom Recipes" I am dedicating this site to saving recipes from extinction. Not only recipes from my family but from yours. Do you have a unique recipe that needs saving? Send it to me along with a name and picture of your relative and I will review it and possibly post it as an Heirloom Recipe.

One Response to Empanadas de Guayaba y Queso – (Guava and Cheese Turnovers)

  1. Jim Milligan says:

    Renee this turned out great and I cant wait to experiment with other things to stuff the empanadas with.


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