I will go out there and say it – this recipe made me want to start food blogging. I was inspired by some raspberry almond thumbprint cookies that my friend brought to work, and I was intrigued by the concept of recreating them in a way that was more “Miami.” Several test batches later, I feel like I have perfected the cookie that best represents Miami to me!
If you’re not from Miami, or haven’t spent any time there, you may be unfamiliar with the flavor combination of guava and cheese. This combination is especially common in Cuban pastelitos, which are flaky pastry pockets containing different fillings (savory or sweet), and are sold in bakeries all over the city. These guava thumbprint cookies are a twist on the beloved pastelito. The result is a soft and moist sugar cookie whose sweetness is balanced with a pinch of salt. On top is a glaze of guava jelly and cream cheese working in tandem with one another.
The trick to these cookies is to roll them into little balls, but not flatten them. If you do, all of the jam will overflow and you’ll have a mess on your hands. Instead, grab a tablespoon of the cookie dough, roll it into a ball using your hands, and then poke a finger into the rolled cookie dough while adding a ¼ teaspoon of guava jelly. I like to do the rolling first and then the jelly. Once that’s all set, pop them into the oven and bake for 14-15 minutes. They will be very soft when they come out, so you’ll need to let them rest on the baking sheet pan for a bit until you can transfer them to a cooling rack for glazing.In my local grocery store in DC, the guava jelly is always in the Hispanic food section. If you don’t happen to have guava jelly at your local store, you can always order it online – it’s so good, you won’t even think twice about putting that Amazon Prime account to good use.
This is my go-to recipe when someone invites me over. They also make the perfect hostess gift. And more often than not, you’ll be able to impress someone who has never tried guava before.
Since balance in life is so important – I say you go ahead and eat that salad for lunch, but treat yourself with the cookie! 😉
If you make them, please let me know how it goes in the comment section below!Print
Guava Thumbprint Cookies with a Cream Cheese Glaze
The most delicious guava filled thumbprint cookies with a cream cheese glaze that has hints of lemon, and it’s all finished with a little flaky sea salt!
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 2 dozen cookies
- Category: Desserts
Guava Thumbprint Cookies:
- 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of table salt
- 1/2 cup of guava jelly
- Flaky sea salt to finish
Cream Cheese Glaze:
- 4 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar, sifted
- 2-3 tablespoons of milk (any kind works)
- 1/8 teaspoon of table salt
- 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats (do not grease the sheets.)
- Place the butter and sugar in an electric mixer using a paddle attachment (or mix by hand if not using an electric mixer) or medium speed for about 1 minute, or until the sugar and butter is fully combined. This mixture should look like whipped butter at this point.
- Add in the vanilla extract and salt, and mix for about 30 seconds, or until it’s combined, and make sure to scrape the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Gradually add in the flour and mix on low speed (the flour will poof out everywhere if not) and mix until the mixture forms into a ball-like dough, this should take about 1-2 minutes. I like to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl every so often so everything is incorporated.
- Scoop a tablespoon of the dough and roll the dough into a ball using the palms of your hands. The dough should feel slightly moist and easy to roll. Repeat until all the dough has been rolled.
- Place each dough ball on the baking sheet – making sure not to over crowd them. I fit about 12 cookies on one sheet. Next, making sure that the rolled dough isn’t flattened, gently press your thumb int the center of the ball until it is halfway indented. Take a little over 1/4 teaspoon of the guava jelly and spoon it into each cookie dough ball. Once all of the cookies are filled, bake for 13-15 minutes, switching the baking sheets halfway.
- Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 10 minutes (make the cream cheese glaze while the cookies are cooling!), and then transfer to a cooling rack.
- Once the cookies have cooled, drizzle the cream cheese glaze over each cookie and top each cookie with a little bit of flaky sea salt!
For the cream cheese glaze:
- Using the paddle attachment on the mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed for about 4-5 minutes.
- Sift the confectioner’s sugar into the cream cheese, and mix for about one minute until combined. Add the salt, lemon juice, and milk, and mix for another minute or so until all the ingredients are fully combined and scraping the sides of the bowl as you go.
- Set aside until you are ready to glaze the cookies!
- It is very important that the cream cheese be room temperature before you start mixing, as the ingredients won’t easily combine if it’s cold!
- Sifting sugar can kind of be an annoying step sometimes, but in this case – it’s important! It will ensure the glaze isn’t clumpy! I don’t know anyone who likes clumpy glaze.