Greetings! I decided to see what happens if I were to treat guava paste like almond paste, and substitute it in a recipe that calls for almond paste. I used this recipe from King Arthur flour as a guide. They turned out great! They were sweet and chewy and only slightly pink, not bright pink as I was expecting, but that was fine with me!
But it was a tad too sweet for my tastes. So I decided the next step was to substitute cream cheese for the sugar. The cream cheese really cuts the sweetness down and makes them more interesting, I think. If you’d like to try the earlier version, simply replace the cream cheese with a 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, and instead of adding 4 cups of almond flour, add only 3 cups, as in the King Arthur recipe.
If you can’t have dairy, but would still like to have a “cream cheese” quality to the cookie and would like it to be less sweet, you can probably use dairy-free or vegan cream cheese, although I haven’t tried that out to know for sure if it would work. It would probably work.
guava cream cheese almond cookies (makes 4 dozen small cookies, based on King Arthur Flour’s almond cloud cookies)
10 ounces guava paste, room temperature, cut or broken into cubes
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 cups almond flour, or finely ground almonds
1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract (optional)
2 large egg whites
Place the cubed guava paste into a large bowl and beat with a hand held electric mixer with beater attachments on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
While continuing to beat on medium, add the salt and 3 out of the 4 cups of the almond flour. The guava paste and almond flour will start to mix together and form clumps. If guava starts to clump together or stick to the sides of the bowl, stop the mixer, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and break up the guava paste with your hands, pinching off pieces of any large clumps. Continue to mix until clumps are starting to look smaller in size, like pea sized clumps.
Stop the mixer and add the extract, if using, and also add the cream cheese chunks. Mix on medium until blended together.
Add the egg whites and turn the mixer to medium high. Stop to scrape sides and bottom of bowl.
Add the remaining one cup of almond flour and mix until blended together and uniform in color. It should be a fairly neutral beige or light pinkish beige color.
Cover bowl and place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. I did this step simply because it felt really sticky; you may not need to refrigerate it for that long, but that’s just the time that I let it sit, and that seemed to help make it easier to handle.
When ready to bake, heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop up dough with a tablespoon or a tablespoon sized scoop and space about 12 balls of cookie dough evenly on one standard baking sheet.
Sprinkle or dust a generous amount of powdered sugar on top of each scoop of cookie dough using a small strainer or sieve.
Generously dip two fingers into confectioners sugar and gently press down with the two fingers on the tops of each ball of cookie. If the fingers have picked up too much of the powdered sugar from the top of the cookie, dust the cookie again with more powdered sugar afterwards.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown on the bottoms. Remove from the oven and let cool somewhat before removing from the pan as they will still be a tad soft. When cooled completely, store at room temperature in an airtight container. Enjoy!