I just found a block of guava paste in the darkest depths of my cupboard. So naturally, I need to do something with it.
guava cheese bars with oat crumble
Guava and cheese bars with an oat crumble. Photo: Jami Erriquez

Guava Paste is a staple in most Latin/Latin American homes. It’s a sweetened thick puree with added pectin. Sometimes you can find it in a tin or wrapped in plastic. Various brands produce guava paste, found in most national chained supermarkets.  Other times you can find it stuffed into the back of your cupboard: like me.

Typically guava paste is topped onto galletas Cubanas (Cuban water crackers) with cream cheese. You can find it in pastelitos, pie fillings, and barbecue sauce. But my dilemma is that I didn’t want to do that. I wanted something more. So, I decided to make a grilled chicken salad dressed with guava dressing. And then, for dessert I whipped up some guava and cheese bars with an oat crumble. The latter of which I’ve listed the recipe below.

Guava and Cheese Bars: Ingredients

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3 cups all-purpose  flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½  teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese, room temp
  • 14 oz. guava paste, sliced
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar

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Guava and Cheese Bars: Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 375℉- and grease a 9” x 13” baking dish. 
  • To make the shortbread: In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add 2 sticks of butter, 2 cups – flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  Beat up to 3 minutes, until the dough comes together. 
  • Place the dough into the greased baking dish and spread out evenly. 
  • Spread cream cheese over the shortbread and top with guava paste slices. 
  • To make the crumb topping: Add 1 cup of – flour, 1 stick of butter, rolled oats, and brown sugar. Mix together and crimp together. This helps form the crumbles. 
  • Add the crumble to the top of the guava paste. And bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove cover and continue baking until the top is golden brown. 
For those looking for guava bbq sauce, here’s a video we made in 2020, deep in the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Jami Erriquez is a part-time chef, food stylist, and an avid cookbook collector from South Florida. She studied culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta, Georgia. Her love for cooking came from her father, Danny. She is a traveler, a yogi, and a beach bum, and has been eating Cuban sandwiches and listening to Celia Cruz since she was seven!. When Jami isn't in the kitchen she is binge-watching Golden Girls and hanging out with her family and pet cat, Irma.

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