Thursday, April 25, 2013

Guava & Sweet Cheese Turnovers

Trader Joe's opened up here last summer and has been a life changer for me.  I told my husband that last week while dragging him there and he laughed.  But I wasn't kidding.  I find myself doing more and more of my shopping there and I have a large list of products that I'm in love with.  But I have found a couple, only a couple, of their products that have been disappointing.  

I picked up a package of their puff pastry around the holidays and just got around to using it while making these Guava & Sweet Cheese Turnovers.  I quickly discovered that their puff pastry is smaller than other brand that I usually use and that caused a bit of an issue.  I could have rolled it out but felt it was a little thin already.  I also found that it didn't have quite the same texture and so it didn't bind as well.  Both of these issues resulted in my turnovers exploding rivers of guava and cream cheese.  And I may have put just a little too much filling.

But these little gems were delicious!  And with a little trimming, they actually weren't too ugly.  I have shared my love of the Back in the Day Bakery cookbook before (see Roasted Vegetable & Chicken Cobbler, Bacon Jam Empanadas, Drunk Blondies and Strawberry-Blueberry Crisp) and this recipe is another winner.  An easy and wonderful breakfast treat that comes together pretty easily.

Guava paste is a new discovery for me and I love it.  It comes in a small tub and you just slice it and add to all sorts of things to get a tropical punch of flavor.  If you have a Latin grocery store near you I bet you will find guava paste.  If you can't, I think a dollop of your favorite jam would work beautifully here.  

As you bite into a turnover warm from the oven, the pastry is crispy and tender and the sweet fruit melds with the cream cheese.  I promise you these will just make you happy!

Guava & Sweet Cheese Turnovers
Cheryl & Griffin Day, Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook

17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), defrosted in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes
8-ounce package of cream cheese, at room temperature (I use Neufchatel, or reduced-fat)
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
4 ounces guava paste, cut into 8 1/4-inch slices

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Unfold the pastry sheets on a lightly floured surface.  Cut each pastry sheet into 4 (about 5-inch) squares.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, milk, lemon juice, and sugar and beat with a handheld mixer until well blended.  

Brush the edges of each pastry square with egg wash and arrange one-eight of the cream cheese mixture evenly on half of the square.  Place a slice of guava paste on top.  Fold the pastry diagonally over the filling seal by pressing the edges with a fork.  Cut a small X in the top of each pastry, this will allow steam to escape.

Transfer each square to the prepared baking sheet.  Brush each pastry evenly with egg wash and sprinkle the tops evenly with sugar.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the pastries are golden brown.  Remove from pastries from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.
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