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Estrellitas

If you’ve ever been to a Cuban bakery, you know that the only question is how you’d like you’re guava.  In puff pastry, shortbread, masa real, with crackers or as flan, I never get tired of it.  Cupcakes were inevitable.  I’ve been making guava cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for friends but hadn’t come across just the right combination till last week.  I tried small pieces of guava paste that sank to the bottom and  guava jelly that was undetectable.  Preserves piped in just after baking worked the best, but I haven’t found them outside of Florida.  Tired of hoarding the tiny jars I’d bring back from Miami, I found a recipe for an easy filling made of guava paste, orange and rum.  A Cuban solution for a Cuban cupcake.

Estrellitas/Guava-filled Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Blossom-Topped Cupcakes in Gourmet, 1999.

For cupcakes:
Canola oil cooking spray
1 cup cake flour (not self rising)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For frosting:
1 8oz. package of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon orange blossom water

For filling:
Eating Cuban: 120 Recipes from the Streets of Havana to American Shores by Beverly Cox and Martin Jacobs.
8 ounces guava paste
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons rum (optional)

Optional: 8 ounces guava paste for additional decoration.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat muffin tray with cooking spray.  Line muffin cups with liners and spray again.  Set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter on medium speed for one minute.  Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat on medium-high speed till light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time and continue to beat about 1-2 more minutes.  Beat in milk and vanilla.  Batter may separate.  On low speed, add flour in two batches and beat until just combined.

Divide butter into muffin cups and bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

For the filling, combine all filling ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Fill a pastry bag with a small star tip (Ateco #6).  Pipe a small amount of filling into the center of each cupcake.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat on low speed until incorporated.  Add the lemon juice and orange flower water and beat until smooth.  Spread on cupcakes or top using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.

Optional: Cut guava paste in 1/4″ thick slices.  Using small aspic cutter, punch out small forms in desired shapes from guava paste as additional decoration.

Makes 24 mini cupcakes.

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4 Comments Post a comment
  1. great idea they look yummmy

    4 November 2011
  2. madai rodriguez #

    Que rico, guayaba !! I will be trying this recipe. Thank you so much !

    23 April 2012
  3. Teri #

    Here’s a nice guava twist. Take your Madeleine cookie batter, which you have ideally left in the fridge overnight (method per Martha Stewart-has worked well for me) and cut a small piece of Guava paste indent this piece into the batter and work with your hands to cover fully. It’s important the paste gets at least a 1/4 inch coverage of the dough otherwise it oozes out while baking and CAN form a sticky mess. A little oozing is actually fun but you don’t want too much. Anyway, place the guava paste stuffed batter ball (I used to be a perfectionist when baking this cookie because of all the hype it gets and made sure the batter covered nicely and neatly the shell-shaped Madeleine pan, but after a couple of decades of this I found if you roll the batter, after fridge removed, into a ball (spoon-size) its spreads perfectly into the shell-shape it was intended for.) …onto a teflon non-stick (and spray with spam or to be more ingredient authentic use butter by brushing it on the surface as you know) and a bit of all-p flour dusting over the butter/spam. Once golden and removed from oven douse with as we all who love the cookie know powdered sugar and eat immediately. They scream for these at home during the Christmas. One day I will market them so don’t let the cat out of the bag or maybe I just did by posting this. Anyway feeling holiday generous and thought I’d share. By the way a lemon poppy seed Madeleine is great too. I had a better recipe than Stewart’s from my ex-sister-in-law, one of the best bakers I have tried and my palette has mileage! Anyway, she showed me how to make them and thinking she’d be in my life forever I never wrote down the recipe (her cookie simply stayed fresh forever, I have no idea how!) My childhood friend who continued to work with her (my sister-in-law) throughout the years I suspect got the recipe years later because she mysteriously started to bake (this was the late 80s, early 90s, recipes were scarce for the Madeleine, no interenet, blogs etc. at the time) the cookie at Christmastime. A year later this same childhood friend gave me for Christmas a Madeleine pan (I suspect from guilt for having the recipe and not sharing), Hmm?? I still haven’t gotten this coveted ex-familial recipe, Hmm? A little holiday intrigue. Enjoy.
    Remember, if you decide to bake these, guava is very hot when right out of the oven, eat them warm but not piping hot.

    4 December 2012

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