Not your typical Christmas cookie up north but these guava coconut cookies will bring a fresh taste of the sweet warm tropics to your chilly winter days. Add them to your Christmas cookie platter and see if they aren’t the first to disappear!
I was in my mid-30s before I heard of guava. I tasted a guava cheesecake and let me assure you, it was love at first bite. Guava is a fruit that is usually found in recipes in the form of a paste.
Guava paste was used in that wonderful cheesecake and to this day, I swoon every time I eat something in which it is used. Guava paste is sold in Latin American markets as well as the Hispanic section of most grocery stores as guayabate or goiabada. Guava paste is a very thick puree of guava fruit and sugar, cooked down so it jells when it cools. Pectin is often times included to help it jell. The consistency reminds me of fruit rollups but much thicker and tastier than the ones I remember from my childhood.
When I was in Miami recently I tried a Guava Coconut Cookie. It was sticky and toasty and yummy. I knew right then and there that I had to recreate this cookie at home and share it with you.
My first attempt included lightly sweetened coconut but I found the cookies were too sweet and lacked the coconut consistency I was seeking. Unsweetened coconut flakes were exactly what Guava Coconut Cookies needed.
Guava paste is on the sweeter side and the unsweetened coconut flakes balance the overall sweetness of the cookies, perfectly. Toasting the coconut ahead of time adds a depth of flavor, too. Seriously. toast the coconut. You can thank me later.
There is one problem with Guava Coconut Cookies. They disappear too quickly. You may want to double the recipe, just to make sure that everyone else gets a cookie or two!
Guava Coconut Cookies
- 2 egg whites
- pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons sugar (52 grams)
- 1¾ cups unsweetened coconut flakes (120 grams, toasted and cooled)
- 6.50 ounces guava paste (185 grams, cut into small pieces)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites. Beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. While the mixer is still on, gradually add the sugar. Blend in the coconut. Remove from the mixer and fold in the guava paste. The paste is sticky so be sure to use the spatula to help break apart the pieces.
- Use a medium size cookie dough scoop (2 teaspoons) to shape the cookies.
- Bake at 350° for 14-16 minutes, rotating the pan front to back halfway through. Cool completely on the baking sheet.
- If necessary, use a small metal spatula to help release the cookies from the parchment paper.
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