I will never tire of the classically Cuban iteration of savory and sweet found in guava and cheese, and I promise you that if given the opportunity, I will find ways to insert it into otherwise unsuspecting recipes. (My guava and cheese hamantaschen come to mind.) Naturally, it was only a matter of time before I infused one of my favorite Jewish recipes with a little taste of Cuba, and came up with a pull-apart challah stuffed with sticky guava paste and silky cream cheese.
Stuffing a challah with guava and cheese may sound sacrilege to some, but in my mind, it makes perfect sense. I am pretty vocal about my opinion that the hands-down best store-bought challah in my home city can only be found at our local Cuban bakery. Of course, this isn’t their specialty–a flaky and buttery guava and cheese pastry, called a “refugee,” seemingly for the strong memories of the motherland it invokes, wins that title. But if this bakery’s challah married its world-famous guava and cheese pastry, I imagine their babies would look something like my fun creation.
The pillowy pockets of challah stuffed with sweet-as-candy guava paste and velvety cream cheese pull apart into individual servings of the most decadent roll of bread you can imagine. This is one of those special recipes to pull out for guests!
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