Learning to cook … one kid at a time

Abuela’s Guava Cookies September 15, 2010

Filed under: Things that make me smile — gastromami @ 10:47 pm

I love it when Reny makes these cookies.

He usually does it quietly, no “I’m making cookies” announcement;  just goes into the kitchen, whips up a batch.  I usually find them sitting on the counter when I wonder in to get some water and I hear:  “Don’t touch those!  They need to cool!”  (It’s true, the guava gets H.O.T.!)

I love it when Reny makes these cookies.

There are certain dishes that are Reny’s own way of praying.  I believe this recipe is one of them.

I never met Reny’s Abuela Sophia, but I did witness his acute pain the day that she died.  We had only been dating a short while and it was the first crack I saw in his tough-guy armor.  While I know that his pain was deep and real, there is something endearing about witnessing a boy’s love for his grandmother.

Since my own Nana passed away this past Spring, I am more aware of the little “prayers” that we offer up to love ones.  Whether it is sewing on a button or making cookies, each of us, in our own way, keep our loved ones alive in the smallest of tasks – though they don’t feel that small to us.

This is my first time to make these cookies and both my own grandmother, and Reny’s, were on my mind.  While I never did meet Sophia I hope that she knows me and that she is proud of her grandson, both for the wife he has chosen and for the family he has made.

I baked “Abuela’s Guava Cookies” for the Great American Bake Sale that my friend Heather (supermom to one-year-old triplets and owner of The Ladybugg Bakery) is hosting on Saturday at the Hernando Farmer’s Market!  (get your butts there all you “south of the border” residents!)

These are quick and easy but oh. so. yummy.

Abuela’s Guayaba Cookies

makes 2 dozen

1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Guava paste, cut into cubes (can get at any Latin market)

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚
  2. Cream butter and sugar
  3. Add almond extract
  4. Stir in flour
  5. Shape into balls
  6. Bake at 350˚ for 7 minutes
  7. Press guava into center of the cookie
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes until barely golden brown
  9. Let cool!  The guava gets hot!

** After writing this post and showing Reny, I was told that this recipe is actually Abuela Maria Teresa’s – and she is very much alive, and lively!  However, for years I always thought he was baking these for Sophia, so I’m leaving the post as is – for our grandmothers. **


2 Responses to “Abuela’s Guava Cookies”

  1. Alina Alfonso Says:

    Gretchen: I am crying as I read this beautiful post! Although while I was reading it I knew that these were abuela Maria Teresa’s cookies, I know that Reni’s love of cooking comes from my “mami”, as he called abuela Sofia. You have an insight into him that few people have ever had, and yes, I can guarantee to you that my mother “approves” of you, and loves you, in her unique way of loving that she had! And I can’t tell you what she would feel for little Reny – boys being her favorite. Thank you my dear girl, for all the love you bring to our family.

  2. heather ries Says:

    I’m in tears reading this myself, and I didn’t know either abuela. The cookies look delicious, gretchen. Thank you for your support.

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