The Opening Ceremony of the Summer Olympics is this Friday. I love the parade of nations despite the interminable feeling of it all, because it gives each country – no matter how many or how few athletes, no matter how unlikely their chances of winning any medal – a moment of recognition. These athletes generally blow my mind – the things that their bodies do are incredible, and the dedication that they’ve put into mastering their sport shows a level of commitment that we could all learn from.
I’ll imagine that I’m an amazing athlete and go for a run on Friday morning (track & field) and then probably go to the gym on Friday evening (weightlifting), but on Friday night I’ll be right there with my rear end on the couch enjoying the spectacle of it all. Global athletes and spectators alike coming together in unity – again, there’s a lesson.
And while sitting on the couch, I’ll be eating Casadinhos – a Brazilian sandwich cookie filled with guava. As a note, depending on where you live, guava paste may or may not be easy to find – it comes in both a brick and a tub. My first suggestion would be in the Goya aisle of your supermarket, and it should be easy to spot. If you live in a less diverse place, it may be on the shelf near the quince paste. (Try with the jelly, snackfoods, and cheese – stores seem unable to agree on where it goes). Otherwise you may need to go to an international market. You can also make guava paste at home (I never tried this recipe, just trying to give you all of the options).
This recipe w
7 T unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large egg
1 t vanilla extract
Dash of salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 c flour
1 c cornstarch
½ c sugar
7 oz of guava paste
1 ½ oz water (2 ½ scant T)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Mix butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, and mix until just combined. Add the egg, vanilla extract, pinch of salt and lemon zest. Mix until smooth.
- Sift together the cornstarch and flour, and then gradually add to the batter until just combined.
- Roll dough to ¼” thick between 2 sheets of waxed paper, and refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes, until chilled.
- Using a 2″ round cookie cutter or a narrow glass, cut the cookies and place them onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpat.
- Freeze for at least 30 minutes until completely frozen.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are very lightly golden. Cool on wire racks.
- Meanwhile, cut the guava paste into cubes and heat with water in a small saucepan. Stir continuously until uniformly melted into a thick syrup.
- Remove from heat and let it cool until you are able to safely handle the guava. If it gets too firm, briefly reheat.
- Spread half the cookies with guava filling and sandwich together with remaining cookies.
- Roll the casadinhos in powdered sugar.