This Tropical Guava Bars dessert recipe is quick and delicious. Guava paste and coconut are the secret for these backyard luau favorites.
Guava paste. This stuff is amazing and one of my favorite finds at my local latin market. Made from guava puree, pectin and sugar, it’s similar to quince paste and is found in the cuisines of the Caribbean, South America and the Yucatan. Guava paste is used in many different ways – in Brazil it’s spread on toast, in Colombia it’s often paired with cheese for a snack or as an empanada filling throughout South America.
And it comes in a tin. A tin!!!!
Which is a good/bad thing since it’s easy to keep on hand.
Which means I can make these Tropical Guava Bars anytime I want – see where I’m going with this?
These bars are really easy. A simple shortbread forms both the base of the bars and the topping. Oatmeal, brown sugar and coconut are added to the remaining shortbread mixture and then sprinkled over the guava paste slices and baked.
Oh, and I’ll bring the Mai Tai’s!
Wondering what else you can find at your local Latin market? Check out my guide – Ten Things to Buy at the Latin Market!
Tropical Guava Bars
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- one 21 oz. tin Guava paste I used Goya brand
- 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 9 x 9 inch baking pan with foil. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter and sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the salt and flour and beat until the dough comes together.
- Press half of the dough onto the bottom of the prepared pan, smoothing it until the base is even.
- Slice the guava paste 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the guava slices on top, covering the dough.
- For the topping: Add the oats, coconut, flour and sugar to the remaining shortbread dough. Mix to combine. Sprinkle dough evenly over the guava slices. Bake the bars until the top is golden, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool. Remove bars from the pan and cut into squares.