Quesitos are one of Puerto Ricans favorite pastry. So much so that I have been asked by family and friends to bring them in my luggage on my way back from Puerto Rico. The perfect combination of the flakiness from the puff pastry and the sweet/salty cream cheese filling is just mind blowing. Although we bake a lot at home, it wasn't until we started this channel that we became obsessed with trying to figure out how to make them at home. To our surprise, they are so easy to make that there's no reason for us to bring these back in our luggage anymore. We just make them at home now and you can too!
8 oz cream cheese
¼ cup + 1 tsp powdered sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 egg white
1 tbs honey
1 pkg (17.3 oz) puff pastry sheets, thawed
The first thing we need to do is prepare the filling for your quesitos. As the name suggests, quesitos are filled with sweetened cream cheese. And while I’m sure there are many different recipes out there; I’ve found that the simplest filling is the best, so we are just going to use cream cheese, powdered sugar, and a pinch of salt. Just go ahead and add these to a mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
When I’m making my filling, I like to start with cold cream cheese. This makes the mixing a little bit more work, because the cheese is firmer. But I’ve found that if I use room temperature cream cheese, the mixture is too liquidy and it can flow out of the quesitos while I’m baking them.
Also, make sure you are using powdered sugar, as opposed to regular granulated sugar. Powdered sugar contains a small amount of corn starch, which also helps solidify the mixture so it doesn’t flow out of the quesitos when you are baking them.
Once you’ve prepared your filling, go ahead and add it to a piping bag, if you have one. As you’ll see later in the video, this makes it a lot easier to add your filing to the dough. That said, if you don’t have a piping bag, no worries! You can just use a spoon to add your filling.
With your filling ready, let’s go ahead and roll out our dough. Start with a pre-packaged sheet of puff pastry. Here we are using Pepperidge Farm Frozen Puff Pastry Sheets, and we’ve provided a link in the description just in case you want to reference it. The important thing, if you use frozen puff pastry is to make sure you’ve let it fully thaw, which I generally do by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight before I use it. I can’t stress this enough, the puff pastry has to be fully thawed before you can use it.
Once you’ve got your puff pastry out of the bag, lightly flour your working surface and lay out your dough. Then, using a rolling pin, gently roll the puff pastry out, until it is a rectangle, approximately 15 inches long, by 10 inches wide. If your dough starts to get sticky, just add a little bit more flour.
Once your puff pastry is rolled out, cut it into 5 equal pieces, each which should be approximately 5 inches by 5 inches. Once these are cut, spread them out a little bit on your working surface, so we can fill them.
We are almost ready to fill our quesitos, but first we need to make a quick egg wash, which we’ll use as glue, to hold our quesitos together.
This egg wash is super simple. All you need to do is add 1 egg white to a bowl and then beat it vigorously with a fork until its frothy.
Now back to the quesitos. Using your pastry bag, add a generous amount of filling diagonally down the middle of your squares of puff pastry. Use your judgment on how much filling to add, but just be careful that you add too much, some of it might spill out of the quesito.
As I mentioned previously, if you don’t have a pastry bag to pipe in your filling, you can use a spoon to scoop filling onto your puff pastry squares.
Once your filling has been added, use a brush to apply egg wash to the two corners of your quesitos that you are going to fold over your filling. This egg wash will act as a glue, which will help your quesitos hold their shape while you are cooking them.
Once you’ve added the egg wash, take one of the corners and fold it over the filling, gently pressing the corner into the puff pastry on the other side of the filling, to make sure it sticks. Then, take the other corner you added egg wash to and fold it over the filling, tucking it underneath the quesito.
So again, take one of the corners with egg wash and fold it over the filling, gently pressing the corner into the puff pastry on the other side. Then take the remaining corner with egg wash and fold it over the filling, tucking it all the way underneath the quesito.
Repeat this for all of your quesitos.
Once your quesitos are folded, go ahead and transfer them to a tray that has been lined with parchment paper and coated with a little bit of flour.
Another great way to make quesitos is to add some guava paste to them. Here we are using Goya’s guava paste, which is a semi-solid fruit preserve, that you can generally find in your hispanic grocery stores. Just open up the can and cut pieces that are approximately six inches long and half an inch in width and height.
Now go ahead and repeat the same steps for making quesitos.
Gently flour your surface, then roll out your pastry sheet until it forms a rectangle, approximately 15 inches long by 10 inches wide.
Once your dough is rolled out, go ahead and cut it into 6 equally sized squares, approximately 5 inches by 5 inches.
With your dough cut, add your cream cheese filling, just like before.
Once you’ve added your cheese, go ahead and lay down your strips of guava paste, just right on top of your cream cheese filling. Then press the guava paste down into the cheese, so the cheese encompasses the guava. This way, if the guava melts, it won’t run out of your quesitos.
With your guava added, just fold your quesitos the same as before. Add egg wash to the corders, fold one corner over and gently press it into the puff pastry, then wrap the remaining corver over the filling and tuck it underneath the quesito.
With your quesitos all put together, you are ready to bake them. Preheat your oven to 350.
Once your oven is hot, go ahead and bake your quesitos for twenty minutes. If you are baking two trays of quesitos, make sure to switch the trays, half way through, so they bake evenly.
While your quesitos are baking, we are going to make a glaze to brush on the top of the quesitos, just to add a little extra sweetness and color.
To make this glaze, just take your remaining egg wash and add a tablespoon of honey. Then stir to combine well.
Once your 20 minutes are up, go ahead and pull your first tray of quesitos out of the oven. Then, working quickly, brush the tops of your quesitos with your honey glaze and then sprinkle them with course sugar. Here we are using turbinado sugar.
Repeat the process with your second tray of quesitos. Brush the tops with your honey glaze, and then sprinkle them with turbinado sugar.
Now bake your quesitos for another 10 minutes, switching the trays half-way through.
Once your quesitos are browned on top, they are ready to take out of the oven. Transfer your quesitos to a cooling rack, so that they stay dry while they are cooling.
Once cooled, they are ready to eat--but who am I kidding, I’m sure you won’t be able to wait that long.
Check out our instructional video, showing how to make this recipe step-by-step HERE.