Today we're making a popular Puerto Rican dessert called Quesitos that are made with puff pastry and cream cheese. Quesitos come together in under 30 minutes and are perfect served hot with a cup of café con leche or tea as a treat for breakfast or dessert.
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If you've ever had a Danish pastry, chances are you are going to love quesitos. This popular Puerto Rican dessert is the best combination of perfectly cooked puff pastry and creamy, decadent cream cheese.
There are many different recipes for quesitos floating around the internet, with all kinds of delicious variations on how to make these sweet treats.
It's not uncommon to see people mix sugar or a sweetener of some kind into the cream cheese filling, so that's an option for you if you like your quesitos on the sweeter side of the spectrum. I opt to keep mine a little less sweet and instead sprinkle some sugar on top to balance out the cheese and buttery pastry.
This recipe is truly one of the easiest you can make, especially if you're using store-bought puff pastry like my family does.
All you'll need is 5 ingredients and 30 minutes.
Here's what you'll need:
- cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- store bought puff pastry (if you like to make your own, feel free!)
- egg, for the egg wash
- white granulated sugar
- confectioners sugar (optional)
See recipe card for exact quantities.
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
While you're waiting for the oven to come to temperature, prepare your egg wash. Beat an egg with a splash of cold water and the granulated sugar. Set that aside as you move on to making the quesitos.
Lay out your puff pastry and roll it out lightly and poke it gently with a fork all around. Using a knife, cut the puff pastry sheet into 8 equally sized rectangles. At this point I like to get a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and ready to go.
Next cut the cream cheese into 8 slices. Lay in the center of your puff pastry rectangles.
At this point you're ready to fold your puff pastry!
How to Fold Quesitos
Are you ready for the fun part?
Folding puff pastry can be done in so many creative ways, you really can't go wrong. The more traditional way to fold quesitos is to start with your cheese on one side of the rectangular puff pastry, fold in the tops, then roll.
That said, I like to leave some of the cream cheese exposed. It encourages the cream cheese inside to get melty and a bit golden brown on the outsides.
Here's how I fold mine:
Start by folding in the corners on each side of the cream cheese and brush the tops and sides of the pastry with egg was.
Once that's done, you can sprinkle the quesitos with granulated sugar and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they look golden brown and are cooked through.
Sprinkle with a bit of confectioners sugar if desired and enjoy.
Tip: puff pastry cooking temperature and time can vary depending on your oven. Make sure to keep a close eye on your quesitos to make sure they don't burn!
Variations in Fillings & Toppings
Because this recipe is so simple in nature, the options are pretty endless when it comes to creating variations. That said, most of the variations I'm providing are nowhere near 'traditional' so be warned!
Here are some fun (but not really traditional) ways to mix up your quesitos:
- Guava - this is likely the closest we will be getting to a traditional variation. Guava paste is a commonly used ingredient in Latin cuisine (especially Cuban cuisine) and pairs beautifully when you add a bit of guava paste to the flaky dough and cream cheese.
- Savory - cream cheese and puff pastry can be pretty magical together in the sense that they can excel at most things both sweet and savory. I've always wanted to try swapping in some caramelized onions, bacon or even mushrooms for the sugar in this recipe and see where we end up. Let me know if you try this one!
- Honey - while this recipe is pretty perfect as it is, I think leaving the sugar out entirely and using honey as a drizzle over top when they're fresh out of the oven could be pretty epic.
Truly, the options are endless here! Have fun and don't take yourself too seriously.
While this pastry can feel really fancy and special to serve to guests, it's a super easy one to make.
The only piece of equipment required to make quesitos is a good quality baking sheet.
As is true for most pastries, this recipe is best enjoyed fresh, the day you make them!
That said, quesitos will keep in your fridge for up to a week. I heat up my leftovers in the toaster oven to bring the puff pastry back to life and warm up the cream cheese.