This is one of my favorite easy sweets to whip up for company or because I need something to eat with my coffee. In every bakery back home in Puerto Rico you will find a pastry we call “quesito” (ke-see-toe)which basically translates to “little cheese”. A “quesito” is basically just sweeten cream cheese wrapped in a puff pastry and dusted with powder sugar, you can also do a thin glaze in place of the powder sugar. If you go into a bakery early in the morning you will find people having a “quesito” with a small cup of cafe con leche otherwise called a “posillo” (poe-see-jo). Another variation is to toss in some “guayaba’ (guava) with the cream cheese.
Unfortunately I am having a difficult time finding my choice guava out here in the Midwest. I can find guava paste with no problem but I prefer pureed guava shells for this pastry, because it is not as sweet and sugary as guava paste. Fortunately my wonderful husband came to the rescue (although I suspect he deduced some benefits for himself) and picked up 3 cans of guava shells when he was in Florida on business. Although they almost didn’t make it because Obed packed them in his carry-on. Obed refuses to check-in his luggage when traveling and because of this refusal my guava shells almost didn’t make it. He had to explain to the suspecting TSA agent how his beautiful wife (that would be me, just to clarify ) in Oklahoma really needed them and can’t find them anywhere in Tulsa. The agent then checked with her supervisor before letting Obed pass with the guava shells. Obed said that the supervisor looked Puerto Rican so he must have sympathized with our predicament. It was a close one folks, but I got my guava shells. Score!
Another bonus was that I got a coupon in the mail from Foodbuzz.com for a free Pepperidge Farm product, so I marched myself….actually I sent Obed, to the store and got a package of puff pastry sheets. For free mind you….double score!
Well now that I have my guava shells and my pastry sheets lets make “Quesitos de Guayaba”.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicon mats or parchment paper.
Pour 1 can of guava shells into a blender or food processor with half of their syrup and 1 tsp of lime juice.
Blend or puree until smooth, set aside. Cream together 12 oz of cream cheese and 3/4 cup of powder sugar, set aside. (no picture available because I forgot to take one, oops)
On a lightly floured surface roll out thawed pastry dough to about a 12 x 12 square.
Cut the pastry sheet into 4 x 4 squares. You should get 9 squares from each sheet.
Spread a heaping table spoon of cream cheese at an angle, running corner to corner, on each square. Then top the cream cheese with guava puree.
Wet the corners of the pastry squares and fold over the filling like a burrito, you can trim the peak or tuck it in if you like. Place on prepared baking sheets.
Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until puffy and golden in color. Immediately dust with powder sugar and serve with a “posillo” of cafe con leche.
These are the perfect ending to a heavy meal because they are light and not too sweet. I think I may be going for a second round this evening after we put up our Christmas tree. I have two more cans of guava shells, what should I do with them? Any ideas or suggestions?
Quesitos de Guayaba (about 18 pastries)
- 2 puff pastry sheets, thawed
- 1 can of guava shells (can substitute for guava paste)
- 1 tsp of lime juice
- 12 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup powder sugar
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicon mat or parchment paper.
In a blender or food processor pour in guava shells with half of their syrup and lime juice, blend until smooth.
Using a hand or stand mixer, whip together cream cheese and powdered sugar until creamy.
On a lightly floured surface roll pastry sheets out to about 12 x 12 inches. Cut the pastry sheets into 4 x 4 squares, you should get about 9 squares per sheet. Spread about 2 tbs of cream cheese mixture down the middle of the square at an angle, running corner to corner, then top cream cheese with 1 heaping tbs of guava. Wet the corners of the square and fold over over the filling, like a burrito. You can now trim the peak or fold it in.
Place pastries on prepared baking sheets and bake in the oven for 25 mins or until puffy and golden. Keep an eye on them. Remove from oven and immediately dust with powder sugar.
*If you decided to use guava paste, simply dice the paste into small cubes and spread out over cream cheese.