Quesitos de Guayaba are delicious cream cheese and guava pastries. You can find them in every bakery in Puerto Rico. Sprinkled with powdered sugar or a simply glazed, these hand held treats perfectly complement your morning cup of coffee.
What are Quesitos?
Back home in Puerto Rico you will find a pastry we call “quesito” (ke-see-toe) which translates to “little cheese”. A “quesito” is sweetened cream cheese wrapped in a puff pastry and dusted with powdered 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).
With their wonderful crisp, flaky crust, Guava pastries make a great to-go breakfast. Better than a donut. They are very similar to guava and cheese mini fried pies but are not the same thing.
Puerto Rico is gifted with many wonderful breakfast options that go beyond bacon and eggs. Baked rum coconut French toast is a favorite, as is pan de Mallorca, Puerto Rican sweet rolls.
Quesitos aren’t just for breakfast either. This is one of my favorite easy sweets to whip up for company, because they are light and not too sweet, they make a wonderful dessert.
The American version of this would be cheese danish or rhubarb cream cheese hand pies .
what is in quesitos de guyaba?
Typically a quesito is made up of puff pastry filled with sweetened cream cheese and guava. They are often coated with a thin glaze. You will need the following ingredients:
- puff pastry sheets
- canned guava shells
- cream cheese
- powdered sugar
- lime juice
Unfortunately, I am having a difficult time finding my choice of guava out here in the Midwest. I can find guava paste with no problem but I prefer pureed guava shells for this recipe because it is not as sweet and sugary as guava paste.
Recently, my wonderful husband, Obed, went to Florida on business and picked up 3 cans of guava shells. They almost didn’t make it back to Oklahoma because Obed packed them in his carry-on. He never checks-in his luggage when traveling. He thinks that a checked bag is a lost bag.
It was a close call bringing food in his carry on luggage. He had to explain to the suspecting TSA agent how his beautiful wife (that would be me, just to clarify 😀 ) really needed them and couldn’t find guava shells anywhere in Tulsa.
The agent then checked with her supervisor before letting Obed pass with the food in his carry-on. It was a close one folks, but I did get my guava shells. Score!
You can buy puff pastry in the refrigerated section of your favorite grocery store. Or even better, you can make it from scratch. My good friend and podcast co-host, Rebecca from over at Foodie with Family, has a homemade puff pastry recipe that would work perfectly with this.
How to make quesitos de guayaba
Once you have all of your ingredients, making quesito de guayaba is fairly easy. Hopefully nobody in your family has to go out of state in order for you to make these tasty little treats.
First you’ll make the guava filling by pouring 1 can of guava shells into a blender with half of their syrup and the lime juice.
Blend or puree the mixture until it’s smooth and set aside. Next, cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until they are light and fluffy. Set that aside as well.
Finally, roll the thawed pastry. dough out on a lightly floured surface until you have a 12 x 12 square. Cut the sheet into 9 squares like a tic-tac-toe board. Each square should measure about 4×4 inches.
How to shape quesitos
The shape of Puerto Rican quesitos is not set in stone. Some bakeries fill the pastry edge to edge and fold in half like a taco. I prefer to fill it on the diagonal with the ends overlapping and pinched neatly.
To fill the pastry on the diagonal, burrito style, first spread a heaping tablespoonful of cream cheese, running it corner to corner, on each square. Then top the cream cheese with guava puree. You can also pipe the cheese and guava onto the dough for more consistency.
Dampen your fingertips with warm water to moisten the edges of the pastry dough. Fold the pastry over the filling like a burrito and press the damp edges together. You can trim the peak or tuck it in. If you like, you can brush the top with an egg wash.
Place the cheese pastries on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until puffy and golden in color. Immediately dust with powdered sugar and serve with a “posillo” of cafe con leche.
Can I freeze quesitos?
The short answer is no. I have tried and failed. While they are safe to eat and won’t make you sick if you freeze and re-thaw them, edible is not the same thing as fresh. These pastries lose their signature crisp flakiness in the freezer and become chewy and stale. I would not recommend freezing your quesitos de guayaba.
More Puerto Rican Recipes You’ll Love!
Include some more Puerto Rican desserts! Try some of these traditional recipes:
- Tembleque (Coconut Pudding)
- Arroz Con Dulce (Coconut Rice Pudding)
- Cheese Flan (Flan de Queso)
- Flan de Calabaza (Pumpkin Flan)
- Chocolate and Coffee Flancocho
- Mantecaditos con Guayaba (Shortbread Almond Cookies with Guava)
- Piragua de Crema (Cream Shaved Ice)
- Piragua de Cherry y Vainilla (Cherry Vanilla Shaved Ice)
As always you can find tons of delicious PR dishes in my Puerto Rican recipe collection.
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.
We just moved back to Miami, FL after living in San Juan for 6 years. We went to several bakeries in PR that had guava pasta in between two layers of shortbread that were dusted with powdered sugar. I can’t find any recipe with shortbread. Do you know what they are called? I’ll even send you some guava shells, if you can help with the name or recipe. Thanks, Merrill
Hi I make something like that, they are called alfajores I make them with guayaba and some with caramel dusted with powdered sugar… melt in your mouth
These sound delicious and I found the guava shells!
I would like to make some for an upcoming bake sale -proceeds going for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.
My main concern is if it would be possible to bake these 36 hours ahead of serving and what would be the best way to store them until the sale? I’m sure that they are best served fresh, but I am up against some time constraints. Thank you!
Yes, you can make them ahead of time. Just make sure they are completely cooled before storing them.
Oh heart be still, you have made yet another Puerto Rican in the mid-west one happy girl : ) Thank you for the great receipe.
Thanks! It’s my personal mission. Hehehe 😀
I am a Puertorican living on Guam, a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean. I get guavas from some friends when their trees produce it. We planted our own trees and are waiting for some guavas to ripen. How much of the fresh guavas and juice will I need to make the recipe using fresh guavas? I have not seen the can version here.
Also, do you have a recipe for the mantecados de guayaba (ice cream). I want to make what we call “helado del pais”. The kind that we find in the streets of the Old San Juan.
Iraida Nunez says
Meseidy, my family LOVED this one!!!! Gracias, porque me llevo a mis tiempos de high school en Puerto Rico! saludos, Iraida
Jean Hernandez says
love your website i made the same thing last week and they taste good im going to make more. 🙂
At elcolmadito.com you can order products from Puerto Rico.
Joanne Rios says
Update from my last post: March 30, 2010;
I’ve used your recipe twice now and plan to again this weekend for New Years!
My first time trying it out was for my father’s Bday in April.
He loved them! My mom liked them so much that if she had her way I’d be making them every week!
Per my father’s request I left out the cream cheese and made them using the guava shells and juice from your recipe. He said that he always liked them with just the guava. I found the guava shells online at the following site: http://www.cubanfoodmarket.com for just $2.99 per 16 oz. can. This site has always been reliable and gets my ingrediants to me faster than expected. They ship all over the Country so wherever you happen to be you can get your ingrediants for most Cuban and Puerto Rican recipes.
Joanne Rios(Anaheim, CA)
THANK YOU FOR THE RECIPE — MY GIRLS HAVE BEEN NAGGING ME FOR 13 YEARS TO MAKE THESE FOR THEM… I RELOCATED TO VIRGINIA IN 1999 — THEY HAVE BEEN “HOME SICK” EVER SINCE…
AGAIN, THANK YOU …
SAME RECIPE — SUBSTITUTE WITH FROZEN STRAWBERRIES (BLENDED AND ROOM TEMP.) IT WORKS THE SAME WAY … HAPPY BAKING… EVA
Great recipe and yummy. I made these yesterday and they came out great. I may tweak the cream cheese filling a little when I make them next. It was too soft. So I’ll add an egg to them which should firm them up a bit. I added vanilla to my cream cheese. Do you have a pineapple filling that I can use?
Thanks for the awesome idea! I’m a Puerto Rican/Cuban college student and am always craving quesitos and pastelillos de guayaba. I’ve made both before but never thought to put them together. It’s a good recipe for me, considering I don’t have many kitchen supplies in the dorms!
As for the extra guava shells you can blend them and put them into the center of some mantecados or make a cream cheese and guava bunt cake. I don’t remember the mantecado recipe but for the bunt cake you just pour a pound cake batter into the pan and put guava chunk and cream cheese chunks on top- they will sink once you bake it. The pan has to be well greased and floured because once its done baking and you have to turn it, the guava will stick to the pan. I got the recipe from my mom- whenever she makes it, it just melts in your mouth!
YOU CAN MAKE THEM IN A SMALL TOASTER OVEN — WORKS THE SAME WAY. JUST LINE THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN WITH ALUMINUM FOIL.
HEY, DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN POWERED SUGAR WITH A COFFEE GRINDER AND REGULAR GRANULATED SUGAR? JUST ADD 1/2 CUP AT A TIME, GRIND UNTIL POWDERY. MOST COFFEE GRINDER’S WORK FOR THIS. YOU SAVE TIME AND MONEY THIS WAY AND IT WORKS PERFECTLY.
ALSO, TRY FROZEN STRAWBERRIES AS THE FILLING FOR THE QUESITOS — IT’S REALLY AWESOME… HAPPY BAKING…EVA
You could make a Brazo de Gitano, Flan or Cheesecake, if you still have the guava. Great Site!!
susan r. says
How about a guava cheesecake (speaking of cream cheese and guava!!). You could swirl the guava mixture gently into the cream cheese cake before baking. You can probably cover the cooled cake with the guava mixture if it is thick enough or just drizzle it onto the plate when serving. That sounds so good – I think I will try it!!! I bake for a restaurant and have swirled raspberry compote through a cheese cake and it tasted and looked beautiful. Have fun!
Joanne Rios says
I can’t thank you enough for this recipe. I’m Puerto Rican and my father, who was born in San Juan always told me about guava pastries that he remembered from his youth. Until I found your recipe I planned on “winging it” by trying to use the ingrediants I was familiar with and that are available here in Orange County, CA. Guava shells aren’t sold in the “ethnic” isle of our grocery stores. Just guava paste. Also, because I had only my father’s description of what he remembered about the pastries I had no idea what type of dough to use.
His bday is this Friday April 2nd and he’s getting his LONG standing wish with some really good coffee to start his bday right! thank you again! Wish me luck that they’ll turn out right!
Joanne Rios(Anaheim, CA)
I am Cuban, and i make something very similar with empanada shells but yours are so pretty! I really enjoy your blog! I am gonna nickname you Martiqua Estuart!
Naomi G. says
I agree with your fan Kimmie up there. How happy was I when I stumbled across your page. [: Oh and nice recipe. I’m lovin it. Feliz Navidad Meseidy.
I saw your photo/link of the Cubano from Pioneer Woman, and how happy am I to have stumbled on your site! I’ve been browsing through the recipes and I am definitely craving a cup of limber de coco!! haha. Happy Holidays From one Puerto Rican to another! 🙂
I happened along here via tasty kitchen and am so happy that I did!
I went to two stores and could not find guava shells. So, I did get a can of guava paste. I have never cooked/baked with guava before, but love the flavor. These were a huge success with my family! After dinner, I made these and the four of us ate 7 of them!
I had some cheese leftover so I made some cheese danish. I will say I changed your recipe a smidge. I added 1 egg and 1 tsp of vanilla to the cheese mixture. The boys are asking to that this makes it into the regular rotation.
Thanks for a great recipe!
Fire Wife Katie says
These look amazing!! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
if you still have some of that puff pastry, then d’uh! you have to make pastelillos de guayaba!!! That’s the only thing I can think of, sorry. I’m somewhat allergic to guava so I can’t think of anything else…
Hey, I’ve been wanting a recipe for quesitos forever… if I just omit the guava puree, I’m fine right? Don’t suppose you’ve got a recipe for the thin glaze? I like them better with the glaze, plus I need to know that so I can make chorizos a la gabardina this Christmas, yumyum! Gracias!!!