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.
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.