Quesitos (Cheese-Filled Puff Pastry)
A popular Puerto Rican treat, quesitos (kay-SEE-toes) is a delightful indulgence with a cup of tea or coffee for breakfast, brunch or any time of the day, really. So easy to make, you can whip this in no time for unexpected company or to satisfy an urgent craving. The combination of crunchy, flaky puff pastry with vanilla-spiked cream cheese filling raises the addiction index quite high, so be forewarned to bake this only when you can share with others or you might be tempted to eat them all yourself.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 yolk
- 1 pound puff pastry (2 sheets)
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the first four ingredients until smooth. Unroll one cold pastry sheet on parchment paper on your counter or board. Cut the sheet in half and then cut across in equal intervals so you end up with ten equal rectangles. Place the pastry sheet on the working surface so that the long ends of the rectangles are parallel to you. Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling along the middle of each rectangle from one short end to the other, leaving about ½” edge on each short end. Fold those short ends over the cheese filling, then work with the long ends. First stretch the long end closest to you over the cheese filling and then bring the opposite side to overlap and cover the cheese to create a slender, slightly flat tube. Place the pastries seam down on an ungreased baking sheet. Fill all the cut rectangles, then repeat with the second pastry sheet. Brush egg white all over the pastries and sprinkle with sugar. Bake on the top shelf for 25 minutes. Cool on a rack.
- Keep the puff pastry sheets in the refrigerator until ready to cut and shape.
- For larger quesitos, divide each sheet into 6 equal rectangles and allow 1 tablespoon of filling for each pastry. For cheesier quesitos, double the filling quantity.
- May be prepared in advance and frozen unbaked, wrapped with aluminum and then with a plastic wrap. Before serving, defrost to room temperature and then bake.
- Sprinkling sugar on top of the pastry after brushing with the egg white results in a crunchier crust. Traditional preparation calls for sugar syrup or corn syrup to be applied after baking when cooled. May also sprinkle with powdered sugar after baking.