Submitted by Michelle Ezratty Murphy
These quesitos, so flaky, sweet, cheesy—so amazing—are the No. 1 must-eat treat one of favorite Puerto Rican food cooks Michelle Ezratty Murphy must have when she and her husband go to Puerto Rico. ”The minute that we land on la isla, I tell my husband that the first thing I want to do is go straight to the bakery and get a dozen. The pastries are handed to us, looking (and tasting) pretty much perfect: in a crisp white box, tied with string.”
Michelle reports that she and her husband Pat leave the bakery ”and neither of us can wait 5 more minutes. Inmediatamente, we cut the string and dive right into these delicious golden pastries that stick to your fingers.”
Quesito means little cheese, but the taste is big. Unlike a cheese Danish, quesitos are curled into tiny cigar-shaped puffed pastry rolls, stuffed with sweet cream cheese, and lightly brushed with a sticky honey syrup the second they come out of the oven.
How to eat a quesito is another Puerto Rican wonder, says Michelle. ”For breakfast, it must always be accompanied by a cup of coffee bien caliente. How do I know this? Because my husband and his entire Puerto Rican family do it this way. So, it must be the right way. As an afternoon snack, it’s acceptable to skip the coffee. My husband loves when I make quesitos at home. I think it makes him think of his childhood and his family back on the island.
Undeniably different from any other pastry I’ve ever tasted, quesitos are pretty tough to find in the U.S., unless you’re lucky to have a Boricua bakery nearby. Thankfully, they’re not hard to make and use just a few ingredients—making it simple to satisfy that quesito craving.
Ready to Make Quesitos, Puerto Rican Cheese Pastries?
Photos: Michelle Ezratty Murphy