Three Kings’ Day and a recipe for quesitos (a Puerto Rican pastry)

One of my very favorite deserts- quesitos

January 6th is Three Kings’ Day. In the Hispanic culture, it is a day that celebrates the 3 kings or wise men visiting baby Jesus. We decided many years ago to celebrate this day with our kids. It is a fun way to embrace a holiday my husband grew up celebrating.

On the eve of Three Kings’ Day, we fill boxes with hay or grass for the 3 wise men’s camels — think carrots for Santa’s reindeer. In the morning, the grass is gone, replaced with gifts. Our kids know there aren’t real camels eating the grass they left, but they have a lot of fun pretending.

Eden picking grass

kids & grass

The kids checking out their presents.
Judah and Eden check out their presents.

On Three Kings’ Day, we have a big dinner — pernil (a classic Puerto Rican pork roast), two kinds of rice (rice and corn; and arroz con gandules), empanadas and potato salad. My very favorite part is dessert: quesitos. Quesitos are cheese-filled, caramelized fluffy pastries … seriously, so good. Everyone should make them soon! They are simple to make; they just take a little time. Check out the recipe below.




  • 1 box puff pastries
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 4 T. and ½ cup sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • light corn syrup

Mix together cream cheese and 4 tbsp. of sugar. Cut puff pastry into sheets at the folds; then cut each sheet into 5 small rectangles. Fill each rectangle with a small spoonful of the cream cheese mixture, and seal-close with water.

Coat pastry in egg white and roll in plate of sugar. Place seal-down on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 400° for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the quesitos from the oven and immediately brush tops with light corn syrup. Let it cool a little before serving them.

These quesitos are flaky and crispy on the outside with an awesome cream cheese inside.

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