Three Kings’ Day and a recipe for quesitos (a Puerto Rican pastry)
January 6th is Three Kings’ Day. 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 Puerto Rican 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.
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 a 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 the tops with light corn syrup. Let it cool a little before serving them.