Friday Food : Pop-Tarts

After making my fruit roll-ups last week, I was on a kick to make my own childhood treats. I started using the fancy Google machine and came across many sites offering tips and tricks and formulas for making your own Pop-Tarts! I loved me some PTs back in the day. Well, really as a child I was totally a toaster strudel type of gal. I mean c’mon you could just eat the frosting right from the bag! Talk about a morning pick me up. As a working adult I came to love the flavors of PTs and used ’em for snacks and treats. Recently I learned they are made with palm oil or palm kernel oil or whatever so they’re off limits.

Make your own Pop-Tarts!

What you will need:

Crust:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Cinnamon sugar filling:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Make the filling by whisking all dry ingredients together and set aside for later use
  2. For the the crust, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers or other preferred kitchen gadget, work in the butter until it is the size of peas and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it
  3. Whisk together the egg and milk and add to the dough
  4. Blend with a fork, other tool or do what I did and get your hands messy until everything is evenly moistened
  5. Knead briefly on a floured surface
  6. Divide dough in half and if needed store in refrigerator up to 2 days wrapped in cling wrap. Otherwise store overnight or for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove dough and all to come to room temperature if stored overnight
  8. Roll dough out onto a floured surface to approximately 1/8″ thickness. Work into a 9×12 rectangle to cut out your (9) tarts of 3×4 size. I found my bench scraper worked nicely for this process
  9. Spoon filling into center of the tarts (I used 2 heaping teaspoons)
  10. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough. (If desired brush edges with an additional beaten egg to help hold pieces together. I skipped this part and my tarts were fine)
  11. Press around the edges with a fork to hold sides together and to make a really neat design. Place holes in the center to all steam to escape
  12. Put everything back in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. (Preheat oven during this time if you have not already. 350 degree F.)
  13. Remove from refrigerator and make for 25-30 minutes. I know other recipes call for shorter baking times, but I really found this amount to work best for my tarts and oven. If this makes you nervous check them after 15 minutes
  14. Ta-Da! Pop-Tarts…now go and enjoy!

Photos and Comments:

I used a very basic mixture for the crust. My plan is always to go with the most universally appealing mixture on a new project to get the best feedback from a variety of sources. When I make these again I will be using more whole wheat flour and variations of mixtures.

On a few of them I drizzled chocolate. Of my 2 I ate 1 plain 1 with drizzle. While the extra sweets made it amaziiiiing it also totally made it too sweet for breakfast FOR ME. I’d say depending on the filling you opt for, extra topping is simply not needed.

Be aware of how thick you are making your dough when making the pieces. It may seem thin, but it’ll puff up and you want a good crust to filling ratio.

All my coworkers raved about the treats! My recipe make 9 tarts. I set 2 aside for people outside of work. I ate 2 myself. Math? 5 different people ate the others and that handful was happy…so I was happy.

Like other kitchen projects they need a little prep time. If you make the dough the day before and refrigerate over night it isn’t too bad…but if you’re trying to do it all in one day it can be a little “hurry up and wait”.

Let me know how all of YOUR versions turn out!

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