Saturday, January 12, 2013

Homemade Pop Tarts

The bright artificial colors, the ubber sweet frosting and the array of flavors and sprinkles attract all children to the pop tart aisle, mine included. I am not going to lie, me, the mom who actually tries to feed her children healthily, allow them to indulge in a pop tart now and then.

The other morning, as we were dashing out of the house for school, my oldest son said “here mom, I can’t finish it.” For some reason I ate it. Two things went through my mind, first these are disgusting and way too sweet, and the second was that I couldn’t believe that I was obsessed with pop tarts as a child.

I knew that I could find a way better alternative. I found a recipe online for homemade pop tarts, tweaked it a bit, and out came the most wonderful tasting sweet you could ever have in a breakfast treat. 

Here is what you will need:

for the pastry

2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of salt
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 large egg
3 tablespoons of milk

for the filling

get creative! I used strawberry jam, lemon curd and nutella.  Fill with anything you want. About a heaping tablespoon of filling on each pop tart. 

Making the dough: In a mixer, food processor, or with your hands, blend together the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the cold butter into squares and work it in until you get small pea size balls in the dough. Whisk the egg, milk and vanilla in a separate bowl before you add them to the dough. Add the liquid to the dough. Mix, just enough to incorporate the liquid. Place the dough on a well floured surface and knead just a few times. Shape it into a ball, wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 10 mins so that the butter will stiffen back up. Take the dough out and split it in half. 

Roll the dough into a rectangle and cut into six to eight pieces, just depending on how thick you want your crust. 

Crack an extra egg and mix it in a separate bowl to use as an egg wash. Brush the egg wash onto half of the squares. If you have 6 squares brush 3 and if you have 8 brush 4. 

Now it is time to fill them. Add a heaping tablespoon of whatever filling you want to them! Keep a 1/2 inch perimeter around the edge so that you are able to close them. 

Place the top pastry on. To seal the edges, take a fork and press the edges together, all the way around. Then make sure to poke some holes in the top so that the dough stays nice and flat instead of proofing up. 

Place them on a parchment lined or lightly greased cookie sheet. Stick the cookie sheet in the refrigerator while your oven is pre-heating to 350. 

When the oven is pre-heated, stick the cookie sheet inside and let them bake for 20-25 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Let them cool on the pan.

These will stay fresh in an air tight container for about a week. What I like to do is make a large batch of them and freeze them unbaked in between waxed paper and bake them when they are wanted. 

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