Sunday, May 27, 2012

Homemade Pop Tarts

When you love someone, you have to pick your battles and agree to not talk about hot subjects. I am not saying it is smart to overlook major differences. Differences are ok. It is when discussing differing opinions gets knock down, drag out ugly that I think it is smart to simply not have those conversations.

Maybe it is political views or moral standpoints. Maybe it is breakfast.

 Maybe your boyfriend likes Toaster Strudel and you want to be buried with a (superior) Pop Tart in your hand. Maybe whenever he talks about Toaster Strudel his nose sticks up in the air a little too high and he refers to Pop Tarts as cold cardboard.

This is when you walk away.

Make some pop tarts and take some pictures and prove to the world what you already know- these are way better than Toaster Strudel.

I have a thing for brown sugar and cinnamon Pop Tarts. They are prefect when toasted to almost-burnt and dunked in coffee. Heaven.

This dough is not my go-to 3-2-1 pie crust. It is still flaky, but a little sturdier. Pop Tarts need to be sturdy if they are going to be man handled by a toaster.

Brown sugar, cinnamon and a little flour on egg-washed pastry.

Or, reduced raspberry jam.

 Seal with a fork and poke vents in the top to release steam. This will keep tarts flat and toaster-ready.

I like un-glazed Pop Tarts but, you can definitely glaze these bad boys with the optional recipe below. That would make them a little less portable but definitely delicious.

Pop Tarts 
(makes 8 tarts)
2 c AP flour
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 c (2 sticks butter), cold and cut into small cubes
1/4 c raspberry jam cooked with  slurry (1 teaspoon corn starch mixed with 1 teaspoon water), cooled
brown sugar filling (1/4 c brown sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons flour and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon)
egg wash

OPTIONAL GLAZE: Combine 1 c confectioners sugar with a dash of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; whisk in whole milk  by the teaspoon until desired consistency is achieved (1 1/2 Tablespoons will yield a thick, spreadable glaze)

How- to-
*pre-heat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment
1. Make dough: in a large bowl combine flour, sugar, and salt; using your hands, work butter into dry ingredients until the consistency of coarse sand; add milk and egg and knead until dough just comes together; turn out onto a floured surface and divide dough in half; wrap each round of dough in plastic wrap and chill while you prepare the fillings.
2. Once you have reduced your jam and have stirred together the brown sugar filling, bring a dough round out of the fridge and roll out on a floured cutting board to a rough rectangle 1/8" thick
3. Cut dough to measure 10"x 12"; divide in half (you will have to sections of dough 10"x6" now); divide each side into 4 equal rectangles measuring 2 1/2 " by 6". Roughly- it is totally ok if you are a little wonky on the measurements
4. Brush 4 rectangles with egg wash and top with a heaping Tablespoon of brown sugar filling (leaving 1/4" boarder on the outside of the dough)
5. Top the brown sugared dough rectangles with a plain piece of dough, pressing around the filling to seal and then crimp the edges with a fork (you will need some extra flour to dip the fork in so the dough doesn't stick)
6. Place Pop Tarts on the prepared baking sheet and, using the same fork, poke holes in the top of each tart to release steam.
7. Brush the tarts with egg wash and bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes (once cooled, glaze if desired)
8. Repeat process with other dough round and raspberry filling.

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