I loved Pop Tarts as a kid. There was never a choice as to flavor: it was always frosted strawberry. I looked askance at those who thought cinnamon sugar was an acceptable choice, or who believed unfrosted was even an option. I would enjoy them seconds from the toaster, while they were still a nuclear meltdown of hot inside. I never liked the crust part, though, and will now admit to the entire interwebs that I used to discreetly gather my crusts up in my napkin and feed them to our neighbor’s dog when no one was looking. Mitzi the Schnauzer loved every last crumb of them.
Mitzi might not have been a connoisseur of pie crust, but I am. I believe every person can successfully make flaky, buttery pie dough–and this summer I plan to teach you–but in the meantime I really wanted to try my hand at making homemade Pop Tarts, full of real fruity filling and made of the kind of dough I actually want to eat myself. But the recipe is a tad on the fiddly side, so I decided to give myself a break and use store-bought pie crust I found at my local Whole Foods. When I give in to store-bought crust though, it has to be all-natural, such as Immaculate Baking’s.
I also strayed from my usual strawberry fixation. Now I’m a grown-up with a mature palate! So why not fill one with Nutella and one with peanut butter and jelly? See how grown-up I am?
(Please note: Nutella is NOT, I repeat NOT a health food. Don’t sue me four years from now claiming I told you it was…As one lady did in Texas. And won.)
Home-made Mini Toaster-Style Pastries
- 1 box Immaculate Baking pie crust
- Fillings of your choice (consider jam, Nutella, peanut butter and jelly, lemon curd, chocolate chips and cinnamon)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Milk or Water
- Vanilla, Lemon or Chocolate Syrup to flavor the frosting
- Food coloring (if desired)
- Sprinkles (duh)
This is How You Do It:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
1. Leave the dough at room temperature for 30 minutes. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper while you wait. Ponder what fillings will make you happy.
2. Lightly flour a pastry board and lay the first piece of dough on top. Gently roll the dough to form as close to a rectangle as you can. You don’t want the dough to get too thin, so don’t go crazy doing this. You just want to square up the edges a little so it’s easier to measure little rectangles.
3. Mark out your rectangles on the pastry. These will be the bottoms of the pastries. Use a ruler. It will mean a higher likelihood that your tops will match your bottoms when it comes time to seal them up. Mine measured about 2 1/4″ x 2″. Run a pizza wheel along the edge of the ruler to ensure smooth and even cutting.
4. Place the rectangles on a cookie sheet. Place a large dollop of filling in the center of each. I used about tablespoon for each.
5. Make the tops for the pastries using the same procedure in step 2. Prick each top with a fork 3 times.
6. Now it’s time to seal your tarts. Dip your finger in the beaten egg (it’s easier and more precise than a pastry brush) and run it around the edge of each of the bottom pastries. Place a rectangle of pastry on top and lightly seal. Use a fork to crimp the edges. You don’t want any of that filling sneaking out while you aren’t looking.
7. Bake the pastries for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown.
8. While the pastries cool on a wire rack, mix up some frosting. I made three different types of frosting: vanilla, chocolate and pink. I added a tablespoon of milk to 1/2 cup of sifted confectioners’ sugar and blended until smooth. Add more sugar or milk to achieve a thick, slightly runny frosting. As you can see from my pictures, the chocolate was a tad too runny. I added chocolate syrup to one., vanilla flavoring to another, and pink food coloring to another. And sprinkles. I really believe in sprinkles. Nutella. Don’t tell Nutella, but the PB&J one was my secret favorite.