Sunday, March 20, 2011

Homemade Pop-tarts a.k.a. Pure Bliss

Look at those flaky can you ever eat a store bought pop-tart again?
My sous chef enjoying the pop-tart she made
Roll out dough to 1/4" thickness

Cut out shapes
Filling optionsDo you know what happens when you make a million pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas? You are left with a bunch of pie dough scraps! I was rummaging through my fridge and came across these giant balls of pie dough scraps...guess it was about time I did something with them. It just so happens that my niece and I went strawberry picking this week and had a surplus of strawberries in our kitchen. Strawberries and pastry, a match made in heaven. I was going to make a quick jam with the berries, but decided to just use them fresh as is. We made an assembly line of freshly sliced strawberries, cream cheese, pecans in maple syrup, and a cinnamon sugar mixture. We filled each pastry with these fillings, and wow...were they awesome! I think my favorite combination was the cream cheese, cinnamon sugar, and pecans and maple syrup. The pie dough scraps held up great and the end result was incredible. I am already plotting out future fillings...the possibilities are endless. I am pretty sure any type of Jam would also do well inside these paired with cream cheese...of course.

Some fun facts about Pop-Tarts:

1) They were invented in 1963 by Post and were first called "Country Squares"...pretty sure that person got fired for coming up with that name.

2) Later that year Kelloggs swept in with their own version called "Pop-tarts"...needless to say "Country Squares" disappeared from the market.

3) Many fires have been caused by pop-tarts in toasters so now there is a warning on every box that says, ""Due to possible risk of fire, never leave your toasting appliance or microwave unattended."

4) There are 29 flavors of Pop-tarts on the market...including: Cherry Berry Rick Pip...what? Rainbow Cookie Sandwich...nasty. Jewelberry, Meowberry, Wild Bubble-Berry, Icy Cold Polar, and wait for it... Wild Magic that even a legal substance, and should your kids be eating it for breakfast. Wheaties, the breakfast of champions...Wild Magic Burst...the breakfast of Pot heads.

Growing up eating Pop-tarts was a rare treat in our house. Now, I would never buy or feed a Pop-tart to anyone. Sorry folks, why would I buy them when I can make them, and they taste this amazing?

Pop Tarts

If you don't have pie dough scraps lying around use this recipe for the dough:

Roll out the cold dough on a well floured surface making sure you rotate, flip, and re flour as you go to ensure the dough isn't sticking onto the surface. Roll out to 1/4" thickness. Cut out rectangles, squares, or circles. Place on a parchment lined pan. We did all kinds of shapes, just have fun with it. Place filling in center of every other piece of dough, make sure you do not overfill the pastries. Dip your fingers in a little bit of water and moisten the edges of each piece. Place an equal sized and shaped piece of dough on top of the filling and press together. Make sure you get a nice seal on the edges so the filling doesn't ooze out while baking. Use a fork to ensure the seal of each tart and work your way around the edges. Brush each pastry with some beaten egg and sprinkle with raw sugar. Lightly slice the tops of each pastry so the steam can escape. Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown. The time varies with each shape.

Possible Fillings

Fresh Fruit
Cream Cheese
Cinnamon Sugar mixture: 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 4 tsp flour
Pecans or walnuts soaked in maple syrup
Almonds ground up with coconut and honey

You can also assemble these ahead of time, freeze them, and then bake them when you want them.

Yum, Yum, Yum, eating food can be so fun!

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