Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Homemade v. Store-bought: Pop-Tarts

This really shouldn't be much of a battle. Store-bought poptarts are...bland? dry? fake? full of processed ingredients? all of the above. They are pretty good at 2:30 in the morning after too many beers but that is about it. My husband does have a soft spot for the strawberry ones, but only without icing but honestly, who actually likes THAT cardboard.

I've been doing a lot of researching for these poptarts. I wanted them to be delicate and flaky, sweet but not overly sweet. The end result fit the bill perfectly.

I filled them with a brown sugar and cinnamon filling, but you could fill them with any flavor of jam you want or even nutella. omg. nutella.

Homemade Pop-Tarts
makes 8 

2 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (regular sugar works as well)
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into cubes
1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Combine flour and sugar in the bowl of the food processor. Add chilled butter & whiz till breadcrumb like mixture forms,.
With a fork, vigorously stir in the lightly beaten egg until all the dry ingredients are moistened and a dough starts to pull together and form a ball.
Scrape up the dough together, re-flour the surface lightly and work very briefly and quickly until you have a smooth, homogeneous dough. If the dough is too sticky, refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten

Stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Set the egg aside for assembly.

To Assemble:
When the dough is chilled enough to roll it out, roll on a well floured surface into a rectangle 1/8" thick. Trim the edges. You're going to want 16, 3"x4" rectangles, and you may have to roll the scraps several times to get these. If the dough starts to get too sticky, just chill for another 10-15 minutes.
On each rectangle, brush lightly with the beaten egg. This will be the inside of your pastry. The egg will help keep the edges sealed during baking. Place a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the middle of the rectangle. Place a second rectangle on top of the first, pressing gently with your fingers around the perimeter. Seal the edges with the tines of a fork. Repeat with remaining tarts.
Gently place tarts on a greased baking sheet. Refrigerate for 15 minutes while your oven preheats to 350 degrees.
Remove tarts from fridge and bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden. Watch carefully during the last few minutes of baking, they go from golden to blackened in no time at all.

They really don't need icing, but if you want to add some mix together 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 T. milk or heavy cream and a dash of vanilla extract. Drizzle over the tarts.


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