Friday, May 6, 2011

Homemade Convenience Foods: Pop Tarts

I promised I would be back with more convenience foods and here I am. 
First off... my kids LOVE Pop-Tarts. Those sugar laden, high fructose packed junk food breakfast treats.  It's true. But let me say this... just because they love them doesn't mean Moma Chas gives in to their love too often. :)
Thankfully, I have found a compromise. 
Pop-tarts, even homemade ones aren't going to be as healthful as eggs and fruit... but for an occasional quick treat I can make these at the beginning of the week and then pop them in the oven if we are having an extraordinarily busy day, to the delight of my children. :)

Homemade Pop-Tarts
Yield: 9 pop-tarts
Prep Time: 1 hour | Bake Time: 25 minutes
For the pastry crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour (could be half white and half wheat)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks, or 8 ounces) butter, cold and cubed
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
For the cinnamon sugar filling:
½ cup light brown sugar
1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
For the strawberry filling:
¾ cup strawberry jam (or whatever flavor you’d like)
1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
1 tablespoon water
1 egg, lightly beaten (to brush on pastry)
1. Prepare the cinnamon sugar filling by whisking the ingredients together.
2. If using the strawberry filling, prepare by whisking together the cornstarch and water, and then combine with the jam in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let cool.
3. To make the crust, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, work in the butter until it is the size of peas and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. Whisk together the egg and milk and add to the dough. Mix together with a fork until everything is evenly moistened. Knead briefly on a floured surface, if necessary, until the dough comes together.
4. Divide the dough in half. (At this point you can wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.) If you refrigerate the dough, let it come to room temperature for about 15 minutes before rolling out. Roll out one piece of dough to about 1/8-inch thick, in a 9½ by 12½ rectangle. Using a sharp knife, pastry wheel or bench scraper, trim the rectangle to 9×12 inches. Cut the sheet of dough into nine 3×4 rectangles. Using a spatula, transfer the rectangles to a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Brush the lightly beaten egg on each of the rectangles. Spoon a tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, leaving a ½-inch of space around the edges.
5. Roll out and cut the second piece of dough in the exact same manner as you did the first. One at a time, place a second rectangle of dough on top of the nine assembled ones. Using your fingers, press around the seams of the dough to make sure they are sealed. Press the tines of a fork around the edges of the rectangles. Prick the tops of the rectangles in multiple spots to allow steam to escape.
6. Refrigerate the pan with the pastries (you don’t need to cover them) for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool slightly before serving. Store pastries in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
* Note 1: Each filling recipes makes enough for a whole recipe (9 pop-tarts). If you make to make a few different filling, just scale back the amounts for the fillings.
* Note 2: Some additional filling ideas: Chocolate chips, Nutella, different jam flavors, dulce de leche, etc. The possibilities are endless!
* Note 3: If your kitchen runs on the warm side, you will need to refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out so that the butter doesn’t start to melt.
**recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour**



  1. My husband loves pop-tarts too! They aren't something we buy often...I don't think my 6-year-old has ever had one. But, I am going to have to try this, and surprise him...maybe this weekend! Thanks for the fun idea!! :) (Hope you all are doing well...still praying for you!)

  2. I don't usually by pop tarts. Yours looks yummy!

    *Christi jo*

  3. I've yet to try homemade pop tarts, but I'm printing off this recipe. I think my kids will love them. Oh and I really like the new look of your blog! :)

  4. Dearest Chas, WooHoo! You have done it again dear Lady. I admit to having a pop-tart cravin' every month or so. My family will be delighted with this recipe. I will be trying it soon. Thank you. God Bless you.

  5. Wow these look so delightful! Can't wait to make up a batch for the babies!