This is post 1(d) for Daniel being gone this time, get it?! Hahaha so clever?!?!?! Ok fine.
I have recently become obsessed with another food blog (blasphemous, I know). In my defense, it focuses only on recipes (rather than restaurants) that the blog owner likes then makes and perfects before putting them up with beeeeeoooootiful pictures. A few weeks ago, a post popped up on my Google Reader that caught my attention right away: homemade POP TARTS!! OMG!!!1!
I luuuurve pop tarts. Fave flavors=frosted strawb and brown sugar cinnamon, of course. I think they are far superior to Toaster Strudel, that evil, floppy-even-when-toasted twin that tastes strongly of oil and burns your mouth with its lava-hot, overly runny filling. Anyway. Pop tarts. I think they’re awesome even when not toasted, but some people think they are a bit too hard and chalky when cold. Thus, the excitement when I came across this recipe that claimed to be the perfect compromise between a pastry and a pop tart.
These pop tarts came into fruition about two weeks ago. I made them on a Sunday morning and I was looking forward to them so much. But let me tell you, they were a pain in the butt to make! It took me almost two hours to get them in the oven. Probably because I decided to make mini pop tarts with four different fillings: raspberry jam, brown sugar cinnamon, white chocolate macadamia, and parmesan black pepper. First up: preparing the fillings.
I made minuscule amounts of each since the recipe only makes around 16 2″ x 3″ pop tarts. For the jam filling, you just cook the jam down with some cornstarch and then strain the seeds (skip this step if you have seedless jam) and let it cool. The other fillings are pretty self-explanatory–mix brown sugar, cinnamon, and some flour; cheese and pepper; and chop up white chocolate and macadamia nuts. I set aside my pretty bowls of fillings and started on the dough.
This dough has SO. MUCH. BUTTER. Well, only one stick. But it seemed ridiculous when I pulled them out of the oven and the butter in the dough had oozed out all over the pan. You can even see it in my crappy iPhone pictures, see? More on that later.
So, the dough. You make the dough and then roll it out into two rectangles of 9″ x 12,” which you then cut into your desired amount of pop tart rectangles. I had some issues rolling my pizza cutter in a straight line, so some p-tarts were a bit wonky and small, but whatevs. Then you brush one set of tarts with egg wash, spoon filling in, cover with the other side, and use a fork to crimp the edges and poke holes in the top for steam escape-age.
I had some issues with the dough being suuuuper sticky, but not sticking together when I tried crimping it? Weird and annoying. But I put sugar on the jam tarts and pepper on the parmesan ones and they looked soooo cute when I was ready to put them in the oven! BUT WAIT. Must refrigerate for 30 minutes (arbitrary, much? why is this necessary?). So, after waiting 30 more minutes, in which time I stuffed my face with lunch, I popped them in the oven and waited for happiness to emerge.
Let me give you a warning: do not make these after you’ve had a fatty meal. I had just eaten leftover chicken madeira from Cheesecake Factory (if you’ve never had it, it’s chicken with some sort of eggy coating covered in mozzarella and madeira sauce) and by the time the pop tarts came out of the oven, the sheer amount of butter in them made me gag a little. I tried a bite of each kind, and was HUGELY underwhelmed. The recipe just didn’t quite work out. The pastry was wayyy too overwhelming and I hadn’t put enough filling in some of the tarts. The best was the jam filling, but it still wasn’t great. Maybe I just was too full to appreciate them? In any case, they keep for a week in an airtight container, so I waited a few days and tried again. Better, but still not nearly up to par with the original pop tart. CRY. These babies are still in the tupperware on my counter, untouched beyond my exploratory nibbles. Disappointing, overall, especially because every recipe I’ve tried from that other food blog has been fantastical. These were so un-fantastical that I didn’t even want anyone to taste them.
Fast forward to tonight, when I was watching The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Sweet Tooth on Food Network and one of the things was a pop tart from Michael’s Genuine in Miami Beach. They looked sooo good so I might try to make these puppies again. However, I would use my favorite pie crust recipe (that’s a bomb-ass apple pie, btw) and try to make a fresh fruity-jammy filling of some sort. And fill the crap out them. And roll the dough out super thin so it’s not overwhelming. And not make mini tarts so I can get enough filling in there. I guess I have to make them again! Or I could make the super-secret-super-delish recipe for Sour Cherry Pie that I got from my cousin’s gf that she hasn’t shared in 15 YEARS but she shared it with ME. Damn, I’m special.
Homemade Pop Tarts
Recipe can be found here.