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January: Homemade Pop-Tarts

Pop-tartBaking is a lot of fun for me. However, I never seem to make enough time for it. That is why my resolution this year is to bake one new recipe a month. It will give me an excuse at least once a month to roll up my sleeves and bust out the apron.

This month I decided to try homemade Pop-Tarts. Yes, as a child I enjoyed those cardboard like pastries. There is something so amazing about putting a pastry in the toaster. The warm filling…ah.  When I was tempted by the box on my way through the grocery store, I decided to resist and instead try it at home.

I used a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. The filling combinations are endless. However, I decided to stick to the basics for my first batch. Half were apricot pineapple jam (ok maybe a not so basic flavor) and the other half were brown sugar cinnamon. Some other future combinations to consider:

  • Smores: Use mini marshmallows or leftover homemade marshmallows plus chocolate chips. With the dough change out the sugar for honey and replace some of the all-purpose flour with graham flour.
  • Nutella + Bananas + Sea Salt: My mother saw this brilliant combination on a cooking program after I’d made my batch.
  • Two jams together: Perhaps I ate too many seasonal Pop-Tarts but I recall flavors that were combinations of colors. What about a blueberry and strawberry jam swirl?
  • Lemon curd: The tang of the lemon would help pack a punch to these buttery treats. Consider a simple icing over the top once they are fully cooled.

Ultimately the exterior was like making pie crust. If you decide to make Pop-Tarts here are the lessons I learned from my first batch:

  • If you have a food processor use it. The recipe gave multiple options. I like the ease and clean up of the food processor.
  • The dough does show the pea size butter chunks in it when you are rolling it out. Don’t be worried.
  • If using a jam filling, thicken the jam while the dough is chilling. The jam needs time to cool too or else it will start to melt the dough. I mistakenly did it later and had to shove the jam in the freezer.
  • When poking holes in the dough, I used a fork like the recipe recommended. However, you may want to consider a toothpick or bamboo skewer instead to have more control over where the holes are placed.

Let me know if you try making them. I would love to hear about the filling you use!

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