Sunday, August 22, 2010

Homemade Pop-Tarts

Ah, Pop-Tarts. They bring to mind two main memories for me:

1. My dad brought home Pop-Tarts for the first time when I was in 5th grade, and I ate them everyday for breakfast for a year straight. Every day. No joke.
2. I have a student in my first hour who consumes 4 Pop-Tarts every morning in my class. Holy cow.

I saw a recipe to make these treats from scratch over at the Smitten Kitchen blog, and they've been on my list to try for about a month now. I finally got a chance to make them yesterday, and I'm so glad I did!

I made two versions, but her website gives suggestions for many more. I made half Nutella and half cinnamon-sugar.

Here's the process:

Create the pastry dough by combining flour, sugar, salt, and pats of cold butter.

Use a pastry cutter (or your fingers!) to combine these until....

it looks like this! There should still be some little chunks of butter; this makes for a flaky crust. It ends up very similar to pie crust.

I whisked milk and an egg together and combined it all until the dough came together into a ball.

Divide it in two; you need a top and a bottom for the Pop-Tarts!

Roll out each ball of dough into a roughly 9x12 rectangle; it needs to be about 1/8 inch thick. The thinner the better! You don't want too much pastry. I used a 9x13 baking pan to help me measure. You should make sure your edges look a little better than mine do; you'll find out why in a minute.

Cut the dough into thirds, and then into thirds again. You'll end up with 9 little rectangles.
This part was stressful for me.
I wanted it to be perfect!
But I felt kind of funny busting out a ruler.
So they ended up looking kind of funny.
You'll see.

Brush the whole thing with eggwash, and then it's time for the filling. As I mentioned, I filled half with Nutella.
Have you ever tried this delicious treat?
You should.
I make a mean Nutella thumbprint cookie....maybe that'll be a post later on.
Nutella is a chocolate hazelnut spread sent from heaven.
Or Australia. I heard they like it there.

I spread a very generous tablespoon of Nutella love on half of the tarts, and I combined cinnamon, sugar, and flour and spooned it onto the others. I wish I had put more filling in, because I didn't roll the dough out thinly enough and had a bad proportion of too much pastry to not enough filling.
Don't be like me!

Don't these look amazing?!

Notice the badly curved edges on a couple of them. That made the next step quite difficult.
Once you've spread the filling onto the pastry, carefully top them with another piece of dough. They need to match. Otherwise you won't have enough pastry to cover the filling, and it ends up looking like a Pop-Tart trainwreck.
Move these onto a baking sheet, and prick the tops with a fork several times to allow the steam to escape. Otherwise you won't end up with flat pastries. I also crimped the edges with a fork to make them look like the real deal!
These guys go in the fridge for 30 minutes and then into a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
When they come out, you don't even need to toast them!

Grab a glass of milk and enjoy!


  1. Ok, that looks amazing, but since I am not a Betty Crocker I will stick to feeding my kids the boring old store-bought (and usually the generic store brand) PopTarts! I'd happily come and sample yours though - just for comparison's sake of course!

  2. As a young girl, thanks to Pop tarts I learned to tell my right hand from my left. My Mom brought home this wonderful treat, and I remember how the pop tart popped straight out of the toaster onto my right forearm, frosting side down. Ouch! So, when I needed to know my right arm, I would look for the scars, which are tiny, but still there (next to the chicken pox scars.) I would love to try the homeade variety----yum.

  3. my kids will love you for ever Paige! They LOVE poptarts and I think i can change this alittle to make it "refined sugar-free" it'll be a great breakfast treat for them with maybe some sugarfree peach jelly I plan in making later this week!!