Friday, February 6, 2015

Homemade Toaster Pastries Pop Up!

Deep down inside me, in my heart of hearts, I am not a chef - even a reluctant one. I am a baker!

I love all things yeasty and floury and buttery. I love them to be flaky and crumbly and with crispy crusts. I think bread goes with every meal and that pie crust is an art form. (One I am still trying to learn)

Do your kids love toaster pastries? Do YOU love toaster pastries? I actually really do, but I wish they were "better".  I don't mean so much better for you, but yummier, I wish they were yummier. And so... in the granting of my very own wish - Homemade Pop-Tarts! That are delicious and flaky and so so divine... and I made them in PEACH! (sadly a flavor that the commercial Pop Tart supplies do not make.)

These were really just a fun experiment that I made. I wanted to goof around in the kitchen and see if I could make them. I am so very glad that I did. The kids (and my dad) gobbled them up. I will definitely be making them again and experimenting with lots of yummy flavors. 



2 and 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
3/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled
1/2 cup ice water ( the very Very cold water is going to be the key to the crust)


Your Favorite Jam or Jelly


3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 Tablespoon milk, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Plus Sprinkles! - for authenticity


1) For the pastry: First, mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Add cold unsalted butter and shortening. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal (pea-sized crumbles with a few larger bits of fat is OK). I use a pastry cutter for this step. It’s easier, less messy, and quicker. If you do not have a pastry cutter, use two forks. 

Measure 1/2 cup of water in a glass. Add ice. Stir it around. Slowly drizzle in the very cold water 1 Tablespoon at a time, stirring with a large spatula after every Tablespoon of water that you add. Do not add any more water than you need to. Stop adding water when the dough begins to clump.

2) Roll out the dough on a floured work surface. The dough should come together easily and should not feel overly sticky. Form the dough into a ball. Divide in half. Flatten each half into 1-inch thick discs using your hands. Wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks).

3) Assemble the pop-tarts: Remove 1 chilled dough disc from the refrigerator and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. This will help make the dough easier to roll and work with. Keep the other disc in the refrigerator. 

After 15 minutes, place disc onto a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick and 9x12 inches in size. Trim the sides as needed. Always be gentle with your pastry dough. You don't want it to tear. 

Cut each piece of dough into thirds and each third into thirds again. You will end up with 9 rectangles, each measuring 3×4 inches. Use a ruler to help make this process easier and more accurate.

4) Place each of the 9 rectangles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The pop-tarts will not spread in the oven much, so you may place them relatively near one another. Place the baking sheet in the fridge. Roll 2nd disc out into a rectangle and cut into 9 even rectangles like you did with the first half of the dough. These nine rectangles will be the tops of your homemade pop-tarts. 

5) Get out your filling. Place a heaping Tablespoon of the prepared jam / jelly into the center of each rectangle, spread it around, leaving around 1/4 inch of space on the edges. Brush the second baking sheet of rectangles with egg wash, then place each rectangle on top of the filling-topped rectangles - egg wash side down. Use your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides.

Poke holes in the tops of each filled pastry to allow the steam to escape. This helps get your pop-tart pastry nice and flaky. I used a toothpick to poke 8 holes in each. Seal the edges by crimping with a fork, to prevent the sides from opening as the pop-tarts bake. 

Refrigerate the filled pop-tarts uncovered for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour. This chilling let the pop-tarts rest before baking. It also firms up the pastry, since it has been out at room temperature for so long at this point.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Once unbaked pop-tarts have chilled for 20 minutes, remove from the refrigerator and brush the tops with the remaining egg wash. This egg wash will give your pastry that beautiful golden sheen. Bake for about 22-28 minutes or until they’re golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Let the baked pop-tarts cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

Make the glaze: whisk all of the glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl until it reaches a spreading consistency. You want a thick glaze, but not too thick that it is hard to spread. Add another teaspoon or two of milk if needed. Use a spoon or knife to glaze each pop-tart. The glaze will slightly harden in about an hour, if you prefer to wait that long.

STORING & FREEZING. Store pop-tarts in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 6 days. To reheat, bake in a 350F degree oven for 10 minutes. Baked pop-tarts freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat as directed before. I am unsure about reheating in a toaster.