Homemade Pop Tarts

Pop Tarts were a staple in my college pantry.  My how my food tastes have changed.  But even though I can’t quite bring myself to buy the store-bought “breakfast pastries,” that doesn’t mean I didn’t jump at the chance to make a homemade version.  Oh boy, the homemade are way better.  They have a flaky, melt-in-your-mouth crust and are filled with chunky preserves.  I have officially decided that I will forever be able to resist the urge to buy Pop Tarts in the store.  Yes, they take a little bit of work to make, but they are absolutely worth it!

Fun Fact: my Pop Tart of choice is the unfrosted cherry.

026 045Homemade Pop Tarts               Printer-Friendly Recipe

From: Cooking Classy & Bon Appétit
Yield: 8 tarts

Ingredients

Tart

2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
4 – 5 Tbsp ice water
3/4 cup preserves, divided between 8 tarts (I used strawberry & cherry)

Icing

1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp half and half, plus more as needed
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Pulse together the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor.  Pulse in the butter until the dough looks like coarse meal.  Pour in 4 tablespoons of water and pulse several times.  You want the mixture to come together in clumps; if it does not, add another tablespoon of water and pulse again.  ***alternatively, you could do this without a food processor. Just use a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingers to bring the dough together.

Gather the dough into a ball on a clean work surface.  Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 5-inch disk.  Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.  Take 1 of the dough disks out the fridge and place on a floured work surface.  Roll out into a 13×11-inch rectangle.  To clean up the edges, now cut the rectangle down to 12×10-inches.  Cut into 8 smaller rectangles (each 5×3-inches).  Place 4 of the rectangles onto a prepared baking pan, spaced evenly apart.  Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of preserves down the center of each.  Make sure the preserves are spread out evenly, leaving about 3/4-inch uncoated around the edges.  Place the remaining 4 rectangles on top of the preserves.  Seal the edges with a fork (or your fingertips) as best you can, there will be some preserves that spill out during the baking process.  With a toothpick, poke the top of each tart several times.  Cover the tray and place in the freezer to chill for at least 2 hours before baking (can freeze up to 1 week).  Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

To bake, place an oven rack near the top 1/3 of the oven and another oven rack near the bottom 1/3 of the oven.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Uncover frozen trays of tarts and bake for 25-30 minutes (rotate halfway through).  The tarts should begin turning a light golden brown.  Remove from oven & cool on baking sheets for about 10 minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely.  (If any of the preserves leaked out, just go ahead and cut it off from the edge of the tart)

To make the icing, whisk together all of the icing ingredients.  Add more half and half if desired (I only used 2 tablespoons).  Ice the tops of the cooled tarts (leave a little around the edge uncoated).  Now sprinkle the tops, if desired (I always desire sprinkles).  Let the icing set a bit at room temperature.  Store tarts in an airtight container and, of course, don’t put them in the toaster–they aren’t those kinds of pop tarts.  Enjoy!

Pulse together flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor.

Pulse together flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor.

BUTTER!

BUTTER!

Add the butter to the food processor.

Add the butter to the food processor.

Pulse until coarse crumbs form.

Pulse until coarse crumbs form.

Add in the ice water.  Ice, ice baby...

Add in the ice water. Ice, ice baby…

Pulse until the mixture comes together in clumps.

Pulse until the mixture comes together in clumps.

After dividing the dough in half, wrapping in plastic wrap, and refrigerating for an hour, take one half out of the fridge and roll out.

After dividing the dough in half, wrapping in plastic wrap, and refrigerating for an hour, take one half out of the fridge and roll out.

Roll into a 13x11-inch rectangle.  (That's one lumpy rectangle)

Roll into a 13×11-inch rectangle. (That’s one lumpy rectangle)

Cut down to a 12x10-inch rectangle to straighten out the edges.  Cut into 8 equal (ish) rectangles.

Cut down to a 12×10-inch rectangle to straighten out the edges. Cut into 8 equal (ish) rectangles.

Place 4 of the rectangles on a nonstick baking sheet.

Place 4 of the rectangles on a nonstick baking sheet.

Spread preserves over the center of each, leaving just 3/4-inches plain around the edges.

Spread preserves over the center of each, leaving just 3/4-inches plain around the edges.

My preserves of choice.

My preserves of choice.

Place the other 4 rectangles on top of the preserves.  Crimp the edges with a fork.

Place the other 4 rectangles on top of the preserves. Crimp the edges with a fork.

Now poke holes in the top with a toothpick.  Cover & place tray in freezer for at least 2 hours.  Repeat process with the second disk of dough.

Now poke holes in the top with a toothpick. Cover & place tray in freezer for at least 2 hours. Repeat process with the second disk of dough.

Place frozen tarts in a 375 degree oven with the oven racks in the top & bottom third of the oven.

Place frozen tarts in a 375 degree oven with the oven racks in the top & bottom third of the oven.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through. Allow the pop tarts to cool on baking sheets for several minutes.  Then cool completely on a wire cooling rack.  Cut off any of the preserves that may have seeped out.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through. Allow the pop tarts to cool on baking sheets for several minutes. Then cool completely on a wire cooling rack. Cut off any of the preserves that may have seeped out.

To make the icing, add all of the ingredients to a bowl & mix.  Add more half & half if needed.

To make the icing, add all of the ingredients to a bowl & mix. Add more half & half if needed.

Frost the tarts, leaving the edges bare, & sprinkle those sprinkles on!  Allow the icing to set for a bit at room temperature & enjoy!

Frost the tarts, leaving the edges bare, & sprinkle those sprinkles on! Allow the icing to set for a bit at room temperature & enjoy!

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