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homemade pop tarts

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My older sister came to visit from Houston, Texas!  Actually, she was in NYC for work.  She wasn’t in town for sight-seeing… which she had to remind me over and over.  Luckily for me, it worked out that she was able to spend her evenings with me.

I thought it would be nice to surprise her with these homemade pop tarts!  I’ve wanted to make them for a while now (after seeing them in a food magazine).  Everything seems to taste better when it’s homemade.  :)

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I wasn’t sure what I wanted to fill them with until I bought this pumpkin butter at Trader Joe’s.  I knew it would be the perfect filling for my fall pop tarts!

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My sister got in quite a workout while she was here… I forgot how sore I was when I first moved to NYC from all the walking.

ANY CHARACTER HERE

I had her walking all over Manhattan and Brooklyn.  We weren’t walking very slowly either.  :/

One night for dinner, I convinced her we needed to try a pizza place in Brooklyn.  She was a little hesitant since she was exhausted from training and starting to feel hungry (and her hotel was in the Financial District of Manhattan) but she finally agreed. 

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On the way to dinner, I might have lead her towards the Brooklyn Promenade without letting her know..

..or asking if she even cared to see it (because I had decided on my own it was something she had to see before she left).

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Our little detour added about 10 minutes… she was really hungry by then…and she was not a happy camper when she realized what was going on. Oops.

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We finally got to the restaurant after a 30(ish) minute walk..

..not including the subway ride over.. or the walk to the subway.

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:/

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Luckily we didn’t have to wait long for our dinner!  And I thought it was definitely worth the walk.  :)

Great ambiance and delicious pizza!

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Right Beck?

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And!

We had these tasty pop tarts to look forward to for dessert when we got back to her hotel! :)

Perfect with coffee.  Flaky, buttery pieces of deliciousness… mmmm.

Pretty sure the pop tarts helped her forgive me  :P  (Also, we found a subway stop 5 min from the restaurant after dinner)

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Next time, I’ll make sure I have ice cream to serve with these. Warm pop tarts with a scoop of vanilla ice cream– yum!

I filled half of the pop tarts with a brown sugar cinnamon mixture (for my husband who doesn’t love pumpkin as much as I do).

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These would be delicious filled with chocolate chips or strawberry preserves. Oh! Or Nutella!

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If you like pie crust, then you will love these!  Sooo flaky and delicious!

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Homemade Pop Tarts

recipe slightly adapted from King Arthur

Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour (can substitute 1 c flour with whole wheat flour)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into ~ ½ inch cubes

1 large egg

2 tablespoons milk

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling (This makes enough to fill all 9 pop tarts.  I halved it since I was filling some with Pumpkin Butter.)

½ cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 large egg (to brush on pastry)

Make the dough

  1. Stir together flour, sugar and salt.  Work butter into dry ingredients until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it (a pastry blender can be used to do this OR you can use your hands-which is what I did).  Lumps of butter should still be visible.  Add egg and milk and mix until combined.
  2. Divide dough in half and shape into two rectangles (about 3”x5”).  Wrap each dough in plastic (separately) and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.  Chilling the dough makes it easier to work with later.

Prepare the filling

Mix together sugar, cinnamon and flour–set aside.

Assemble the tarts

  1. Remove dough from the fridge and allow it to sit out at room temperature about 15 minutes to soften.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one piece of dough about 1/8” thick.  You want the rectangle to be large enough that it can be trimmed down to an even 9”x12” rectangle.  Using a pastry wheel (or pizza cutter) rim edges and set aside scraps for later.  (Next time I want to use a fluted pastry wheel to make them fancier)
  2. Repeat step 1 for the second piece of dough.  Gently score the second piece of dough into thirds lengthwise and widthwise—creating 3”x4” rectangles.  (I used a metal ruler to do this)
  3. Beat the egg in a small bowl with a fork.  Brush the egg over the entire surface of the dough you just scored.  Place about 1- 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of each rectangle.
  4. Gently pick up the first piece of dough and place on top of the dough with “puddles” of filling.  Press down firmly around each filling “puddle”- sealing the dough well on all sides.  Using a fork, prick the top of each filling mound multiple times.  This is to ensure steam can escape during baking.  If you are using multiple fillings, you can put different designs on your pop tarts to differentiate which pop tarts have which filling.  For example, use horizontal fork pricks for one filling (cinnamon sugar) and slanted fork pricks for the other (pumpkin butter).
  5. Cut the dough evenly in between the mounds of filling –creating nine 3”x4” pop tarts.  Use your fingers to press down the cut edges to seal.  Using the tines of a fork, press all around the edge of each pop tart.
  6. Lightly grease a baking sheet (or line with parchment paper).  Gently move the pop tarts to prepared baking sheet.  Place the pop tarts in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Once the pop tarts have chilled, bake for 25-35 minutes or until light golden brown.  Allow pop tarts to cool on pan.
  8. Frost and decorate pop tarts as desired!  I used a simple glaze on mine.  I put sprinkles on the pumpkin filled tarts and a cinnamon glaze on the brown sugar ones to differentiate them.  (DH would not have been happy if he accidentally bit into a pumpkin pop tart expecting brown sugar.  :P)

Dough Scraps (no wasted dough allowed-it tastes too good!)

Arrange pastry scraps on parchment-lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and bake for 13-15 minutes until light golden brown.

OR

Make mini tarts—Do the same thing you did above (Assemble the tarts).  Form dough scraps into two balls and roll out on lightly floured surface.  Set aside one piece of dough and top other piece with filling of your choice.  Top with other piece of dough, press edges around filling to seal and prick the mounds of filling with a fork.  Cut the tarts out and place on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 13-15 minutes or until light golden brown.

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