Homemade Pop Tarts
by Meghan E. White
Pop tarts are not something I normally purchase. My husband has a sweet tooth, and usually buys pop tarts for camping or road trips. The boys love them too. I’ve never been a big fan. They are a bit dry and bland to me. So, I stay away from them. But not anymore.
These tempting homemade pop tarts will make you want to bake. The light, buttery, flaky crust melts in your mouth. These are nothing like the store-bought ones. If you are already a pop tart fan, these will put a smile on your face. The memories will come flooding back of those childhood days.
You can customize the tarts with any filling you like. I made strawberry and grape at the request of my family. Brown sugar cinnamon is a very popular flavor. Chocolate, hazelnut spread, or just about any fruit filling would be delicious. Make your own filling or use store bought jams and spreads. Experiment with different flavors.
Get the kids involved in this one. Have each child customize their own pop tarts with their choice of fillings. Also, let them color the frosting and add sprinkles. Kids love to personalize what they cook, and it’s a great way to get them in the kitchen. Cooking is creative. Let those kids create. And yes, they will make a mess. It’s O.K. Baking and cooking should be positive experiences.
If there are no kids in your life, be a kid yourself. Have fun with this one. Don’t forget to share these sweet pastries with someone else. A friend, neighbor, co-worker, cousin, store clerk, or anyone would enjoy a homemade pop tart. Spread the love.
All my bakers out there, you’ll have fun with these pop tarts. All my non-bakers, don’t be intimidated. You can do this. They aren’t difficult, just a little bit time consuming. You can use your own pie crust recipe. You can use the one I’m giving you. Or, just buy pie crust dough from the grocery store.
Give these heavenly pop tarts a try.
You won't regret it.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Homemade Pop Tarts
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 tablespoons milk
Make the pastry.
Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. (You can also use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.) Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture. Use a fork or pastry blender to combine the butter and flour together until it’s a coarse crumb (pea-size).
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and milk together until combined. Add the egg/milk mixture to the dough. Mix everything together with a fork until combined. It will be sticky and crumbly. Knead lightly on a floured surface until the dough is smooth, not sticky.
Divide the dough in half.
Take one half of the dough and roll it out on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a 12 ½ inch by 9 ½ inch rectangle. Using a ruler, measure a 12 by 9 inch rectangle and cut. Then measure 9 squares, each one measuring 3 inch by 4 inch, and cut those. Transfer each square with a spatula onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Make the egg wash.
Whisk together egg and milk for the egg wash. Brush egg mixture on each pastry square.
Place filling on pastry.
Put about 1 tablespoon of filling on each pastry square. Leave about ½ an inch or slightly less on the edges.
Roll out the other half of the dough.
Repeat the same process as with the first half. Roll out a rectangle that’s approximately 12 ½ inch by 9 ½ inch. With a ruler, measure a 12 inch by 9 inch rectangle and cut with a knife. Measure 9 squares that are 3 inch by 4 inch each, and cut those. Brush with egg wash and place on top of pastry squares that have filling on them. (The egg wash side faces the filling for both pieces of pastry.)
Seal the pop tarts.
Once the pop tarts are assembled, gently press the seams together. Making sure all sides are sealed. Poke the tops with a fork several times to vent. Take a fork and crimp all the edges.
Refrigerate the prepared pop tarts for 30 minutes, uncovered.
Bake the pop tarts.
Bake in a 350° oven for 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Make the icing.
In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle a small amount (approximately 1 tablespoon) of icing on each pop tart. The icing will run over the sides. Let the icing set up on the pop tarts before moving them. Add sprinkles if you’d like, before the icing is set.
Make sure to use unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, do not add salt to the dough.
The dough will be crumbly after the egg/milk is added and mixed. Keep kneading the dough on a floured surface, and in a short time it will become smooth.
You can make this pastry dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for a day or two. Let it get to room temperature before rolling the dough.
Some of the filling will spill out during baking.
Using milk instead of water in the egg wash helps with browning.
Use any fillings you prefer. (cherry, apricot, blackberry, etc.)
Play around the consistency of the icing. If you want a thinner icing, like a glaze, use more milk and less powdered sugar.
About the Author
Meghan was born in Southern California where she spent most of her youth. After several moves during her childhood, she ended up in Oregon, where she stayed for many years. Meghan never dreamed of being a writer, but God told her to write about Joey. After a few years of writing, it was time for a change of scenery. So, Meghan, her husband, and two sons picked up and moved to Texas. If you listen close you might catch her saying “Ya’ll” from time to time. She loves encouraging kids and adults through writing.
You can read Meghan’s column on the 4th Wednesday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.