Here’s a little secret I just discovered — homemade Pop-Tarts are easy to make (though budget an hour for the dough to chill in the fridge). Crazy, right? They seem to be the next big dessert trend, following in the footsteps of cupcakes, fro-yo, macarons, and cronuts (a cross between a croissant and a doughnut). There will always be a soft spot in my heart for the sugary, preservative-laced Pop-Tarts from childhood (and maybe a few weeks ago), but these homemade ones are delicious and just feel a little better for you. I got this recipe from the awesome cooking blog everything is poetry – check it out, if only for the gorgeous photos that will make your mouth water (as a note, she is from Poland and uses slightly different measurements – if you want to try out more of her recipes, this website has helpful conversion rates).
The only issue I had with my Pop-Tarts were that the dough was a little too dry, so it cracked more when I rolled it out which made it more difficult to form the tarts. The recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of flour, which I used, but I would recommend using a little less – like 2 1/3 cups flour – just to see how things turn out, if you’re feeling adventurous. Alternatively, you can add a little spritz of water to your dough to help it hold shape. Just see what works for you!
Ingredients (makes 8-12 Pop-Tarts):
For the Pop-Tarts:
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), really softened (25 seconds in the microwave)
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar (or powdered sugar – it’s the same thing)
- 2 egg yolks (one for the dough, and one as the “glue” to put the pop tarts together)
- Pinch of salt
- Whatever filling you would like – jams, peanut butter, Nutella, lemon curd, etc. (though try to pick a jam without pectin or gelatin in it, because that will apparently melt during baking and make the Pop-Tart soggy!)
Optional (but highly recommended) Glaze:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp milk
- A drop or two of other things if you’d like, such as food coloring, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, etc.
Before we start, if you’ve never separated egg whites from the yolk before, here’s a helpful video (also included: a thick french accent):
For the Pop-Tarts:
Mix the flour, salt, and powdered sugar together.
With a beater at medium speed, add butter and mix, then add 1 egg yolk and mix. You will want to keep mixing for a few minutes, or until the dough looks like this:
Wrap the dough up in saran wrap and leave in the refrigerator for an hour.
When ready, preheat the oven to 390 degrees F.
Mix the second egg yolk and a teaspoon of water together in a separate bowl.
Flour a section of counter space and, with a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about a 1/8 inch thickness (if you don’t have a rolling pin, you can use glass bottle of sorts, but make sure to wash, dry, and throw some flour on it first!).
Cut the dough into rectangles with a sharp knife – somewhere around 2 inches x 4 inches, but the important part is that they are all about the same size.
Put a dollop (one tablespoon at most) of your chosen Pop-Tart filler in the center of a rectangle, then brush the edges with the egg yolk-water mixture and put another rectangle on top.
Using a fork, press the edges of the rectangles together, and then poke a few holes in the top with the fork. Repeat until you’ve used up all the dough (and you can pull it together into a ball and roll it out again if needed).
**If you are trying out multiple flavors, try to keep track of which ones are which flavor – unless you really want to be surprised later!
Put the Pop-Tarts on a baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes. Wait for 10 minutes after they are done before removing them from the tray and wait until they are cooled to add the glaze.
For the glaze, just mix the ingredients together and drizzle, brush, or throw onto the Pop-Tarts. You may want to do this over a plate or covered surface so it doesn’t get too messy.