February 1, 2021
I don’t buy Pop-Tarts often. My son Eli loves the s’mores flavored ones, so every once in a while I surprise him and bring them home from the supermarket. I don’t really understand why kids like them so much. The pastry isn’t great and the inside never really tastes as good as I think its going to.
The first time I ever tried to make Pop-Tarts Mia must have been 8. That was 10 years ago. I remember teaching her how to roll dough, spread the jam, and pinch the corners. It was a big undertaking for me, as a mom and as a baker. They didn’t taste that great, but we had such good time trying to make them. That was all that mattered.
Today was my second attempt at Pop-Tarts. Not as much fun as when I made them with Mia because I was alone in the kitchen, but today they were delicious! You see, it’s a snow day here, and it seemed like the perfect thing to make. I thought it was going to be a bigger project than it actually was. I wasn’t even sure I was going to write about my Pop-Tart experience for you. But they came out so beautifully and tasted so good that I just had to share them with you.
The only extra tools you need are a ruler and a pizza cutter. Other than that you’ve probably got everything you need mixed into your baking things.
Adapted from Stella Parks Brave Tart
For the Dough:
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup light corn syrup
For the Filling:
3/4 cup jam of choice (I chose Bonne Maman brand)
For the Glaze:
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons milk (I used whole)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To Make the Dough:
Sift the flour into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the baking powder, salt, sugar and butter and mix on low until the butter disappears. Add the corn syrup and mix on medium-low, mixing until the dough forms a ball.
Knead the ball against the side of the bowl to form a smooth ball. Divide the dough in half and flatten into discs. Use immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 week. You can soften chilled dough for 30 minutes at room temperature before using.
Roll and Assemble the Tarts:
Knead one ball of dough on a bare work surface until it’s pliable and smooth. (About 30 seconds to 1 minute) On a well-floured work surface roll into an 8 inch square. Sprinkle both sides with flour. Roll the dough out again into a 15 inch square, no more than 1/8 of an inch thick. Slide an offset spatula under the dough to loosen it a bit.
This is the only tricky part. Take your pizza cutter and ruler and cut four 3 1/4 inch-wide strips. Then cut each in to three 4 1/4 inch long rectangles. You will have a grid. Arrange each rectangle on a parchment lined baking sheet. Don’t worry if you are not exact and have some wasted dough. I did!
Take your offset spatula and spread some jam in the center if each rectangle, making sure to leave the edges jam free.
Roll and cut the remaining dough as above. Place each piece over a prepared piece of dough, covering the jam. Now you have a “jam sandwich”. Lightly “squeegee” the dough with your index finger to get rid of any air pockets. Press gently to mold against the filling and dough. The pieces will meld together as they bake. Pierce each tart 8 times with the narrow end of a chopstick or bamboo skewer, pressing until you hit the baking sheet.
Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
Bake and Glaze the Tarts:
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake the chilled tarts until firm and dry, but still quite pale, about 15-17 minutes. (I overbaked one of my trays so keep an eye on them towards the end.)
While they cool, in a small bowl combine the powdered sugar, milk, salt and, vanilla with a spoon. You may need more milk (add a teaspoon at a time) if the mixture is not runny enough. If its too runny add a bit more sugar (a teaspoon at a time).
Use a pastry brush to swipe the glaze down the length of each tart. Top with sprinkles and let the glaze set. The pop tarts will keep in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks, but good luck with that!