Homemade Bite: Berry Filled Pop Tarts with Brown Butter Glaze

Taking Kellog's toaster-pastries to a whole new level.

Nothing takes people back in time like a warm pop-tart. Mom toasts it up, puts it on a plate, and brings it over. Every kid in America should know what that's like. After all, Pop Tarts represent the fabric of this great country--of getting nutrients that are absolutely useless. That's why people love them so much, and feel nostalgia when eating them. So, I decided to make some Pop Tarts from scratch--without all the chemicals. 

Let's get down to baking: first, divide the dough into two, equally sized chunks. Making an even division between the two chunks of dough is essential to having the same amount of dough for the top and bottom layers of the Pop Tarts. Then, let the the dough sit in the fridge for an hour. This rest is very important because, like anything else, dough cannot be worked for too long without a break. After an hour in the fridge, I rolled out the dough and cut it into 2 x 3 inch pieces.

*Note: You can size your Pop Tarts however you would like (baking time will be different). I prefer 2x3 inches because they're nicely sized*

After cutting up the first chunk of dough (the bottom layers of the Pop Tarts), I did the same to the second chunk (the top layers), ending up with thirty, 2x3 inch slices of dough. Then, with a brush, I spread the egg wash around each base from the first chunk of dough, or all of the bottom layers. Next, I placed 1/2 teaspoon of sunflower seeds on the center of each bottom-layer Pop Tart. These add an awesome crunch to the filling. On top of the sunflower seeds, I scooped a generous 1/2 teaspoon of the best raspberry jam

Now comes the hardest part--assembling the Pop Tarts. Bringing the top and bottom layers of dough together without jam leaking out is a real challenge, but there is a way to make it happen. First, gently rest the top-layer of dough on top of the jam. Then, use your fingers to seal the left and right sides of the dough together, followed by the top and bottom sides. Lastly, (and make sure you do this well) use a fork to reenforce the sealed edges.

Finally, pop the Pop Tarts in the oven for 4 and 1/2 minutes, then rotate 180° and bake for another 4 and 1/2 minutes. The edges of the Pop Tarts should be light brown. After letting the Pop Tarts cool for 10 minutes, coat them with the brown butter glaze. Lastly, top them with sprinkles. 

Let me tell you-- these Pop Tarts are INCREDIBLE. The dough is so light and airy that it almost melts in your mouth. Make sure you choose a good jam! because its key to consummating your work. The combination of sunflower seeds and jam offers great texture and little crunch to the filling. The brown butter glaze gives the dough a delicious, nutty, and sweet taste. And finally, the sprinkles make everything look nice.

Enjoy!

Recipe

Timing: 30 minutes of working, 1 hour of chilling, then 2 more hours of working

Yield: 16 Pop-Tarts

Ingredients

  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1/2-inch cubes. (This butter is not used all at once! please read the whole recipe)
  • 4 - 5 Tbsp ice water
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tbsp whole milk (This milk is not used all at once!)
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup your favorite jam
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp milk (anything from fat-free to whole)
  • 3/4 cup of rainbow sprinkles

Directions

The Dough/Filling

In a food processor pulse together flour, salt and granulated sugar. Add 1 cup of butter (diced into cubes) and pulse mixture until it resembles coarse meal (it won't really come together in pieces much at this point, so don't over-process, just pulse until butter is no longer in large pieces). Add 4 Tbsp water and pulse several times, if it doesn't come together in clumps, add the remaining 1 Tbsp water. Drop the mixture onto a clean surface, gather dough into a ball, then divide into two even portions. Shape each portion into about a 5-inch disk. Cover each with plastic wrap and chill 1 hour in the fridge. 

(After the dough has been refrigerated) Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk at a time (keep the other in the fridge to chill), roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about a 13 by 11-inch rectangle (when edges start to crack a little during rolling, seal them and continue rolling), then trim the edges to get a 12 by 10-inch rectangle. Finally, cut the large rectangle of dough into 2 by 3-inch rectangles. Repeat with the second disk of dough.

Arrange half of the rectangles, spaced evenly apart, on a prepared baking sheet(s). Before filling the Pop Tarts, make your egg wash: in a small bowl, whisk together the egg and 2 tbsp of milk. Use a paintbrush to spread a small layer of egg wash over the entire surface of each rectangle (these will be the bottoms of your Pop Tarts). Then, place 1/2 tsp of sunflower seeds on the center of each piece of dough. Next, spread a heaping 1/2 tsp of jam evenly down the center of each rectangle, leaving about a 1/2-inch rim on all sides uncoated. Top each with another rectangle, then seal edges with your fingertips (left and right sides first, then top and bottom), then reseal with a fork. Poke the top center of each tart about 4 times with a toothpick. 

Position one oven rack near the top third of the oven and a second oven rack near bottom third of the oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the pop tarts for 4 and 1/2 minutes, then rotate 180° and bake for another 4 and 1/2 minutes. The edges should be golden brown. Some of the jam may leak out out your Pop Tarts, which is fine, just peel it off once it cools. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.

The Icing

Place 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. It’ll foam and froth as it cooks, and start to crackle and pop. Once the crackling stops, keep a close eye on the melted butter, continuing to swirl the pan often. The butter will start to smell nutty, and brown bits will form in the bottom. Once the bits are amber brown (about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or so after the sizzling stops), remove the butter from the burner and immediately pour it into a medium bowl, bits and all. 

Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 4 tablespoons of milk to the butter, and whisk until smooth.

Drop 1 teaspoon of icing on the center of each Pop Tart. Using the bottom side of the teaspoon, spread the glaze all around the top layer of dough. Lastly, sprinkle the Pop Tarts with sprinkles (say that 10 time fast!) to your liking. Enjoy!

Storage Instructions:

The dough can last in the fridge up to 4 days and in the freezer up to 1 week. Once baked, the pop tarts can be kept in an airtight container for up to 1 week. 

Recipe adapted from:

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/05/homemade-pop-tarts/

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