There has been a recent movement in the food blogging world that calls for people to make certain staple foods at home, instead of buying a mass-manufactured version. I am certainly a proponent of this idea, as I think homemade versions are almost always better than their store-bought counterparts.
When you make these foods at home, you know exactly what goes into them; no unwanted preservatives, dyes or other chemicals that you can’t pronounce. Perhaps this is what makes the “homemade” touch so delicious. Or maybe we can taste the love and goodness being transferred into these goodies as our family members or friends painstakingly take the time to make something homemade instead of running to the store real quick.
Whatever the secret ingredient is, homemade just seems better to me. Even in the poptart realm. And believe me, I’ve eaten a lot of poptarts in my day. Including the great sounding, but rarely living up to the real thing flavors like hot fudge sundae or chocolate chip cookie dough.
I’d still take one of these homemade ones any day. Homemade poptarts are remarkably easy to make, and the many different filling ideas out there make them even better. I like to use up whatever I have on hand, which in this case, was a little container of cinnamon and sugar from a previous recipe.
Cinnamon sugar poptarts anyone? I also used nutella as a filling for the chocolate dough-ed poptart. Now, you may be wondering why my poptarts are so heterogeneous. Well…this is because I kind of cheated. Whenever I make a pie or tart and wind up with extra dough, I wrap it up, pop it in the freezer, then thaw it out later to make poptarts. Obviously, I had a few different kinds of leftover dough in the mix, so I didn’t actually use the dough recipe below. Whether you make these with leftover dough or fresh, I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the result. I mean, come on, you just made your very own poptarts!
- FOR THE DOUGH:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tbsp milk
- FOR THE FILLING*:
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 -1 ½ tsp cinnamon, to taste
- 4 tsp all-purpose flour
- cinnamon chips (optional)
- 4-6 Tbsp nutella
- 1 large egg, to brush on pastry before filling
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Work in the butter with your fingers until pea-sized lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. Whisk the egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured surface if necessary.
- Divide the dough in half (approximately 8¼ ounces each), shape each half into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 mins or up to 2 days.
- Next, make the filling. *These measurements make enough to fill about 9 tarts. If you want some poptarts with nutella filling, I’d recommend halving this recipe. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, cinnamon, flour and cinnamon chips is using.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to soften and become workable, about 15 to 30 minutes. Place one piece on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about ⅛″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.
- Beat the additional egg and brush it over the entire surface of the first dough. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the egg is to help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare ½-inch perimeter around it. Place a second rectangle of dough atop the first, using your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle. Repeat with remaining tarts.
- Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack and enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen