Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pop Tarts are My Friends

For my sister's 16th birthday (that we missed because she was vacationing abroad) I decided to make her a makeshift cake. Cake? Or pop tarts? I'm thinking pop tarts. Plus, my sister asked for rice crispy treats for her last birthday, so cake isn't really the norm around here. So, yeah, pop tarts! I was so excited to get some baking done! Right now I am in the midst of making helping supervising lasagna being made so hopefully I will not get too distracted or give you the lasagna recipe instead of the pop tart recipe, what an awkward combination.

Homemade Pop tarts
{other source}

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 sticks of cold butter, softened a bit
8 Tbsp cold water

Cinnamon sugar filling:
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1.5 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp all purpose flour

Additional fillings:
Grape Jam

Ready to get to work?

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease two cookie sheets.

In a medium sized bowl mix flour and salt. Cut butter into chunks and add to flour mixture. Use your fingers to break down and distribute the butter throughout the flour mixture. Add one tablespoon of cold water to the dough at a time, mixing after adding. A soft dough should form.

If you live in a warmer climate or in the swamp (like I do) then chill the dough for about 20-30 minutes. This will help prevent the butter from melting and not give you a panic attack when you realize that the dough won't stop sticking to everything and that you are not going to be able to give your lovely sister a birthday present. Trust me, too much of a head ache.

After dough has been chilled, lightly spread flour on a smooth surface. Cut dough in half and roll out to 1/8th inch thick square or rectangle. Repeat with additional dough.

Cut rough edges off around the rectangle and cut your pop tarts. I got 10 out of this recipe (so you will need at least 20 squares, it all depends on the size of the pop tarts).

Spread your desired filling on one square. Top with a semi matching dough square and press edges together with your fingers. Crimp the sides with a fork to ensure that the pastry is fully closed.

Bake for 7-8 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

I melted some white chocolate chips in a small bowl with about a teaspoon of shortening to spread on top and added some sprinkles for the nutella pop tarts. I also drizzled just a tad on the grape jam ones. For the cinnamon sugar filling I melted about a tablespoon of butter and added some brown sugar and cinnamon and brushed it on top. The rest I left plain, for the purists.

Nutella filled with white chocolate spread and sprinkles!

Grape jam filled pop tarts with a tad of white chocolate drizzled

Cinnamon sugar filled!

The whole bunch (minus a couple because they were gobbled up!)

Voila! Delicious pop tart look a likes!

I am so thankful that this summer I am able to spend so much time with my family. Last summer, I worked every single weekend, every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. I even had to work on Father's day. It was a disappointing job, my managers did not even remember my name and sometimes had me working until 2am. I really really do not like retail jobs, maybe it is because of these bad experiences, but then again maybe they are just horrible.

Anyways, I realized just how blessed I was this past weekend. It was on Sunday and my sister and I went out shopping. It didn't occur to me until we were driving home that last summer I never could hang out on Sunday's because I was either sleeping in late from my late night Saturday shift or waking up early to start working again. I can really deal without the paychecks this summer. I think that my happiness is more important than a stupid part time job. It is my goal in life to be happy and this summer I have felt just that. Happy.

I love being home to blog and to bake. I love that I have a volunteer job and that I get to workout every morning. I just feel like every day is a new adventure. I even get excited right before I hop into bed in the hopes of just what may happen tomorrow. This is what summer is supposed to feel like. I haven't felt this way in ages. I know that this is one of my last summer vacations because soon I will be all grown up and on my own, so this one is to be cherished. I do cherish this summer, every moment, every pastry, every blog post, and every book that I dissolve my conscious into. Everything. Even the horrible weather!

Like I said, it's lasagna time so I must be off to grate some mozzarella cheese.

Have a wonderful evening and make some pop tarts for someone you love (and yes that includes yourself). They are a bright, sunshiney treat that is sure to make every morning sigh with the promise of a beautiful day.


Just make them!

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