Thursday, April 18, 2013

Better than Boxed Toaster Pastries

In honor of my wonderful Hubs, and in celebration of our 10th anniversary today, I am sharing one of his favorite treats, home made Pop Tarts.  I will be the first to admit, I love pop tarts!  Especially the brown sugar cinnamon flavor.  I don't however, like the list of ingredients that I cannot pronounce.  In my quest to provide real food for my family, I have replaced the boxed pop tarts with homemade and my family is thrilled!  We love that we can get creative and make new combinations, or fill them with our favorites.  I love knowing that the fruit filling is just that, fruit.  My kids love the sprinkling of colored sugar or cinnamon sugar that we add at the last minute so we'll be able to tell which is which.  Don't be intimidated by these tasty little treats, the hardest part is the crust, and believe me it is just like making biscuits.

For the crust you can cheat and buy a pre-made pie crust, but homemade really is better.  This recipe is our family favorite and always works.  I love it because it doesn't require refrigeration before rolling it out.  Just mix it up,  roll it out and get on with your day.

makes about a dozen depending on the size

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup shortening, butter, or coconut oil (my favorites are butter and coconut oil)
2/3 cup ice cold water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt.  Using a pastry cutter, mix in the shortening, butter or coconut oil, until it resembles crumbled feta cheese.  With a fork stir in cold water until just blended.  split dough in half and roll out on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into rectangles with a pizza cutter.  Place a tbsp (or more or less depending on the size of your rectangles) of the filling of your choice in the center of half of the rectangles.  Spread it out, leaving 1/3 inch around the outside edge uncovered.  Dip your finger in cold water and run it around the edge of the rectangle and place a second rectangle over the top and using a fork press the sides together.  Poke a couple of vent holes in the top and place on a cookie sheet.  Repeat with remaining crust. 

Bake for 11-13 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Our favorite fillings are:
Strawberry - remove leaves and chop strawberries, place in saucepan, add a tbsp of sugar 1/2 tsp of vanilla and a tbsp of cornstarch.  Bring to a boil and cook until thick.  I like to use a potato masher to break down the berries a little too.  (You can use any berry instead of strawberry in this mixture.)

S'mores: When making the crust, use one sleeve of graham crackers crushed up fine as part of the flour (pour it in the measuring cup and top it off with flour, using it as the first cup of flour).  Fill them with mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.  The marshmallows melt while baking, but leave behind their delicious flavor.  Top these with cinnamon sugar, believe me you'll love it!

Chocolate  Peanut Butter: fill with mini chocolate chips and a spoon full of peanut butter.  I'd love to say this is healthy, but, well... it probably is not.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon:  In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup brown sugar and a tsp ground cinnamon.  Spoon mixture into each rectangle.

If you want to top them with a glaze instead of sprinkles, you can by mixing a cup of powdered sugar, a 1/2 tsp vanilla, and a tbsp of water together until it becomes a thin glaze.  Drizzle over the top of the pastries after they've cooled for a minute or two.


  1. Yum, these were so good. Ben said these were the fanciest pop tarts he's ever eaten because the were tied with ribbon! Thanks for sharing.

    1. So glad you all liked them! The only reason they got a bow was because it was Ben's birthday :) Otherwise it would have been a boring twist tie ;)


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