Homemade Pop Tarts

Homemade Poptarts | The Merrythought
I’m finally posting the recipe for these homemade pop-tarts I teased my Instagram followers with a while back (oh, ya know – 7 months ago! Eeps…sorry to keep you in suspense so long!).
I’ve eaten my fair share of boxed pop-tarts in my life, but I’ve never been a huge pop-tart fan. The only kind that I ever ate were the brown sugar cinnamon ones. All the others were too sweet or too something for me to enjoy.  But a couple years ago when I started seeing homemade versions circling the web, I added them to my to-make list. They seemed like they would be a fun food to try out and I figured I would enjoy the homemade version better.
I actually almost bought some boxed pop-tarts last week while I was grocery shopping for our camping trip (they make easy camp food)…then I realized I had half the store in my cart already and did not need one more thing!  (I tend to overpack for trips…both with food and clothes.  No one will be calling me unprepared!)  Plus, I had these delicious homemade ones to make this week to share with you!
Pop Tarts | The Merrythought
When I made these, I decided I was going to make mostly brown sugar cinnamon ones because they were my favorite pop-tart flavor. I thought the boys would appreciate the strawberry ones because of the sprinkles. I think my boys will eat anything if it has sprinkles on it. (Hmm…a new way to get veggies in them?) I used a homemade strawberry jam that my cousin Rachel had made for the filling. And then I tried both. And the strawberry ones? Oh my deliciousness!  I was so mad that I didn’t have more of those.  Rachel – your strawberry jam is incredible!  If you can, definitely use homemade jam for the fruit filled pop-tarts.  And if you can figure out a way to get Rachel’s jam – your tastebuds will thank you.
Homemade Pop-Tarts | The Merrythought
These pop-tarts are what the boxed version wish they could be. I wouldn’t necessarily call them a copycat because they are quite different. But in a better way. The crust is flaky and tender. The filling is sweet but not in a too-much way.  They are more like a delicious pastry that look like a pop-tart.  I do think the brown sugar cinnamon filling is pretty close to the boxed version filling, but it’s been a long time since I’ve had one, so I can’t be sure.  Plus, making them at home you can adapt them to suit your taste.  I’m looking forward to trying these again using different flavors.
Homemade Strawberry Poptarts | The Merrythought
Homemade Brown Sugar Cinnamon Poptarts | The Merrythought
HOMEMADE POP-TARTS
(makes 10ish pop-tarts – varies depending on the size of the pop-tarts)

Preheat oven to 350º.  If you’re making the brown sugar cinnamon filling, mix that up now and set aside.

Crust

2 cups flour
dash of salt
1 cup butter flavor shortening
½ cup water

Stir flour & salt together. Add shortening and blend with pastry blender, until dough is crumbly, but don’t overwork it. Add water a little at a time until dough sticks together (you may not need all of it) and you can form a ball. Divide dough in half. Roll out one of the halves on a floured surface into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick.  Trim the edges to form a rectangle (save your scraps to re-roll).  Cut the dough into smaller rectangles, however big you want your pop-tarts to be.  Feel free to use a ruler and make perfect pop tarts…I did not.  (I think that smaller pop-tarts are better, they don’t have to be mini,  but a little on the smaller side seemed to be better.)  Make sure you have an even amount of rectangles, for a top and bottom.

Place a rectangle on a parchment lined baking sheet (or a lightly greased baking sheet).  Place 2-3 tablespoons of your filling in the center of your dough, making sure to leave an edge of dough all the way around the rectangle.  You want a heaping pile of filling, especially for the brown sugar cinnamon filling – it will bake down some.  Dip your finger in some water, and dampen the edge of the dough all the way around.  Place another dough rectangle on top of the filling and press down to seal edges.  The water should make the dough stick together.  Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of the rectangle.  Then prick the top of the pop-tart with a fork a few times to allow the steam to escape.

Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake 25 minutes or until light golden brown.  Cool.

Cinnamon Filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

Stir brown sugar, cinnamon and flour together in a small bowl.

Filling Options:
-your favorite jam
-nutella
-chocolate chips
-any concoction your little heart can think of! (just don’t use anything too liquid-y)

Glaze
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 teaspoons milk, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the glaze, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until it reaches a spreading consistency. It should be thick, but spreadable.  Use more milk to thin the glaze, add more powdered sugar if it’s too thin. Use a butter knife or offset spatula to frost the top of each pop-tart.  Top with sprinkles if desired.  Allow the glaze to set before eating. Store in an airtight container.
To make a cinnamon glaze for the brown sugar cinnamon pop-tarts, just add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the ingredients above.
Homemade Pop Tarts | The Merrythought
And I made a mini one and it’s cuteness is just killing me. (Those are tiny 3 year old hands for size reference). I just love tiny things! Now I want to have a breakfast party and have lots of mini pop-tarts at it. Who’s in?
Mini Pop Tarts | The Merrythought

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Have a lovely weekend!   Manda

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  • Friday, August 16, 2013 - 1:40 pm

    Leen Philips - Mmmm Jammie! Looks great! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 12:43 pm

    Natasha - I live in South Africa, so I’ve never had a Pop-tart. Most of the recipes I’ve seen uses store bought pastry, so I was really excited to see you made the crust yourself. I’ll definitely try these. I really like apricot jam with pastry, the slight tartness balances out the sweetness nicely.ReplyCancel

  • Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 3:50 pm

    Andrea - Yummm! Can’t wait to try these myself! Bet they taste so much butter than the real things!ReplyCancel

  • Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 5:36 pm

    Diana - You know these are just another form of pie right? 😉 I have a friend named Rachel who also made AMAZING strawberry jam this summer and gave me some jars. Whenever I have use for pie crust I always make an extra batch and make tiny “hand pies”. Can’t justify eating them for breakfast…but they sure are yummy!ReplyCancel

  • Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 9:26 pm

    Mandy - Do they freeze well?ReplyCancel

    • Saturday, August 17, 2013 - 11:12 pm

      Manda - Mandy – I can’t say for sure since I’ve never tried freezing them. I would think you would be able to freeze them…I know that people freeze pies and these are pretty much just mini pies. If you try it, let me know if it works!ReplyCancel

  • Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 6:13 pm

    Allison @ Dream {a Little} BIGGER - Oh, I wish I could eat gluten so much right now, but I can always make these for my pop tart devouring nephews!

    I’d love if you’d consider linking to my new link party – http://www.dreamalittlebigger.com/post/link-it-or-lump-it-link-party-1.html 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Monday, August 19, 2013 - 9:40 pm

    Rachel - They look great, Mand!
    I definitely have to give a huge shout out to Victoria, though! We made the jam together! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 7:55 pm

    Melissa G - Making these now. The dough is in the fridge (per my grandma’s instructions, I’m a relative newbie to the kitchen) and my kid is picking out fillings. I subbed a little whole wheat flour (about 2/3 or a cup) so I will feel less guilty when feeding him these for breakfast. Thanks for the recipe!ReplyCancel

  • Monday, April 7, 2014 - 5:24 pm

    Nancy - I don’t understand the cinnamon filling. flour cinnamon and brown sugar..How does it turn
    out wet inside the poptart?? Do you add butter? Maybe I am not reading this right..ReplyCancel

    • Monday, April 7, 2014 - 8:33 pm

      Manda - Hi Nancy! It is just flour, cinnamon and brown sugar. I’m not sure exactly what changes the consistency – I would guess maybe the brown sugar melts down some when heated. Not sure of the exact science behind it, but the consistency does change while baking…ReplyCancel

  • Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 10:16 pm

    Tara - My son loves Pop Tarts! This would hopefully be a good option for him. How long do they last? How did you store them?ReplyCancel

    • Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 10:29 pm

      Manda - Hi Tara! They last for a few days (that is if they can last that long in your house! 🙂 ). I just stored mine at room temperature, in an air-tight container.ReplyCancel

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