Thursday, May 6, 2010

Homemade Pop Tarts

Pop tarts are not on my list of favorite foods. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was an adult before I ate my first pop tart. To me they are not much higher then frosted cardboard.

My husband, on the other hand, loves pop tarts, at least Kellogg's pop tarts. Usually Ed has great taste, so maybe I'm the one who is failing to appreciate the value in toaster pastries!

Ed emailed this recipe to me last week. He said that he hesitated sending it - knowing that I have enough to do. But he also knows that I'm a sucker for (1) new recipes, (2) from-scratch-make-it-yourself recipes, (3) any chance to beat Kelloggs, and (4) the opportunity to give my husband more wife bragging rights! I had not baked all week and was itching to try something new, so homemade pop tarts appeared the next day.

And they were good. Very good! And really quite simple to make! Basically it was like making a pie crust and adding filling. The hardest part was measuring and cutting the dough so that the tops and bottoms would fit. I'm not a numbers girl.

I made a chocolate peanut butter filling. In the recipe below I also included some other variations from Smitten Kitchen that I did not try. Maybe next time!

Homemade Pop Tarts
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into pats
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk

Chocolate Peanut Butter Filling
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
Melt together and stir until smooth.

Cinnamon Filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, to taste
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
Whisk together the sugar, cinnamon, and flour.

Jam Filling
3/4 cup (8 ounces) jam
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
Mix the jam with the cornstarch/water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool.

Make the dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with your fingers, pastry blender or food processor until just small lumps of butter still visible. I used a food processor. Whisk the egg and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is combined.

Divide the dough in half. You can roll this out immediately or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Assemble: If the dough has been chilled, remove it 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 1/8″ thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9″ x 12″.
Repeat with the second piece of dough. Set trimmings aside. (Place trimmings on a pan, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, bake and share with your children, or eat them up yourself.)
Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles. (To be more child friendly, I made mini tarts by cutting each piece in half to form 18 rectangles.)
Place a tablespoon of filling into the center of each rectangle, keeping a bare 1/2-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.
Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown.


  1. Good job Gina, they look delicious :) I love the idea of chocolate peanut butter filling!

  2. I am definitely going to try these out. I LOVE poptarts but very rarely buy them. Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. I normally marvel at your cooking, but I'll pass on these if you don't mind......much love froogs xx

  4. Well, I'm in the Like them camp! I can't say that I love them, because there are other things I'd choose over pop tarts. I'll definitely save the recipe and give it a try - my girls LOVE pop tarts. (probably because I don't buy them and they only get them from Nana.)

  5. Mmmmm, these look awesome! I love pop tarts, but never buy them, and I don't think my kids have ever had one (probably a good thing :)). So I will definitely have to give these a try!

  6. Excuse my ignorance cause I refuse to buy pop tarts - but do you put them into the toaster to heat them up again to eat??? Or once they are baked is that it????

    My kids I think would like them if I knew what I was doing with them

  7. I'm now to your blog but. My family lives in Lancaster County, PA here a huge mennonite community lives. I was intrigued with some of your ideas. I seriously dislike all the stuff they put in pre-packaged foods so I no longer purchase pop tarts. My children have been longing for them though and just yesterday I was at the supermarket looking for maybe more natural option but left with none. And now you have posted this and answered our prayers. Thank you so much. I'll be cooking pop tarts TODAY! Great blog!

  8. I cannot stand pop tarts so, of course the kids love 'em. I think this recipe is going to be the compromise that makes everybody happy, me included, Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thanks for all your sweet comments ladies! Hope you have fun baking!

    I'm not an authority on pop tarts but I would say definently heat them up. Bought pop tarts were designed for a toaster. I think my homemade ones were too flaky (a good thing) to risk placing in the toaster. My husband put his in the microwave.


  10. I'd think perhaps if you had a toaster oven, it'd do a good job too, for warming them up.

  11. Thanks Gina - might try these today while biggest boy child is home from school sick. Might make him more human rather than whingy boy child.


  12. I tried these this morning. For some reason, my dough was really wet, so I added flour. But after they baked, they weren't light and fluffy looking like yours...kind of heavy instead. I don't know what I did wrong. I'm pretty new to baking (beyond adding an egg and some oil to a cake mix!). If you have a chance to offer any suggestions of what I might have done wrong, I'd be grateful.

  13. I like PT too, although I am not quite sure why. I don't buy them alot, although my boys would like me to.I may give these a try...I am improving daily with my pie crust...I am a bread girl..Thanks for the recipe.

  14. I'm with you! I never had Pop Tarts as a kid, but my husband did. I'll have to try your recipe! My daughter would love it with Nutella inside, and my son would love them with apples or applesauce and cinnamon. Plus I'll know what is in them and be able to pronounce all the ingredients! :)

  15. Melanie -
    I'm not sure what to suggest. When making any kind of pastry type crust, it is important not to handle the dough much. I try to mix it up as little as possible. Some things get easier with practice - but that isn't much help now! Sorry! I'm proud of you for giving it a try!


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