Taylor gets the most random food cravings. I do too, I guess, but my cravings are usually for elaborate sweet and salty baked goods. His, on the other hand, usually involve nostalgic junk foods from his childhood. Things like Lunchables, orange Tang, and, most recently, strawberry Pop Tarts.
I usually roll my eyes and tell him to go eat a granola bar, but in this case, I told him that I could totally make a homemade version that would blow his beloved pop tarts out of the water. Not something that is exactly hard to do, considering. Needless to say he was excited as the prospect (because, he admitted, the box he bought on a whim didn’t quite live up to his childhood expectations).
The pastry itself makes all the difference. Instead of the cardboard-like crust or whatever those things are made of (necessitated, at least, by the need for the snacks to hold up in a pop-up toaster). And granted these homemade versions should probably not be cooked in such a manner. But a simple butter and egg pastry, sturdier than a pie crust but still tender and flaky, makes this homemade version not only edible but truly enjoyable.
For filling I used the last remaining jar of last year’s Strawberry Hibiscus Jam, but you could use any flavor jam you like, or even whip up a copycat brown sugar filling (the only kind of pop tart that was worth eating, in my opinion).
I used a ravioli cutter to seal and crimp the edges of each pastry, but a fork will work just as well (probably better actually, since it won’t cut off any more dough around the edges). Be sure to cut a few vents in your pastries too, before baking, to allow the steam to escape. Otherwise it’ll find other means to get out, probably leaking filling out of your pastries in one way or another.
Oh yes, the mess potential of this recipe is off the charts, and I love it.
As he scrubbed the splattered sugar glaze off the counter, Taylor declared he was going to start an instagram account to document my messes. “It’ll be @loveandoliveoilsmesses” he said, not realizing that screen name was obviously too long to work. (And no, he didn’t actually do it. As far as I know, at least, although there would be no shortage of content).
I told him he knew exactly what he was getting when he married me. It’s not like I was neat then, either. I was born this way and will probably die with frosting in my hair and flour on my shirt. Not a bad way to go, actually.
Speaking of messes, I had a few casualties in this process, when I lazily tried to rotate the two baking sheets without properly supporting them. It slipped and crashed down on the pan underneath it, and, well, I lost a few pastries in the process. Bad words were said, tears were shed, and then we promptly ate the squished ones. Quality control, I say.
Strawberry Jam Toaster Pastries (Homemade Pop Tarts)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg white
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup fruit preserves, or other filling as desired
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon strawberry jam
- 2 tablespoons milk, or as needed
- pink food coloring, optional
- coarse decorating sugar, optional
- In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Using a fork or pastry blender, work in the butter until butter forms pea-sized crumbles. Whisk together egg and milk; stir into flour mixture with a fork until dough just comes together. Divide in half and shape into discs; wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove dough from the refrigerator and allow it to soften 10 to 15 minutes or until workable. Roll out on a lightly floured work surface to a rectangle about 1/8″ thick and 9-by-12-inches in size. Using a ruler and a rotary or pizza cutter, cut into nine 3-by-4-inch rectangles. Arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
- Beat the egg white with a splash water, and brush it around the edges of each rectangle. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each.
- Roll and cut the second piece of dough just as you did the first. Top each filled pastry with a second rectangle of dough, using your fingertips to press firmly around all sides. Press and crimp edges with a fork or a ravioli cutter to seal.
- Prick the top of each tart with a fork or make a few small slices with a pairing knife to allow the steam to escape when baking. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes, then bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
- To prepare glaze, sift powdered sugar into a bowl. Whisk strawberry jam with milk, then stir into sugar until it just flows off a spoon. Spread or drizzle onto cooled pastries. Sprinkle immediately with decorative sugar, if desired.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour via Smitten Kitchen.All images and text © Lindsay Landis / Love & Olive Oil
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I found this recipe looking for ideas to get rid of copious amounts of jam packets that I inherited after a business meeting. I’m a sucker when you tell me things are just going to the trash.
Made these with my boys last night for breakfast today and they were amazing! And it fun family time. 2 packets per tart was just the right amount, and we managed to get 10 out of this recipe.
23 hours later and there are no leftovers in this house to speak of.
Does the dough need to be refrigerated?
Yes, you want to refrigerate the dough before working with it. The idea is to keep the butter as cold as possible so the crust will be flaky. Like a pie crust, essentially.
How can I make these gluten free??
These look really good. I was just wondering, if there are any leftover, do they keep well at room temperature, or should they be refrigerated?
They’d be fine at room temp for a few days. Any longer than that and I might recommend freezing them.
I always see “pop tart” recipes using puff pastry as the crust and it gives me angry feelings because I’m sorry, although their hand pie is probably delicious IT IS NOT A POP TART.
THIS RECIPE, however, looks delectable! Like the crisp, sturdy, toaster-pastry crust that a pop tart wishes it could be and most definitely NOT a puff pastry! I can’t wait to make them with all sorts of fillings and make a huge mess all over the counter while doing so :)
I’ve had a few times where I’ve tried to move baked goods too soon after coming out of the oven that ended in some crumbled messes. I’m still not sure whether I was subconsciously just trying to rationalize eating them ; )
And I just made some Pop-Tart-like hand pies, with PB&J filling, and not nearly as cute as yours!
Gorgeous ~ Would love to see this submitted at Food Foto Gallery.com so I can share with all my foodie friends ;)
My kiddos will love these! They look amazing Lindsay!
The pastry is spot-on! I’m completely with you on the brown-sugar pop tarts. When I was a kid, I ate them cold (gross, I know) and was blown away when I went to a friend’s house and she put mine in the toaster. Still, I think these would blow the boxed kind wayyy out of the water, especially with some homemade jam!
Lindsay, best breakfast treat ever!. Fruit filled pastry – it doesn’t get any better than that. Thanks for sharing the messes too! Nice to know it isn’t only me who dumps a treat or two on the oven door from time to time. :)
These look delicious! And so pretty, too!! Poptarts were one of my favorite treats as a kid, but I recently tried them again and did not like them as much as I previously did. So, I’ll have to try making them at home!
Totally remind me of my teenager years, except I’m sure these are a bazillion times better!
I always liked the idea of Pop Tarts but could never eat them cus they tasted like sugary cardboard. Looks like I should take a page out of your book and make them myself.
oh my god I am in love Linds!!! pop tarts were my JAM (pun intended) !
These are just gorgeous and look equally delicious. I would never buy pop tarts again, but I would certainly make these!
These look so tasty. The crust sounds flaky and buttery. Half my clothes are oil splattered and chocolate stained. Eh, it comes with the territory. Love these!
These are adorable,. Saturday morning breakfast? :)
sooo making these!
First, have to agree about the brown sugar filling – and PLEASE – I never wanted that cardboard, flavorless frosting on them either, hahaha! Having grown up I pretty much gave them up and won’t buy them for the children in my life, either. So, I think I’ll have to try this – it looks like a lot of fun and my husband, daughters and grandchildren would LOVE it!
Lindsay, I love this post. Taylor reminds me of my hubby. Whenever I bake with berries, he says, “It smells like Pop Tarts.” And, whenever we see the vintage cereal, Quisp, at our Local Fresh Market, he stocks up. ;) Men and the foods of their childhood…they get so nostalgic. I guess we women do, too. So nice of you to kick his Pop Tarts to the curb.Pinned! (Like, everywhere. LOL.) P.S. Love that hyper close-up. So jammy, pink and pretty. :)
Oooh, yes! So glad you posted this recipe. I had some handmade pop tarts in a restaurant called Ted’s Bulletin in D.C. Pop tarts are their specialty menu item, sooooooo good! Ever since then I’d been wanting to make my own. I’m not a baker, so i think I’ll probably cheat and grab some pre-made frozen dough. Do you think phyllo dough would hold up nicely for this? If not, what pre-made doughs would you suggest, if any?
try regular pie crusts, yo ucan make yoru pastires circular (for a twist) or just cut the rectangles and re roll the scraps
These look so Yummy! My kids will love ’em. Thanks!
I saw this and had to make these immediately! They came out perfect! I used raspberry filling and purple glaze. These are soooo much better than a pop tart. They are hubby approved! Thanks for the great recipe.
That light pink glaze looks fantastic! And I’m with you there on the messy topic. I’m pretty sure there is a chocolate smudge on the edge of my computer as I type this. Signs that paper recipes are safer than digital ones, for sure!
I don’t have pop tarts too often due to living in England, but now that I’ve seen this recipe I can definitely have them a lot more often now these just look so delicious
These are the Pop Tarts of my dreams! They look perfect.
My sister and I were constantly discussing the great Pop Tart vs, Toaster Strudel Debate as kids. I was all team Toaster Strudel and she rep’d Pop Tarts HARD (mostly brown sugar). I think that Toaster Strudels were closer to what homemade pop tarts taste like, minus the creepy icing packet that you had to rub between your palms to unfreeze before you could enjoy your breakfast. Can’t wait to try your grown folk version!!
This post brings up nostalgic memories of childhood: poptarts were my favorite of all breakfasts growing up! These look so delicious!
A. I’ll probably die with frosting in my hair too
B. brown sugar pop tarts for life!
C. I would’ve cried over the dropped pop tarts too
D. OMG I totally want these. I bough Pop Tarts probably a year ago, wishing they’d be like I remembered them as a kid…yeah, totally not the same. Totally gross. And yet I still get nostalgic for them. So…yeah, gotta make these. Love the pink drizzle. SO cute.
I so agree with you about the brown sugar ones! I live over in Russia where we don’t get poptarts at all ever, so I’m emboldened to try your recipe! Thank you!
I tried a Pop Tart for the first time a couple of weeks ago (some crazy flavour called Confetti or something) and couldn’t understand the appeal. Yours, however, look amazing! I can’t wait to surprise the friend who introduced me to them with homemade ones. Hopefully she’ll never crave the store-bought ones again, either.
I have yet to make homemade pop tarts but these look gorgeous. :) Pinned for one of these days when I give it a try.
These are so pretty. I never did like pop tarts, probably because my mom didn’t bring them into our house. But these look so good and springy. Pinning to try later.
These look great and I have been jonesing to make toaster pastries for a while. Could the pastry be made in a food processor or do you recommend sticking to by hand?
Sure, I think you could definitely do the first step in the food processor. I’d still probably mix in the egg/milk by hand though, just to prevent the dough from getting overmixed.
Ok, I also used to be a die-hard strawberry Pop-Tarts fan as a kid. But these look 100x better!!! And so cute! :)
These look fantastic! Much prettier than store-bought poptarts, haha. The brown sugar cinnamon ones were always my favorite growing up and I rediscovered them in college. Strawberry Hibiscus Jam for the filling sounds amazing!
Creating homemade versions of childhood favorites is so fun. Love that bright pink icing!
Poptarts – oh, the memories!! Strawberry were my favorites! I love that you recreated them with far less cardboardy crust :) Amazing job. Your pastry is just so smooth and perfect and wow…pinned!
These are sooooo fun! Love the pink icing! This is what I want for breakfast today :)
Oh how I love Pop Tarts. And Tang!! And Toaster Struedel…my fave.
These are so lovely. Love that pink frosting on top!!
The make me think of being a kid! Such a fun breakfast!
So cute! I love these, they look amazing :-)
Oh my goodness, so pretty and so cute!!