pop tarts.

My child LOVES pop tarts. He’s never had an actual REAL pop tart, for the fear this would blow his mind and it would be ALL he wanted to eat (plus, I think they may have milk in them?). He has had the  organic kind we find at trader joes, and the unfrosted ones are vegan. These are his favorite breakfast ever. If he could have chocolate chip pancakes in the shape of mickey mouse with extra chocolate chips and tons of soy-whip, or pop tarts – the kid would DEFINITELY pick the pop tarts. He wants pop tarts as soon as he wakes up, he wants them for dinner, he wants them AFTER dinner. He’s pop tart crazy. Just because these are organic and from trader joes though, DOES NOT necessarily mean these are good for him. They are loaded with sugar.  I dont think they are the most terrible thing for him to eat, but after eating two pop tarts thats about 40 grams of sugar. EEEK.

One friday night i was feeling adventurous so I thought I’d take a stab at making some of my own pop tarts and see what he thinks of these.  I scoured the internet and found many recipes – but went with smitten kitchen since she’s a pretty reliable source of good recipes. I followed this recipe here. Im not sure these are any lower in sugar, BUT at least I had some control over what exactly went into them.

I made apricot and blackberry flavored pop tarts and I got alot of flack on instagram for not putting frosting on them! I did sprinkle the tops with sugar – two hours of making pop tarts left me tired – I had no energy for frosting this time around. Plus, I was trying to keep these on the healthier side.  There will be frosting next time.

Milo really really enjoyed these. I dont particularly think they tasted like pop tarts – more like pop-pastry or mini hand pies. However, he didn’t really know the difference and at least all that hard work got appreciated and enjoyed!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks earth balance
1 egg replacer ( I used the powdered kind)
2 T almond milk

additional almond milk to brush on pastry

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. Use to fill the pastry tarts.

for the dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter with a pastry blender until small lumps of butter are still visible, and the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. Whisk the egg replacer and milk together and stir them into the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive, kneading briefly on a well-floured counter if necessary.

Divide the dough in half,  shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. 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″.Cut each piece of dough into thirds – you’ll form nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles.

Brush the dough with a little bit of almond milk. This will be the “inside” of the tart; the almond milk is to help the top piece adhere. Place a heaping tablespoon or so 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 toothpick; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Refrigerate the tarts (they don’t need to be covered) for 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 350°F.

Remove the tarts from the fridge, and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Cool in pan on rack.

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