Homemade Poptarts5 Comments
Picture it: just a regular super early morning in elementary school (or middle or high school) and you woke up late, obviously because no one naturally wakes up before the crack of dawn except infants. You raced through the kitchen and grabbed the familiar silver packet of two poptarts from the pantry on your way out the door since your mother insisted that you have at least something for breakfast to jump-start your brain. If that sounds like your experience growing up (or now) then you should probably be thankful that you’re still alive and kicking! I mean really, look at this list of ingredients:
ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN B1 [THIAMIN MONONITRATE], VITAMIN B2 [RIBOFLAVIN], FOLIC ACID), CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, DEXTROSE, SOYBEAN AND PALM OIL (WITH TBHQ FOR FRESHNESS), SUGAR, CRACKER MEAL, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF WHEAT STARCH, SALT, DRIED BLUEBERRIES, DRIED GRAPES, DRIED APPLES, LEAVENING (BAKING SODA, SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE), CITRIC ACID, MILLED CORN, GELATIN, SOYBEAN OIL, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, MODIFIED WHEAT STARCH, SOY LECITHIN, XANTHAN GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, RED 40, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, NIACINAMIDE, REDUCED IRON, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BLUE 2, BLUE 1, VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), COLOR ADDED, TURMERIC EXTRACT, VITAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), VITAMIN B1 (THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE).
Did you just ignore that whole paragraph? Because I did. I tried to read it, but I didn’t even get past the first line. Can you even identify most of those things? Do we really need two different artificial colors in a blueberry poptart? Anyway, growing up I had no idea about nutrition or that I should try to eat foods that don’t come from a box (for the most part) and I sure loved my poptarts! I can’t even tell you what my favorite was because I loved them all equally. And the beautiful thing is that now I can enjoy them again because poptarts can be homemade! I don’t know why things like that don’t come to the forefront of our minds. It’s like if it doesn’t come pre-made we consider it a hassle to prepare, but really the hassle will come later in life when we can’t care for ourselves because our bodies have shut down from the inside out.
Ok, enough of me on a soap box. The point is, we can still have our cake, er poptart, and eat it too. I gathered my recipe from a few places: Minimalist Baker has a delish and simple recipe which I mostly followed, and Smitten Kitchen had the best cinnamon filling! I do love brown sugar and cinnamon poptarts. I mixed a little bit of cinnamon with the vanilla glaze from Minimalist Baker for the brown sugar and cinnamon poptarts and it was perfecto!
So now I can relax knowing that when I have kids, they’ll be able to have the same memories as I do, only healthier. I feel like the options are endless here – why not go all out and make a s’mores poptart? I went with blueberry, strawberry-rhubarb, and brown sugar and cinnamon. I made two batches so I could try out two different flour combinations, and the second batch was allllll brown sugar and cinnamon! For the blueberry, I just made a simple blueberry compote by cooking the blueberries in a saucepan for a few minutes, and the strawberry-rhubarb jelly came from the Winter Park Farmer’s Market (and was promptly devoured.) You can fill them with whatever suits you: jelly, brown sugar, nutella, chocolate chips, marshmallows. Of course I haven’t done those last three yet but you better believe I will be experimenting with them soon!
For my first batch, I used half organic whole wheat flour and half all purpose flour. That made for a tasty dough and it was definitely a healthier alternative to just all purpose flour, but the second batch made with only all purpose flour turned out to be much easier to roll out. Dana from Minimalist Baker recommends placing a sheet of plastic wrap over the dough as you roll it out, which was a life saver in this process! Without it, the dough stuck all over the rolling pin. Of course plastic wrap is one of the most frustrating items on this planet, but it’s worth the trouble in this case.
You can control the size of the poptarts; the dough recipe below makes about 8 poptarts and I made them in rectangular sizes. You’ll want to keep them about four-ish inches average on each side. You’ll need a toothpick or fork to poke holes in the top, because otherwise the poptarts will swell up during baking instead of remaining flat-ish. You can brush the tops of the poptarts with a little bit of melted butter, or if you’re tight with your butter because you’ve sectioned it off for two batches, then you can use water.
Pinch the edges closed with a fork and into the oven they go!
These ended up being dinner when I made them because I kept taste testing until they were almost gone. If you think you’re too grown up to eat poptarts for dinner, then you and I have fundamentally different views on life in general.
The blueberries could have used a little bit of sugar, but with the glaze I didn’t really need it and I’m always looking for ways to include less sugar in my life. But you can definitely add in a tablespoon or so of sugar if you’re cooking berries in a saucepan for your poptarts. If you’re using pre-made jelly, I strongly recommend that you not add any extra sugar.
What’s your favorite kind of poptart?
Makes about 8 poptarts (more or less depending on how thick or thin you roll it out)
2 cups all purpose flour or 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 to 4 tbsp ice cold water
2/3 cup cold butter
1) Mix together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Using either a fork or a pastry cutter (I used a fork with the help of a small food processor, but immediately ordered a pastry cutter because it would have made short work of this!) cut in the cold butter.
2) Drizzle the cold water over the flour little by little and mix together with a wooden spoon. A thick dough should form. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form it into a flat circle. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top if necessary and roll into a large rectangular or oval shape.
3) Cut the dough into 8 to 10 equal rectangles or squares, and then pull the dough back together and re-roll it out. Keep doing this until you have 16 equal shapes to make 8 poptarts.
4) Pour a few teaspoons of topping (see below) on 8 poptarts. Dip your finger in water and run it around the edge of the poptart. Place a fresh square or rectangle on top and press the edges together using a fork. Repeat with all 8 poptarts.
5) Place the poptarts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Poke holes in the top with a toothpick or fork, brush a bit of water or butter on top and bake at 375ºF for about 20 minutes.
6) Remove from the oven, let cool and then top with glaze (if desired.)
Makes filling for 4 poptarts
Cook 1/2 cup fresh blueberries on medium heat in a covered sauce pan, stirring and mashing occasionally, until the blueberries burst and become a jelly-like consistency. Add about a tablespoon of pure cane sugar if desired.
Jelly Filling Poptarts
Makes filling for 4 poptarts
Spread 1/4 cup desired jelly evenly on 4 poptarts. You will need about 2 to 3 teaspoons for each one.
Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Poptarts
Makes filling for 8 poptarts
Mix together 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, and 4 tsp flour. Spread evenly on 8 poptarts.
Makes about 1 cup glaze
Whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tbsp melted butter, and 1/4 cup almond milk.
For brown sugar & cinnamon poptarts:
Whisk in 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.
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