I never really ate pop tarts as a kid. My mom just never really bought them for us; I guess she thought they were unhealthy, or contained too much sugar to be part of a good breakfast. She was probably right. I only grew to really like pop tarts after getting to try them at friend's houses following a sleepover, and then once I got to college, pop tarts came back as an easy way to satisfy some late night cravings or as a way to keep myself going at 6 am during an all-nighter before a studio review...fun stuff...let's not think about that right now.
I still don't think of pop tarts as being a breakfast food...I mean come on, they're full of an obnoxiously sweet filling and are covered in frosting and sprinkles, to me that just doesn't feel like breakfast, but seems to be more of a snack, or something I'd like to treat myself to at the end of the day. I decided mini pop tart treats were the way to go, and given the whole "let's put everything on a stick" craze that's been going on, I decided to give it a try. Oh my goodness, were these things cute.
In their mini form, I found these pop tarts to be the perfect two-bite little snack to eat on my way home from work. I simply wrapped them up in a little bit of foil, and they kept perfectly throughout the entire day. I added a little bit of icing to add just a hint of sweetness to the pop tarts, as well as a little bit of extra color. I chose to make a strawberry filling for half of the pop tarts, because that's my favorite flavor, and I chose to make a peach filling for the other half; not the most orthodox pop tart filling, but I've been having a pretty serious fascination with peaches lately, and I just couldn't resist. The peach filling was pretty awesome. These pop tart pops are a little time consuming, and making them is quite the process, but they're definitely simple enough that anyone can whip them up in a matter of hours on a Saturday afternoon.
Pop Tart Pops
adapted from Cherry Tea Cakes
For the Dough
- 2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, diced
- 4 tablespoons buttermilk
- 3/4 cups (6 oz) fruit jam
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon cold water
For the Pops
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- food coloring and sprinkles (optional)
- 6 inch lollipop sticks
To make the dough, combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add the diced butter and cut in using a pastry blender or two butter knives (if using the butter knives, this may take some time. You can use a fork to speed along the process a little if you like) until the dough begins to resemble a coarse meal or begins to look like pea-sized crumbs. Add the buttermilk, and using a fork, incorporate the buttermilk into the flour mixture. Press the dough together, and then divide into two. Form each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill slightly, about 45 minutes. In the meantime, make the filling.
To make the filling, combine the fruit jam, flour, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, heat the mixture until it is simmering and has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. After about 45 minutes, remove the disks of dough from the refrigerator, and begin to roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/8 inch. If you find that you are having trouble working with the dough, try to knead the dough for a little bit, and it should come together quite nicely after you work with the dough for a while. Once the dough has reached the correct thickness, begin to cut out rectangles that are 1 1/2 inches by 2 inches, and place on a greased or silicone lined baking sheet. On half of the rectangles, place a small amount of fruit filling in the center of the dough, and then place a lollipop stick on top of the fruit filling. Carefully place another cut rectangle on top of the fruit filling and lollipop stick, and press the edges of the two rectangles together. Seal the edges with a fork, and then carefully poke the tops of the pops with a fork to allow for steam to escape while the pops bake.
Bake the pops in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the edges turn a light golden brown. Once the pops come out of the oven, transfer them to wire racks to allow them to cool completely before frosting. While the pops cool, make the frosting.
To make the frosting, place 1/2 a cup of powdered sugar in a bowl. While stirring, very gradually add water to the sugar, until it reaches the consistency of an icing. At this point, you can add a little food coloring to the icing if you desire. I split my icing in half, and made pink and yellow icing. Using a fork, drizzle the icing over the tops of the completely cooled pop tarts, and add sprinkles while the icing is still wet.
Once the icing is hard, enjoy!