Homemade Pop Tarts

  Oh yeah, you read that right. We all know pop tarts are most certainly not the cream of the food crop. The high fructose corn syrup, a mountain of sugar and a handful of other ingredients I cannot pronounce makes it some scary stuff. Which reminds me of this Portlandia skit. Now wait a minute, you all know I am no stranger to sugar, but I like my sugar to at least be a product of sugar cane. Therefore, say hello to pop tarts made with simple ingredients.
  I found this recipe over at Smitten Kitchen and am so glad I spent the time to make them. I did have to modify it a slight bit so I will post my version here but I so encourage you to check out her directions and tips. She knows what she is doing, that is for sure!

As for the filling I was very tempted to slop some Nutella on these delicious pastries but wanted to go for something a bit “healthier.” After all, what is the point in using more processed foods to something that is supposed to be homemade? Not that sugar and chocolate isn’t processed, but you get where I am coming from, right?

almond chocolate filled pop tart

My filling solution? Some bittersweet chocolate mixed with almond butter, oh yeah! Like I’ve mentioned previously, I like me some Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Chocolate. Now the key to melting chocolate on the stove without a double broiler is to constantly stir those chocolate pieces over low heat. Be patient or you risk burning that delicious chocolate. To sweeten things and thicken things up a bit, I also added some vanilla extract and a tad bit of powdered sugar. It almost came out too thick though, perhaps a splash of heavy cream would resolve that situation? I will give it a try next time… yes, there will be a next time.

almond butter chocolate filling

Homemade Pop Tarts
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

For the Pastry:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large egg, beaten
4 tablespoons cold milk

1 addition egg for assembly

Whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Cut in cold butter using a pastry blender, two knives or a food processor until butter is in pea sized bits. Mix beaten egg with milk and mix into flour mixture to pull the dough together. Knead until the dough just sticks together then split in half and shape into two small squares. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while making filling or for up to two days.

For the filling:
5 tablespoons chocolate chips, I used bittersweet but you can use whatever you prefer
4 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt chocolate chips in saucepan over stove, double broiler or microwave making sure to stir often. Immediately stir in almond butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Set aside.

To assemble the tarts, place one piece of dough in between two pieces of parchment paper and evenly roll out dough into a rectangle large enough to cut into a 9″ x 12″ rectangle. Cut dough three ways horizontally and three ways vertically, leaving you with nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles. Repeat with second piece of dough.
Brush additional beaten egg over first piece of dough. Spread one tablespoon of filling over each of the nine 3″ x 4″ rectangles, leaving a half inch around the edge. Place remaining nine pieces of mini rectangles on top of filling and press around edges. Press fork down lightly around all edges to seal dough together. Brush remaining egg on top and sprinkle with course sugar. Poke holes in dough to let steam escape.
Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes then bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
To re-heat for a morning (or midnight) treat, warm in toaster on the lowest setting. Don’t tell but I like to dip mine in milk.

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