So by now you’ve seen a bajillion and 7 recipes for homemade poptarts. Ones I’ve seen use store-bought piecrust and I’m sorry that just makes me shudder. Make your own, really.. it makes a world of difference! Next we need to talk about the filling. Sure you can make a strawberry puree for it but what I found (cause I tried it) is that it gets too runny. You need pectin for it to stay thick. So for me I went with my homemade strawberry preserves. Now the last part is the glaze… yeah. This was a stickler for me. See for me I like my poptarts cold. I HATE them toasted. That’s just wrong in my eyes. HOWEVER… because there is always a however with me. Mr. Fantabulous will only eat them toasted. He views my eating them ‘raw’, as he calls it, sacrilegious. LOL To him it’s just beyond wrong and illegal. So if it were just me I would have made these with just a simple confectioners’ sugar glaze but as you all know if you heat that glaze up or toast it, it will surely melt and make a big ol’ mess in your toaster.
So yeah, the icing/frosting whatever you call it was the hardest part out of all of this. I sat there for a while thinking about what all I could put in it to make it hard. I’ll be honest, I tried a few things – cornstarch, flour, even meringue powder but I never got the right result when I toasted them. This drove me nuts! Finally after searching through my cupboards for the 15th time I spied a box of gelatin and thought “what have I got to lose?” In theory it made sense. We use gelatin (unflavored) to stabilize whipped cream and keep it stiff. I’ve used it as a thickener as well in other recipes.
So I boiled my water and added the gelatin stirring until the granules were dissolved. Next I poured the mixture into the confectioners’ sugar and stirred until this glossy, gorgeous thick white icing formed. Now I could have added vanilla to it to flavor it but I wanted that snow-white color. However if you wanted you could add some strawberry flavoring to it for say Valentine’s day! And if you REALLY loved that person (and I say this cause I plan on doing it for Mr. Fantabulous), instead of making them rectangular, make them into hearts using a large cookie cutter! I mean really, you can make them any shape you want.
Now the big test was once the icing hardened (it didn’t take long) I had to toast it. Fortunately we use a convection toaster oven that if the frosting did melt cleaning it would be easy. In the toaster they went and pretty much up to the glass door to watch my face went. 3 1/2 minutes later the poptarts were done and the frosting was warm but still stiff. Since I hate toasted poptarts I made (oh yeah, like I really had to force my husband to eat something.. NOT! LOL) Mr. Fantabulous try it. He didn’t say much until he went for to grab the ‘other’ one and saw there wasn’t a 2nd one. He gave me this look like I stole from him. He said “HEY! Where’s the other one. Poptarts always comes in packs of two! You jipped me out of the other one!” LOL Yeah that’s how I knew I scored big time. He thought they were the boxed brand which meant a lot.
I grinned and said “Honey I made these from scratch. I only made one for you to try out.” At that point he honestly didn’t believe me. He walked out to the kitchen looking for the empty box or wrapper. I just stood there positively beaming. So he grabbed another one off of the rack and toasted it. Next her poured himself a big glass of frothy milk and ate the warmed one. He said “Honey if you made these, they are awesome! I love how there’s a good bit of filling in them and the crust is so good.” Wait.. ‘IF I MADE THESE??? Seriously, did he just doubt me? I guess the look on my face spoke volumes as he said “Yeah, these have to be homemade as they taste so much better than the boxed ones. But you know honey, you screwed yourself. I’ll never want boxed ones again so you will have to make these often.”
Yeah, that’s something I can make happen *wink*
So forgo the boxed stuff and give these a try. You will so fall in love and go nuts over realizing how simple and amazingly delicious they are! Once you get the dough and baking down pat, the fillings are endless! Stay tuned for other fillings in the future!Print
- 9 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 2 cups
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoon shortening
- 3/4 cup milk
- Egg wash: 1 egg mixed with 1 to 2 teaspoon water
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 1/2 teaspoon gelatin (unflavored)
- 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Candy sprinkles
- 3/4 cup Strawberry preserves
Make the Dough Tarts
- Preheat the oven to 350F, rack in the middle. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the shortening and cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter. Add the milk all at once and mix it in with a spatula until it begins to come together.
- Lightly flour your hands and the countertop and turn the dough out onto the countertop. Gently work the dough to form a ball. Divide in half and wrap each ball in plastic and chill for 1 hour. Remove one ball from the fridge leaving the other to chill.
- On a very lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12×10” rectangle. Cut into 8 5×3” rectangles. Place 4 rectangles about 1” apart on a baking sheet. Spoon 1-2 tablespoon of strawberry preserves over 4 of the rectangles spreading until it’s about 3/4” from the edges. Lightly brush the edges of the dough that does not the filling on it with the egg wash. Top each with a dough rectangle. Gently press the edges to seal then using the tines of a fork to double seal. Repeat with the other dough ball to make 2 full trays.
- Lightly brush with the egg wash mixture over the edges again. Using a toothpick, poke 4-6 holes in the top of the dough to allow for air to escape. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Move to a rack and allow to cool.
Make the Glaze
- Place the gelatin in hot water and mix until granules are dissolved. Mix gelatin mixture with confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread the icing on top and decorate with sprinkles. Allow to cool completely. Store in a covered container
*If you want vegetarian version you need to buy vegetarian unflavored gelatin.