A chocolate flavored pop-tart with a strawberry & nutella filling. The top is covered in a pink-dyed glaze and decorated with heart sprinkles.
I have been known to single-hand-idly polish off a box of pop-tarts. I know. Probably not the healthiest thing in the world. But then again, neither is finishing an entire bag of chocolate chips in one sitting. And I’ve done that too.
Granted both occurrences (finishing a box of pop-tarts and a bag of chocolate chips) were during my younger years… Like last week.
Okay, so longer than that. In fact, the last time I ate a pop-tart was in high school. Sad, right? I’m not even sure why. I mean I love pop-tarts! In fact, pop-tarts were sometimes my lunch of choice in high school. You know those days…when you forgot to bring your own lunch and everything in the cafeteria was so blah…and the vending machine had a shiny light around it calling your name.
I’m the only one? Ahem, alright. Nevermind about that.
As much as I love pop-tarts, I’m not so sure I’d go out and buy them ever. Maybe it’s my nutrition education that changed that, but there is something scary in that mile-long list of ingredients that I can’t even pronounce 1/387381 of them. Gross.
And that’s why I’m so excited about today’s recipe! Super duper pronounce-able ingredients, and albeit not your healthiest lunch or breakfast (I’d consider these a dessert!) these are pretty dang delicious and less chemically.
Oh, and I almost forgot. These are also day EIGHT of Chelsea’s Messy Apron + Griffanie Valentine’s Day Series. In case you’ve missed day what’s going on, we have 14 days of Valentine’s Day treats + tags. Oh and there is a giveaway to win all of the Valentine’s tags going on right now. So far we’ve had lovebirds in a nest, white chocolate snack mix, red velvet heart pound cake, mini red velvet cheesecakes, Valentine’s S’mores cookies, (2 serving size) red velvet molten lava cake, and (2 serving size) miniature apple pies. (That list is growing, my friends. And it’s growing loooong!)
So, I’ve kind of been rambling on about nothing, (and if you’ve actually read this all, I should send you a whole batch of these!) so let’s talk about making these pop-tarts for a quick minute.
First off, they are SO much easier than they seem or look. They come together in a cinch! I’m not going to lie and tell you there isn’t some good prep time, but it’s nothing outrageous or tricky to complete. First off, you are going to want to start with making the dough. The dough is simple, but let me warn you. You are going to think my recipe is wrong. You are going to think the dough is too crumbly and that I forgot an ingredient. Promise, pinky promise, I didn’t. Just keep kneading and mixing and it will come together. Don’t add more water or wet ingredients or you will ruin the dough.
Then the filling is just a few more ingredients that are cooked over low-medium heat for about five minutes. That cools and sets up for a bit while you roll out your dough. When the dough is all rolled out (and make it thin!) you spread on some nutella, top it with the strawberry filling mixture, and the other heart piece goes on top. The edges get crimped together with a fork, the top gets brushed with beaten egg whites, and in the oven they go! 7-8 minutes later and you are in pop-tart heaven.
Oh, wait, 9-10 minutes later. You need to let them cool first! I learned that from experience (insert BURNED mouth). Oh, and the glaze – don’t forget the glaze. Which you are going to again think something is funky with the glaze. It is pretty thick and dough like, but for good reason. The glaze will get super melty on the warm pop-tarts and become the perfect consistency. So there you go! Homemade pop-tarts. And don’t forget this cute Valentine’s saying:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup butter barely softened
- 1 egg separated
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- 3/4 cup seedless strawberry jam
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp almond extract optional
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 and 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Start with the crust. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Stir together with a fork. With a pastry cutter, or two knives, cut in the butter until the pieces are very small (size of peas) and butter is well incorporated in the mixture.
Separate the egg - place the yolk in a small bowl and the whites in another small bowl. Using a fork, beat the yolk with the heavy cream for about 20 seconds. Stir in the egg + heavy cream mixture with the flour mixture.
Stir and knead until combined. You will think there isn't enough moisture, but just keep kneading and it will come together. (Read the post for more notes on this)
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge while you work on the filling.
Combine the strawberry jam, lemon juice, and almond extract in a very small pot over low-medium heat. Stir. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until the cornstarch is completely dissolved.
Slowly add the cornstarch to the jam mixture and whisk. Let the mixture simmer over low-medium heat for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand while you roll out the dough.
Melt the butter and combine it with the powdered sugar. Stir until combined. It will be thick and dough-like. Add in the vanilla and food coloring and stir again. This glaze is supposed to be very thick. It will melt to the perfect consistency on the warm pastries.
Roll out the dough to 1/8th an inch thickness (very thin!) Using a heart cookie cutter, cut out as many pieces as you can. Then combine the dough and re-roll continuing to cut as many hearts as possible.
I found it easiest to roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap (parchment paper would work too) or make sure to have a well-floured surface*
Spread a layer of nutella on half of the cut-out hearts. Top with about 1/2 tbsp. or a rounded teaspoon of the jam mixture on each heart. Make sure to spread the jam mixture so the heart is filled with it, but making sure to avoid the edges, Place another heart cut out on top, and crimp the edges with the end of a fork (otherwise the mixture will ooze out).
Place the pastries on a tray and cook for about 7-8 minutes (Mine all took exactly 7 minutes)
Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack. Let cool for one minute and then spread the glaze over the pastries. The thick glaze with melt and top the pastries perfectly. Top with sprinkles and let cool completely.
This recipe was inspired by Half-Baked Harvest
Check out some more fun Valentine’s treats: