I have fond memories of going to the vending machine during 3rd period study hall and spending $1 for my ritual of strawberry Pop Tarts. I rarely ate breakfast at home because it was way too early for my stomach to take anything more solid than a glass of milk. If I had breakfast too early, I would end up feeling nauseous for the first few hours of the day. I didn’t quite like feeling nauseous at school, so I opted out of breakfast at home and had something later in the morning. My breakfast of choice? Those lovely “pastries,” not really in need of toasting, filled with fruit and high fructose corn syrup and iced with some mixture of high fructose corn syrup and colored sugar sprinkles. Every now and then I’ll crave one not for satiating hunger alone, but a bit of nostalgia to boot. It’s the same type of craving I get for McDonald’s cheeseburgers.
These are ridiculously easy to put together. The simplest form is to take your favorite pie crust, roll it out, cut out rectangles and fill with your favorite jam. I was going to do just that, but I wanted a crust that may be a little stronger than the typical butter/flour/sugar/salt/water combination. I looked to the King Arthur Flour site (as I have been more-so lately) and found a recipe for their “Toaster Tarts.” The dough has the addition of milk and egg, which I think makes the pastry tastier and richer (if that’s possible with all of that buttah).
Homemade Toaster Pastries (with a crust from King Arthur Flour)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cut up (omit salt if you are using salted butter)
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp of milk
- fruit preserves or jam (I had a surplus of strawberries and made my own. Some time later in the fall I’ll do a post on quick fruit preserves.)
First, mix your dry, powdery ingredients.
Next, cut up your cold butter into small chunks and add it to your dry mixture, cutting/mixing with a pastry blender/two knives/a spatula/your hands until it looks like unsifted gravel or sand.
In a separate bowl, mix together the egg and milk, then add to the mixture, stirring until just combined.
Divide the dough into two discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Put these in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Well, really, it depends on how warm your kitchen is. Mine is very warm, somewhere around 80 degrees (Fahrenheit) during the day, sometimes warmer. I had to keep putting the dough in the fridge after working with it for about 5 minutes so I wouldn’t go insane.
When the dough is cool and stiff enough to work with, roll it out to about 1/8 in thickness.
Cut into rectangles. Make them however small or large you want, just make sure you cut an even number of rectangles so the bottoms have tops.
Fill! I wouldn’t do more than a tablespoon.
Top with a similarly sized rectangle and seal the edges with a fork and prick holes on the top. This ensures the steam can escape while they bake. Put these in the fridge for about half an hour so the dough firms up a bit.
Bake at 350 until golden brown, which took about 30 minutes for my oven. Be sure to let them cool before you bite into them. The filling will most likely be molten.
If you like, make a glaze of powdered sugar and milk or water to frost ‘em.
I didn’t get to that point. I shared them with my mom and my husband and they were gone in a day.