Saturday, August 28, 2010

homemade healthier poptarts

poptarts, God love 'em, are not anything i'd ever buy or feed my children. believe me, i know they are delicious. especially the brown sugar cinnamon ones. {drool} but there is absolutely nothing nutritional about them and there are a slew of ingredients in them that i flat out refuse to serve my family.

i don't want to be THAT mom who deprives her poor children of scrumptious fruit-filled pastry treats, though. so i decided to make my own, using the best ingredients i could find. no enriched flour. no high fructose corn syrup. no refined sugar. nothing but organic and all-natural here.

i am so happy with the way they turned out! i altered a recipe that i found online to suit our preferences for healthier ingredients. this was a complete shot in the dark, yall. i had no idea what they would be like when they came out of the oven. i had no idea they would be this good.

Homemade Poptarts (makes 6-8)
2 ½ cups organic whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons organic sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) cold organic unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch cubes
½ cup all-natural no sugar added applesauce
½ cup cold water
organic no sugar added fruit preserves (i used strawberry)

powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar and salt. 

2. Using a fork or pastry blender, cut the margarine and shortening into the flour until mixture resembles coarse sand. Don't over mix. 
3. Drizzle the cold water -little by little- over the mixture then gently toss using your fingers. Fold the dough over onto itself a few times until it starts to stick together. Don't over mix and don't add too much water.
4. Form the dough into a small ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for at least one hour. Dough can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months for later use.
5. Unwrap one of the dough disks, place it on a sheet of parchment paper and cover it with another sheet of parchment paper. Roll the dough out in between the parchment paper. Use your child's stepstool to get better leverage if necessary. Carefully flip the dough over into a baking sheet. Remove the top layer of parchment paper. 

yes, that is my son. laying on the kitchen floor.

6. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into an even number of rectangles, any size larger than a Saltine cracker will be fine. Save the extra dough for your next batch. 

7. Put a spoon full of fruit preserves in half of the dough rectangles. Brush a water soaked pastry brush around the perimeter of each rectangle that contains preserves and then place another dough rectangle on top. Lightly seal the edges with your finger, and then a fork. 

8. Poke a few holes in each tart with a toothpick to allow air to escape during baking. 

9. Freeze the pop tarts for anywhere between 2 hours and 6 months. If you choose to freeze them for more than a day, wrap them in plastic wrap. (I skipped this step altogether. I am The Impatient Pastry Chef.)
10. Preheat your oven to 350F and bake for 15-25 minutes, checking often to make sure they're baking evenly. Rotate the pan if necessary. 

11. Allow to cool until warm, dust with powdered sugar and serve. Or eat warm fresh out of the oven like we did.

i hope you love this recipe as much as we did!  
happy baking!