Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Toaster Pastries

This recipe is one of my few "semi-homemade" recipes that I will share with you...pop tarts, or toaster pastries! I used ready made pie crust (I know, preservatives) for this recipe because making a pie crust or pastry crust intimidates the crap out of me.  I just recently made garlic cheddar biscuits, a copy cat of Red Lobster's, after years of using Bisquick because the thought of cutting cold butter into flour always seems complicated.  Is that weird?  I just don't think I can make a decent pie crust.  But one day, like the biscuits, I will try.  And if you were wondering, my biscuits turned out amazing...not so great the next day, but fresh out of the oven I could eat them as my meal.  I'll have to post the recipe for that in a later post.

I grew up, like probably most of you, with mornings at the toaster waiting for the pop tart to heat up and pop out before running off to school.  My favorite were the apple cinnamon without the glaze.  The glaze always seemed hard and weird and would burn in the toaster.  Just wasn't my thing. 

I think I quit eating pop tarts at some point in college and haven't had one since.  Now, sometimes I'll get a whiff of someone toasting one up in the break room and will have a fleeting moment of weakness for one of those fruit-like jam filled pastries that taste like cardboard.  Then I thought, why can't I just make these at home?  And that is what I did.  It's a simple recipe of just combining ingredients you probably already have in your fridge or pantry.  Like most all of my recipes, it's flexible and forgiving.  You can use any jam, your own pie crust or ready made, or maybe even try different fillings like bean and cheese or egg, cheese, and bacon ones for a more savory pastry.  I made strawberry pop tarts, and when I ran out of strawberry on my last two, I made one with the tiny bit of jam left and Nutella, and the last one was just plain Nutella...mmm.  

My husband and mother in law absolutely loved these the first time I made them to experiment and now they will be a weekday breakfast staple in my house.  If you have kids, I guarantee you will not go back to boxed pastries and your kids will love them!  You control what goes into them and can feel better knowing that your kid isn't eating some fake flavored/colored jam and flavor-less pastry.  And they're a cinch to make!

Please excuse my pictures because I don't have an awesome camera, cook/bake at night, so no beautiful natural light, and my pastries were in different shapes, on purpose and not....

Toaster Pastries:

1 box ready made pie crust (or your own...kudos to you)
1 jar organic jam (I used strawberry)
egg wash (1 egg beaten w/ a splash of water)
additional flour for dusting

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking pan with foil and spray with oil/butter.

Sprinkle a little flour on your working surface and roll out the pie crust.  I used a rolling pin to roll out the dough a bit to make it a little thinner.  Use a sharp, not serrated knife, to cut out a large rectangle.  A pizza cutter works awesomely for this.  Now cut small rectangles, or other shapes, making sure you have a partner for each one...don't want to combine a heart with a rectangle...

Add a tsp of jam to each cut out, spread out slightly, being careful not to go all the way to the edges.  On one of the partners, brush on the egg wash all around the edges so the partner piece will stick.  Combine the partners, patting down the edges to stick.  Take a fork and make indentions all around the toaster pastry and and a few pokes on top to let the steam through.

Place pastries on baking sheet and brush the tops with egg wash and pop in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Once they've cooled you can place them in a container and they are good for about 4-5 days and they reheat nicely in the toaster on a low setting.  

Note:  Feel free to add a drizzle of your favorite glaze...a usual glaze is powder sugar with a couple teaspoons of milk whisked together until you get desired consistency.  You can add vanilla, orange juice instead of milk, orange or lemon zest, cocoa powder mixed with powder sugar, etc. etc.


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