Recipe 28: Homemade “Pop Tarts”

Now we’re cooking! For those who have never seen/tasted a pop tart, they are essentially a miniature pie that has been flattened and shaped into a rectangle that fits perfectly in a toaster. They typically come par-cooked in packages of two “tarts” and they are one of my childhood guilty pleasures. Why not make them at home?!

So the basic plan with this recipe is:

  • Make pastry dough (and jam/preserves if you want to go as “natural” as possible)
  • Chill dough in 2 parts, flattening into discs so they roll out easier
  • Roll out two identical rectangles of about 10×12 (2″ wider than a standard sheet of paper)
  • Cut each into 8 rectangles (so you’ll have 16 equal rectangles total at about 5×3″ each)
  • Spoon a bit of preserves on half of the rectangles, and use the others to lay on top, sandwiching the preserves.
  • Use thumbs to seal the edges, then go over it with a fork to get the “classic” look.
  • Poke some holes through the top to vent the preserves and keep the pastries flat.
  • Cook. Freeze extras. They’ll keep about 2 weeks.

Since I still had the pink guava-strawberry preserves, that took care of the filling!

The result? Total processed food devastation. I’ll never buy the packaged kind again! So much healthier and so much tastier. Plus, the potential of adorable shapes via cookie cutters. In addition to constructive creativity, the taste is phenomenal. They taste like shortbread cookies filled with strawberry/guava. Seriously.

I’m already planning the next batch…

Recipe 27: Homemade “Pop Tarts”

*makes 8 tarts depending on what size you like.

Notes: This recipe was taken from a variety of sources but in large part from Smitten Kitchen & Bon Appetite. You can make these vegan. Just get yourself a good butter substitute and chill it. :)

Special Equipment:



  • 2 cups and 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), chilled and cut into 1/2 ” cubes
  • 4 tbsp ice water
  • Filling: preserves


Using a fork or pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour/sugar/salt repeatedly until a fine crumb texture results. Add a bit ice water up to the full 4 tbsp only 1 at a time. The dough will start to form and pull away from the sides of the bowl. With quick hands (you don’t want to melt the butter too much), form into a ball and cut it in 2 equal parts. Flatten into fat rounds, and place into ziplock bags individually. Chill for 1+ hrs.

When you’re ready to rock, bust out a cookie sheet, put some parchment down, roll out your dough and trim down to 12″x10″. I’m working with a square cookie cutter, so I’ll adjust accordingly, but this measurement should yield you the typical 5×3″ shape you see in the package. You can honestly make these any shape.  Work quickly. You need a bottom layer, on which you’ll spoon a thin layer of preserves onto (leave about 1/2 inch around the edges), and then place on top another pastry layer, sealing and crimping the edges. Pierce the top layer with a fork a couple times to vent your preserves when you cook them. Freeze for 2+ hrs, they’ll keep for 1-2 weeks.

To bake, preheat to 350F and cook for 12-15 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet and cooking another 12-15 minutes. If you’re starting from a frozen tart, start with 20 minutes then rotate for another 20 minutes.

These are deceptive in how “cooked” they are. As soon as you see a hint of browning on them, yank them out of the oven. Some of the preserves may leak out, it’s okay. Reduce the time by 5 minutes or so on either end if you plan on putting them in a toaster oven in the morning. I don’t think these are hearty enough to stand up to being in a vertical toaster, but trust me, you’ll never want to go back. They ended up tasting a lot like shortbread cookies with strawberry filling.


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