Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Kid-Food Nostalgia

In the midst of my cookie-making (7 down!), I decided to make my friend's Christmas gift. I find that food is often the bet gift to give. It's perfect: immediate gratification, some minimal labor, and cheap (well, it is when you use your parents' kitchen).

My friend had started drooling over a pumpkin pop-tart recipe a few months ago and I figured I'd give her the real thing so that she could drool properly while in pumpkin heaven. Plus, I had been meaning to make some homemade pop tarts. I love remaking childhood favorites (I've done thin mints and samoas also).

And these did not disappoint! Super delicious all around. The dough was light and flaky and the center tasted just like the filling of a pumpkin pie. I'll definitely be trying these again with different fillings. Plus, my friend loved them. She said "I really wish that I could just have one of these every morning for the rest of my life. I wish they came in boxes so I could buy an endless stock and never run out. YUMMMMMMMMMY." So, I'll consider it a success.

(I forgot to photograph the pop tarts after being iced, which was stupid. They look even prettier with icing running of the sides--especially when they cover up the mistakes I made while making the tarts.)

Definitely try them out!

Dough recipe courtesy of smittenkitchen.com
Filling and glaze recipe courtesy of pink-parsley.com

Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts with Maple Glaze

For the Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1 large egg
2 Tbs milk
1 large egg (for brushing the dough)

For the Filling:

3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
1 large egg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar

For the Maple Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
3 tsp maple syrup
2 Tbs milk

You can make the dough by hand or in a food processor. I did it with a pastry cutter by hand. Just whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Next cut in the cold butter until it is fully distributed and there are still pea-sized pieces of butter visible. Whisk together the milk and egg and mix into the flour mixture until it forms a dough. You can knead it on a floured surface if necessary. If using a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add cubed butter and pulse until butter is pea-sized. Then remove the dough to add in the egg and milk.

Divide the dough in half (approximately 8 1/4 ounces each), shape each half into a smooth rectangle, about 3×5 inches. You can roll this out immediately (see Warm Kitchen note below) or wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

In a medium bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree and spices. Whisk in egg, salt and sugar and place in the fridge to rest while you roll out the dough.

On a well floured work surface, press dough into a 3×5-inch rectangle, roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch thickness. The dough should be slightly larger than 9×12-inches. Trim dough with a pizza cutter, creating a perfect rectangle that is 9-inches tall and 12-inches long. Using the pizza cutter, cut each side into thirds, creating 9 squares. Place dough squares in the fridge while you roll out the second piece of dough in the same way.

Brush one set of 9 squares with beaten egg. This will act as the glue for the top layer of dough. Spoon about one tablespoon of pie filling into the center of each brushed dough square. Top with a second piece of dough and use a floured fork to crimp the sides closed. Use the fork to punch holes in the top of the pop tarts so that they release steam and don't puff up.

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Let tarts rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes while the oven preheats.

Remove tarts from the fridge and place in the oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

While the tarts bake, whisk together ingredients for the glaze and set aside.

Let baked tarts rest on a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing. Best served within 2 days.


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