Cakes, Pies & Tarts

One for the Road

When you’re going on a road trip–whether it’s two hours or twelve–it’s always nice to have a little snack. Some people bring apples and granola bars, but we had pop tarts. Please don’t hold that against us! There have been homemade pop tarts all over the cooking blogosphere. The first blogs on which we spotted them were Chickens in the Road and Bake Me More. Then this year, they came back on Cake Spy and Smitten Kitchen. They seemed so simple–flakey, buttery pie dough stuffed with jam. If we couldn’t handle that, then it would just be a shame. After a year of watching other folks do it, it was finally time for us to have at it. Who can say no to a pop tart? Especially when you’re driving down the 5!
Here are two versions of the pop tarts that traveled from Los Angeles to San Diego on our road trip. Talk about easy to transport! These little pastries had dough with crispy, flakey layers of crust filled with our own homemade strawberry wine jelly and silky caramel, both of which were successfully canned in December and sat awaiting in the pantry for usage. Adding the chocolate to the caramel tarts was done on a whim, and it added another level of flavor and evened out the sweetness of the treat. Try these for breakfast, try these for a road trip snack. They’re much better than you can even imagine.

Pop Tarts – Approximately 12-16
2 1/2 cups flour
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup shortening
6-8 tablespoons ice water
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk

2/3 cup strawberry wine jelly
1 1/4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup caramel
1/2 cup dark chocolate, shaved
Candy sprinkles
Kosher salt

1. For the dough, whisk together the flour, zest, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Using a fork or pastry blender, incorporate the shortening into the dry ingredients, then add the butter. Once the mixture resembles rough crumbs, add the water one tablespoon at a time, mixing until the dough begins to pull together and form a ball.

2. Grab a handful of dough and lay it between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap. Roll the dough out to a 4 1/2″ square about 1/4″ thick. Trim the four edges to even out each side.

3. For the strawberry pop tarts, whisk together the jelly and cornstarch until smooth. Spread a bit of the filling in the middle, leaving a 1″ border around all the sides. Fold one edge of the pastry over to form a rectangle. Using a fork, crimp the three edges of the pastry together to close. Lay on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Repeat as desired.

4. For the caramel chocolate pop tarts, spread a layer of caramel over the middle of the pastry square and top with chocolate shavings. Fold one edge of the pastry over to form a rectangle. Using a fork, crimp the three edges of the pastry together to close. Lay on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Repeat as desired.

5. Whisk together the egg and milk and brush the top of each pastry with the mixture. If desired, cover the tops of each one with candy and chocolate sprinkles and a few grains of salt. Slide into the fridge and chill for 30-45 minutes or until hard.

6. Once ready, bake for 15-19 minutes in an oven preheated to 375 degrees. Cool on wire racks for a few minutes before eating.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.


28 thoughts on “One for the Road

  1. I would love to make these! With all the traveling I do (especially on airplanes) this would be just the thing to get me through the long hours and miserable food-offerings. Delicious, comforting, and homemade. Love love love it!

  2. I have only ever had the type that comes out of a box so I don’t judge. Need to make them from scratch soon though because yours look super delish.

  3. Hi! Just discovered your blog. Love, love, LOVE the idea of homemade pop tarts! I never ate a Pop Tart until I was an adult. I bought a box at the grocery store thinking they’d be awesome. ICK! Tasted like chemicals. I love the idea of eating a HOMEMADE pop tart out of hand. They look DELISH!

  4. I’ve been seeing pop tarts on the blogosphere for a while, too. It’s definitely better than buying the store kind. Homemade is definitely the way to go. I think I’d have a strawberry filling in mine.

  5. These look great. I love the filling. Making pop tarts at home is on my list… I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

  6. I would not judge anyone who ate something like this on the road! Looks too delicious. I have a 7-hour drive coming up in 6 weeks for my summer vacation. Perhaps it’s time to start experimenting.

  7. My mom was one of those who never allowed us to eat pop tarts as a kid but I rebelled in college and fell in love with the cinnamon roll ones. Your fillings look infinitely better than any to be found in a storebought pop tart. I think I’m kind of enamored with them.

  8. I’ve seen these all over as well. I need to finally make them. When I was a kid the cinnamon sugar (or was it maple?) and cherry flavors were always my favorite so I may need to try those.

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