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Course: Breakfast
Keyword: Baking, Comfort Food, Desserts, Hacks, Pop Goes the Tart, Snacks

Pop Goes the Tart

Alton Brown's Poptarts
ACTIVE TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 20 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Flaky homemade dough and store-bought jam combine forces in my copycat pop tart recipe.
When I was a kid, I had an affinity for prepackaged pastries filled with fruity goodness and designed to slide down the gullet of a toaster. A few years ago, while feeling nostalgic, I picked some up at the local megamart and realized they tasted...horrible. Clearly, my tastes had changed.
Instead of giving up on the breakfast treat I once so enjoyed, I decided to make them myself. After much trial and error, here's the result — and a fine result it is.
Both U.S. standard and metric measurements are listed, but for consistent results, go metric.
This recipe first appeared in I'm Just Here For More Food.
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Software

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup jam, fruit butter, or preserves
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons milk, for egg wash
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar, optional
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk, optional

Specialized Hardware

  • Digital kitchen scale
Alton Brown's Poptarts
ACTIVE TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 20 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Procedure

  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and vegetable shortening on medium speed until light. Reduce speed to low and add the eggs 1 at a time. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour in three installments, alternating with three installments of the milk. Add the vanilla during the last milk installment.
  • Form the dough into a log and place widthwise onto a 13-by-17-inch piece of parchment or waxed paper, and fold the paper over the dough. Using a half-sheet pan as a wedge, roll the dough into a log. This procedure tightens the log into a clean cylinder. Remove the waxed paper and slice dough into 16 (2-inch) rounds. Place on the half-sheet pan, cover, and chill for 1 hour.
  • Set two racks in the middle third of the oven and heat to 350ºF.
  • After the dough has chilled, roll each round outThink of this as more of a cookie dough — don’t worry about working it too much. to a 5- to 6-inch circle between two sheets of parchment or waxed paper. Fold over the edges of each round to create a rectangle. Roll out each rectangle to abut 1/4-inch thickness.
  • Match the 16 rectangles into 8 matching pairs. Brush one rectangle with the egg wash and top with 1 tablespoon of the jam, fruit butter, or preserves, spreading into an even layer about 1/2 inch from the edge. Top with another pastry rectangle. Use a fork to seal the tart by crimping the edge. Gently prick the top of the tart with the fork. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  • Bake for 25 minutes on a parchment paper-lined half-sheet pan until the edges just begin to brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Enjoy warm, or cool thoroughly before storing in a zip-top bag for up to 1 week. Leftovers can be reheated in your friendly neighborhood toaster.
  • If you want to frost your tarts, slowly whisk the confectioners’ sugar and whole milk together in a small bowl. Paint the mixture onto the cooled tarts. Allow to dry before stacking, storing, and snarfing.
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