I always wanted to like Pop-Tarts as a kid, but the “dough” was just so god-awful–it tasted like plain cooked flour and, therefore, the edges always seemed to find their way to the trash and the delicious jam center in my tummy. Toaster Strudels were a whole other ‘the-middle-is-still-frozen-though-the-edges-are-burned’ saga, but we’ll leave that for another day.
I was reading Bon Appétit last week [I know how pretentious that sounds] when I saw an editor’s pick for something called Raspberry Linzer Bars. The recipe comes from Chef René Redzepi’s organic bakery in Copenhagen, Meyers Bageri [I have no idea what all of this means but it sounds snooty and very tasty]. As I was reading the recipe, 3 things occured to me: 1) Um, these are Pop-Tarts, 2) I want to make Pop-Tarts, and 3) Let’s do some with Nutella.
I’ve fiddled with the dough a bit, as well as the fillings and toppings, because the 5 year-old in me won’t shut up. The dough is very sweet with some added vanilla beans and almond flour. It’s also so light and buttery that there were no ends that ended up in the trash or in my pet’s unforgiving digestive tract.
I hope you like these homemade Pop-Tarts! Feel free to play with the fillings and toppings–next time I might go with blueberry pie filling topped with a simple icing glaze….how am I hungry again? 😉
[Makes roughly 12 Pop-Tarts]
- Pastry cutter
- Rolling pin
- Pastry brush
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tbl. sugar
- 1/4 cup almond flour or almond meal (found in most specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods)
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (Whole Foods, Amazon)
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbl. (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 2 large eggs
- Raspberry preserves or seedless raspberry jam
- Sugar in the raw or raw sugar
- 1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts
- 3 Tbl. unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- Dash maple syrup or dash maple syrup extract
Whisk flour, sugar and almond meal in a large bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and whisk to blend.
Add butter and cut in with the pastry cutter until coarse crumbs form. Beat 1 egg in a small bowl and add to the flour mix. Mix in with hands (I like to wear disposable gloves for this to keep my hands from melting the butter in the dough) until dough forms. Divide in half. Working with one half at a time, roll out each half between 2 sheets of parchment paper to a 12×10″ rectangle. Transfer both to a baking sheet and chill for 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove one of the dough halves and gently lift off one of the parchment sheets. Invert onto a baking sheet and gently lift off the other parchment sheet. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut rectangle into 12 squares/rectangles. Spread Nutella onto 6 of the squares, leaving a small space for the border, and top with some chopped hazelnuts. Beat 1 egg in a small bowl and brush the egg onto the untouched borders. Cover with the other 6 squares [you may need a spatula and a gentle touch to get the dough off the baking sheet and onto the squares]. Lightly press the tops to get rid of any air bubbles and press the edges to seal. Trim off any jagged edges. Use the tines of a fork to make the edge. Place baking sheet back in the fridge.
Using the same method as above, remove other half of dough from the fridge, discard parchment and cut into 12 squares. Spread raspberry jam/preserves in the center of 6, leaving a border. Repeat egg brushing, sealing, and trimming steps. Place back in fridge.
While both Pop-Tarts are in the fridge, stir together your softened butter, allspice, cinnamon, and maple syrup.
Remove the Nutella Pop-Tarts from the fridge. Prick the tops several times with a fork. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops with the butter mix. Remove the raspberry Pop-Tarts from the fridge. Prick dough. Brush with the leftover beaten egg and sprinkle some raw sugar over. Move all Pop-Tarts to one baking sheet and bake 20-25 min. Let cool completely on wire rack.
Keeps 4-5 in an airtight container.