Blogging about food (I really dislike the word blogging, not gonna lie) is a lot like any creative venture – sometimes I’m bursting with recipes and ideas and everything I make seems to turn out exactly as I’d hoped. Other times, though, my brain is as dry as the Sahara and everything I make tastes like crap.
Usually we go to the beach for Memorial Day weekend but this year we enjoyed the change of venue and got to catch up with friends. Friend events mean baking/cooking opportunities and I had more than a few recipes to try. After forgetting to photograph a delish ham and brie pizza followed by a totally disappointing (but, natch, plentifully photographed) peanut butter streusel cake I was a tad pouty. Call the wham-bulance, I’d thought all hope was gone.
Monday brunch was my last opportunity. The party’s hostess is a fab cook and had told me she was making a coffee cake, but that another baked item would add to the table nicely. I’d been wanting to make a homemade pop-tart for a while but knew that a treat the size of a pop-tart may be skipped at a brunch with a lot of options. Could I make it two-bite-sized? Using a biscuit cutter (you could use a drinking glass) not only created cutie-pie treats but also alleviated the need for precise measuring and cutting of the rolled dough.
Since I was making the dough (you could absolutely use store-bought pie crust, but it won’t be quite as good) I went the easy route on the filling – good ol’ Smuckers! You could try it with a lower sugar/organic version as well. With the addition of a sweet glaze these proposed pop-tarts seemed a lot more like bite-sized pies – pie LETS if you will.
Just do me the favor of reading the entire recipe before you begin (you should do this anyway!) – there is some freezing involved so you can’t begin this an hour before you want to eat it. Just FYI. Lastly – I haven’t been this happy about a recipe in a while – the dough is flavorful and flaky and with the glaze the flavor is just perfectly perfect.
Dough from Bon Appetit
2 c. plus 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 c. ice water
about 1/2 c. strawberry jelly or jam
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. milk or cream
Optional – pink or red sprinkles
1. Whisk flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut in butter. Cutting in is a term that means to combine a solid fat (like butter or shortening) with dry ingredients by using a pastry blender (tool that looks like brass knuckles), two knives or your fingertips. If using fingertips, just mash each butter piece between your pointer finger and thumb and then move onto another piece. You know it’s done when the dough looks uniformly clumpy and moist.
2. Add water, 1 tbsp. at a time and toss with a fork. Once all the water has been added, bring the dough together to form a ball. Divide the ball into two disks and wrap well in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to three days.
3. Unwrap dough on a lightly floured counter and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Roll with pin until about 1/4 of an inch thick.
4. Cut with a biscuit cutter or the rim of a drinking class into circles. Transfer circles to parchment paper.
5. Dollop 1/2 tsp. of strawberry jam onto half of each circle and fold the dough over top, crimping the edges. Transfer half moons to the freezer and repeat with second half of dough. A tip – use WAY less jam than you think you need! It will squeeze out and be a big mess!
6. When that dough is ready to be frozen, take the first half out and press the edges with the tines of a fork. Also, prick the center of each pie-let several times with a toothpick to create vents. Repeat with second batch. Freeze all of the pie-lets once crimped, for at least twenty minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 375 degrees while pie-lets are in freezer.
8. Bake on parchment lined baking sheet for 25 minutes or until lightly golden.
9. Meanwhile, make glaze by whisking all of the glaze ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth.
10. Transfer baked pie-lets to serving platter or wire rack and top with glaze. Garnish with sprinkles if desired.