It took me a long time to decide what I felt like doing for this week's challenge. My first idea was whoopie pies since every month by the 24th I owe cookies to a friend as an ongoing cookie club Christmas present. I lost interest in doing these somewhere along the line and ran across a Chai Shortbread recipe in my magazine cutouts that I thought would be a big hit. I'd share the recipe, but I was not happy with the one I used. Google it if you are interested and try your own :)
After deciding I didn't want to do the Whoopie Pies, I moved on to Brown Sugar Poundcakes and Browned Butter Icing from Martha's Cupcake book. Again I lost the drive for this project. I flirted with the idea of homemade PB (as a sandwich filling hehehe) but finally settled on making a brown sugar and cinnamon filling for the boy's poptarts this week and a simple icing for the top.
I make the boy poptarts for his work breakfast. I was buying store bought for a while but decided I didn't like all the mystery ingredients in them (something I've been trying to be conscious of since reading In Defense of Food). So for a few months now I've been making his poptarts. Each time trying something a little different until I come up with the perfect recipe.
This time I followed the icing and the crust recipe from the book Make The Bread, Buy The Butter (which as a side note is fantastic and will soon be added to my collection rather than just checked out from the library).
2 c. and 2 Tbsp. flour (plus more for rolling)
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) of cold butter, cut into bits
1/4 c. cold milk
Whisk together flour, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse meal. I used my food processor, she suggests using your fingers and working quickly.
Add milk and mix until clumpy. Form into a ball, flatten into a disk wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Mine was too crumby and not clumpy enough. It worked better for me on the second roll out, but pie crust is not my strong suit yet.
When you are close to rolling the dough out (after the 1 hour refrigeration period) mix up your filling. You can use jam or this delicious brown sugar and cinnamon filling I found here. I'm also considering trying her whole poptart recipe because the oats in it interests me.
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Mix and you are ready.
Also lightly beat an egg in a bowl to use for assembling the tarts.
Now roll out the dough into a a very thin square/rectangle/whatever you can manage liberally using flour so nothing sticks. Cut rectangles the size you want your poptarts to be. I have this handy poptart maker that determines the size for me (you can see it in the pics). If you have one as well I highly recommend flouring it as well because it makes it easier to remove the tarts.
On one rectangle put your filling down. My squares take about 2 Tbsp. of filling although yours will vary depending on how they are cut.
Brush the beaten egg around all the edges and lay a second rectangle on top. Seal by pressing a fork along the edges or closing the press. Repeat until you are out of dough. You can reroll the scraps and keep cutting but I don't recommend more than 2 roll outs.
Put finished poptarts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pierce the top a few times with a fork and brush the tops with egg. Bake at 400 for 13-18 minutes depending on size and oven. Mine were ugly. Very ugly. But taste matters more.
Let them cool before mixing up the icing and frosting. If you're even half as messy as I am you have some cleaning to do anyway :)
The icing is VERY simple, but delicious. Also from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter with one Thundercrafts addition.
1/2 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1-2 Tbsp. milk or heavy cream ( I used 2 of heavy cream)
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
You can use a few drops of food coloring if you want. To go with my cinnamon sugar center and to add a little color (even if that color is brown) I used a sprinkle of cinnamon
Mix everything until you get a spreadable icing.
Spread on poptarts. Add sprinkles if desired. Enjoy.
Frosting helps cover the ugly nicely.
DO NOT TOAST THESE IN A STANDARD TOASTER. It will cause a mess. Enjoy cold or from an oven (regular or toaster).