Monday, December 21, 2015

The Gourmet Pop Tart

At some point over the next few weeks you'll probably have a morning or afternoon that's a bit more relaxed than usual.  We like to use that time to cook or, more specifically, bake.  The many years I spent working in a bakery creating delicious pastries were truly enjoyable times and the feeling of making something that everyone loves and wants to share compares with nothing else.  Many food writers and so-called "restaurant critics" don't cook at all.  Writing AND cooking have always been a big part of my life and I'm lucky that I have the chance to combine both.

One of my favorite things to make over the holiday season is breakfast pastries.  I used to call these the Better Than Pop Tarts because they reminded everyone of that popular toaster snack they enjoyed as children.  Sadly, today they are mostly so filled with chemicals that we don't go anywhere near them.

These are different.  Even better, they are extremely easy to make.  You don't need a mixer or any fancy equipment.  Use the very best ingredients and you will always wow your family and friends. The only downside to these is once you make them you will probably be forever asked to make them again.  Which is not a problem. They are that easy.  We'll be anxious to see who gives it a go and what the results were.

Gourmet Pop Tarts

Set oven to 350.

1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (NOT imitation)
12 ounce jar fruit preserves of your choice


Combine the sugar, flour, salt, egg, butter and vanilla. Crumble with fingers. Take half the dough and spread into a square 8x8 pan (ungreased). Pat the bottom layer in well with your hands.  Spread jam on top. Top with the remaining dough, crumbling and patting it in on top.  Don't worry if the top crust does not cover everything completely.  Bake for 25-30 minutes. When edges start to brown remove. Cool completely, at least two hours.

Here is the icing recipe:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a small bowl stir together the sugar and milk and mix until smooth. Beat in the corn syrup and extract until glossy. If icing is too thick add more milk.  Spread evenly over the top and allow to dry until fairly hardened.  

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