‘Valentine’s Day’ is just around the corner and I see all the gift shops and florists decked up with red-heart balloons, love greeting cards and romantic gifts. Back in school and college days there used to be hoopla all around, but it was not much of a huge deal to me. I have always believed that if we are with our loved one every passing day is a celebration in itself. But, then I also love the fact of having a day devoted to loved ones and dear friends to spend more quality time with them and celebrate that love. Red, Roses, Hearts, Chocolate, Strawberries – I simply love the beautiful ‘Love is in the air!’ atmosphere surrounding Valentine’s day.
Today, I thought I’d share with all of you a sweet treat that is simple and easy to make. Although, these are not the usual rich, chocolaty, fudge-y treats you’d associate with this special day, these are still little bites of delight! I initially pondered over what I want to name these – Bites or Pop Tarts….coz they are not big enough or shaped so as to resemble pop tarts and can actually be gulped down in just two bites. I eventually decided on pop tarts because these share the same concept of filling within a crust. I kept the dough simple, used a combination of all-purpose and whole-wheat flour. The butter is what gives any tart or pastry that nice soft, flaky texture, so don’t be stingy on that (like I did….the thought of putting in more than 1 stick of butter in anything always makes me nervous). For the filling, I used our favorite raspberry preserve and the ever-so-delightful nutella.
Make these, in any shape or size you want. Fill them with your favorite fruit jams/preserves or go for a savory filling and spice them up. Pour yourself a nice cup of morning coffee, kids a nice glass of warm milk and enjoy these itsy-bitsy pop tarts!
Prep time: 15 mins + 30 mins resting time (for dough), 20 mins to assemble ~ 1 hr
Bake time: 20 to 25 mins
For the Dough,
- All-Purpose Flour – 1 cup
- Whole Wheat Flour – 3/4th cup
- Butter – 1n1/2 stick cold & cut into cubes + 1/2 stick melted to brush on the tarts
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1n1/2 tsp
- Milk – Few tablespoons (as required)
For the filling,
- Jam or Preserves (I used Raspberry)
To make the dough,
1. In a wide missing bowl, take all-purpose flour, whole whet flour, salt and sugar. Whisk so that all the dry ingredients are well mixed.
2. Add the cold-cubed butter to the bowl and using an electric mixer whisk until the flour is combined with the butter. You should still see the small peanut sized butter lumps in the flour. (A food processor would be best to make this dough).
3. Slowly add milk and using you hands combine the flour to form a nice soft dough. Wrap in a parchment paper or aluminium foil and refrigerate for at-least 30 to 45 mins.
To assemble the pop tarts,
1. Dust some flour on a clean counter-top and roll out the dough into a nice thin rectangular sheet. Using a cookie cutter (I used one of my spice box bowls – it worked perfectly) cut out the circles/rounds or if you like them rectangular, simply use a knife lightly dusted with flour and cut them out. Repeat with any left-over or trimmed dough.
2. Melt some butter in the microwave and set aside. Also gather the jam/preserves and nutella.
3. Line the baking sheet with a parchment paper. Brush butter on all of the cut-out dough circles on both sides. This will help the tarts be moist and soft.
4. Place a small spoon of the filling on one dough circle. Take another piece, place on the top and using a fork press on the ends to bind the corners as well as to give a pretty design.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
2. Brush another coat of butter over the assembled tarts, pop them into the oven and bake for around 20 mins.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve them warm. If you have any already-baked left-over ones (which I highly doubt you’d have any left) store them in air-tight containers and refrigerate. When, you want a bite, simply heat them for a few seconds in the microwave.
- Although, these are easy to make they do take up time. So, make the dough a day ahead if you can. Or, even better you can use store-bought puff pastry dough. That will work really well too.
- To save more time, assemble them, place in air-tight container or a freezer bag and freeze until you want to have it. Remove from freezer, let it thaw on the counter-top for sometime and then pop them into the oven.
- If you are making these in the traditional size and shape, bake them for only 12 to 15 mins in the oven and then freeze them. When you want to have them, pop them into the toaster and then enjoy.
- I made these egg-less, but you could add one large egg to the dough as it acts as a nice binding agent and also adds to the flavor.
- I used melted butter to brush on the tarts to get a nice golden color, you could instead use egg wash.