Faith, Family, Food, Uncategorized

Homemade Pop Tarts

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Pop tarts are not something I normally purchase. My husband has a sweet tooth, and usually buys pop tarts for camping or road trips. The boys love them too. I’ve never been a big fan. They are a bit dry and bland to me. So, I stay away from them. But not anymore.

These tempting homemade pop tarts will make you want to bake. The light, buttery, flaky crust melts in your mouth. These are nothing like the store bought ones. If you are already a pop tart fan, these will put a smile on your face. The memories will come flooding back of those childhood days.

You can customize the tarts with any filling you like. I made strawberry and grape at the request of my family. Brown sugar cinnamon is a very popular flavor. Chocolate, hazelnut spread, or just about any fruit filling would be delicious. Make your own filling or use store bought jams and spreads. Experiment with different flavors.

Get the kids involved in this one. Have each child customize their own pop tarts with their choice of fillings. Also, let them color the frosting and add sprinkles. Kids love to personalize what they cook, and it’s a great way to get them in the kitchen. Cooking is creative. Let those kids create. And yes, they will make a mess. It’s O.K. Baking and cooking should be positive experiences. 

If there are no kids in your life, be a kid yourself. Have fun with this one. Don’t forget to share these sweet pastries with someone else. A friend, neighbor, co-worker, cousin, store clerk, or anyone would enjoy a homemade pop tart. Spread the love. 

All my bakers out there, you’ll have fun with these pop tarts. All my non-bakers, don’t be intimidated. You can do this. They aren’t difficult, just a little bit time consuming. You can use your own pie crust recipe. You can use the one I’m giving you. Or, just buy pie crust dough from the grocery store. 

Give these heavenly pop tarts a try. You won’t regret it. 

Happy Eating!

 

Taste and see that the Lord is good;

blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 34:8

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Homemade Pop Tarts 

 

Ingredients

Pastry Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into cubes

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

 

Egg Wash:

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

 

Icing:

1 cup powdered sugar

½  teaspoon vanilla

2 to 3 tablespoons milk

 

Filling:

Fruit jam

 

Make the pastry.

Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. (You can also use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.) Add the cubed butter to the flour mixture. Use a fork or pastry blender to combine the butter and flour together until it’s a coarse crumb (pea-size). In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and milk together until combined. Add the egg/milk mixture to the dough. Mix everything together with a fork until combined. It will be sticky and crumbly. Knead lightly on a floured surface until the dough is smooth, not sticky.

 

Divide the dough in half.

Take one half of the dough and roll it out on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a 12 ½ inch by 9 ½ inch rectangle. Using a ruler, measure a 12 by 9 inch rectangle and cut. Then measure 9 squares, each one measuring 3 inch by 4 inch, and cut those. Transfer each square with a spatula onto a parchment lined baking sheet. 

 

Make the egg wash.

Whisk together egg and milk for the egg wash. Brush egg mixture on each pastry square.

 

Place filling on pastry.

Put about 1 tablespoon of filling on each pastry square. Leave about ½ an inch or slightly less on the edges. 

 

Roll out the other half of the dough.

Repeat the same process as with the first half. Roll out a rectangle that’s approximately 12 ½ inch by 9 ½ inch. With a ruler, measure a 12 inch by 9 inch rectangle and cut with a knife. Measure 9 squares that are 3 inch by 4 inch each, and cut those. Brush with egg wash and place on top of pastry squares that have filling on them. (The egg wash side faces the filling for both pieces of pastry.)

 

Seal the pop tarts.

Once the pop tarts are assembled, gently press the seams together. Making sure all sides are sealed. Poke the tops with a fork several times to vent. Take a fork and crimp all the edges.

 

Refrigerate the prepared pop tarts for 30 minutes, uncovered. 

 

Bake the pop tarts.

Bake in a  350° oven for 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Make the icing. 

In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle a small amount (approximately 1 tablespoon) of icing on each pop tart. The icing will run over the sides. Let the icing set up on the pop tarts before moving them. Add sprinkles if you’d like, before the icing is set.

 

Notes

 

  • Make sure to use unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, do not add salt to the dough.
  • The dough will be crumbly after the egg/milk is added and mixed. Keep kneading the dough on a floured surface, and in a short time it will become smooth.
  • You can make this pastry dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for a day or two. Let it get to room temperature before rolling the dough.
  • Some of the filling will spill out during baking.
  • Using milk instead of water in the egg wash helps with browning.
  • Use any fillings you prefer. (cherry, apricot, blackberry, etc.)
  • Play around the consistency of the icing. If you want a thinner icing, like a glaze, use more milk and less powdered sugar.

 

 

Go to the link for my article on Mustard Seed Sentinel.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-homemade-pop-tarts

Faith, Food, Uncategorized

Olive Crostini

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This easy scrumptious recipe was given to me many years ago by a coworker. Her sister was a caterer and used this crostini often. I too have used it often over the years, but took a break from it until recently. It was fun to make it again. Olive Crostini has always been a big hit when I’ve made it for gatherings. Throw in a salad, and make a light meal out of it.

I have one funny story involving this appetizer. For quite a few years I hosted a Christmas party and olive crostini became a staple. My husband was mixing this olive spread using the blender. It gets pretty thick, so he stuck a large plastic spoon in the blender to unstick everything and accidentally hit one of the buttons. Well, a large chunk of the spoon was taken off by the blade from the blender. As he was fishing out plastic from the olive spread the doorbell rang. The show must go on, so the olive crostini went in the oven with God only knows how many bits of plastic. 

Now that I’ve confessed, you may never want to eat anything I share with you. Please forgive me. And also know, cooking mishaps are unavoidable. Whether we’ve eaten trace amounts of plastic, or burned food, or over salted, or used expired ingredients.  What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right? My conscience is clear. Confession really is good for the soul. 

On with the recipe. The flavor combos are delectable. I love the contrast of the slightly bitter green olives with the creamy jack cheese. You can easily make the spread several days before your event. It keeps in the fridge for at least a week or two. You can even freeze the olive spread, but you won’t have to because it will get eaten up.

 

Happy Eating!

 

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 6:35

 

Olive Crostini 

  • 6 oz. can black olives, drained
  • 6 oz. jar green olives with pimentos, drained 
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese 
  • 1or 2 Baguettes 

 

  • In a food processor:
  • Add 6 oz. black olives and chop 
  • Add the garlic cloves and chop
  • Add olive oil and blend
  • Add 6 oz jar green olives and chop
  • Add butter and blend

 

  • In a mixing bowl:
  • Place the olive mixture from the food processor.
  • Stir in the jack and parmesan cheeses.

 

  • Thinly slice a baguette.
  • Spread about a tablespoon of the olive spread on each baguette slice.
  • Cook under the broiler for 2 to 4 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.

     

  •  Notes 
  • This spread makes enough for at least 2 baguettes.
  • You can experiment with different olives.
  • Store leftover spread in the refrigerator.
  • You can use a blender if you don’t have a food processor, or just chop by hand.
  • The consistency you want is a coarse paste.

 

You can read my latest article here:

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-olive-crostini

Check out https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/  for plenty of great content from book reviews to parenting advice, all from a Christian perspective.

Food, Uncategorized

Quick Pickles

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Have you ever experienced a pickle emergency? You needed pickles right then and there, but there were none to be found in the refrigerator or the pantry. Have no fear! You can now make your very own homemade pickles in ten minutes. That’s right folks, ten minutes! No boiling jars and prepping canning equipment. No waiting for days or weeks to eat that first delicious pickle. Just mix up the brine, slice a cucumber, and voila! Pickles. 

This super easy recipe is not your typical dill pickle. They are a bit sweet, a bit spicy, and a bit savory. So they won’t taste like regular ordinary dills, but still yummy. Pickling spice mix has mustard seed, cinnamon, ginger, bay leaves, red pepper, caraway, allspice, black pepper, coriander, and clove. The result of this delightful combination of spices is a much more flavorful pickle than just a boring canned cucumber.

Give this recipe a try. You won’t regret it.

Read the full article by clicking the link below. Enjoy!

 

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-quick-pickles

 

Love you all,

Meghan

Family, Food, Uncategorized

I Scream, You Scream

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We all scream for ice cream! It’s still officially summer and still quite hot in most of the U.S. You need ice cream. I need ice cream. We all need ice cream, except for the lactose intolerant. But hey, there are really great alternatives now so all can partake. There’s something about an ice cream sandwich that brings joy. You’ve got cookies and ice cream together. That’s a win-win. I have so many memories involving ice cream.

Certain foods can be such an important part of our childhood. I can still hear the ice cream truck music. We’d quickly empty our piggy banks and run to that truck. Another ice cream memory is my birthday party at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor. When the Zoo Party was brought out with singing and music, the restaurant paused for a moment to take notice. Exciting childhood memories all involving ice cream.

It’s good to be a kid now and then. For some fun, make these scrumptious, super duper easy ice cream sandwiches.

To get more of my ice cream memories and the directions for the sandwiches, click on the link below.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-ice-scream-you-scream

 

Love you all,

Meghan

Faith, Family, Food, Uncategorized

It’s Only a Pound

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I am very happy to share with you my latest article on Mustard Seed Sentinel. I love to bake, and this pound cake is easy and delicious. I came across this fantastic recipe several years ago in Southern LivingInstead of a bundt pan, I prefer loaf pans. I use three regular size pans, and freeze at least two of them. They thaw quickly, and it’s nice to have a dessert on hand.

This new column has been so much fun for me. Baking and cooking are a passion of mine. Pound cake came to mind right away for June. It made me think of summer when topped with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream. Give this simple, yummy dessert a try. You’ll get a lot of smiles from this one. Make your life sweeter with some cake now and then.

Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your support.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

 

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-it-s-only-a-pound