Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pop-Tarts From Scratch

I really like of Pop-Tarts, so when I saw a recipe for making them from scratch, I knew I had to try.

I used a basic pastry dough recipe from Flour by Joanne Chang, and then put homemade strawberry balsamic jam between two rectangles of it.  I then baked it and coated the pastries with chocolate glaze and sprinkles.

It wasn't really a Pop-tart, but it was delicious.  They reminded me of flakier, butterier versions of the Pillsbury Toaster Strudel.  But of course, these were much better than those treats you get from the freezer.  

These do require a little time and effort to make.  You have to refrigerate the dough for at least four hours before using it, and I suggest that if you have  warm kitchen, you should return the dough to the refrigerator a couple of times while you're cutting out rectangles.  Otherwise, the butter will melt and it'll be much harder to make  a good looking toaster pastry.

You can use store-bought jam, but I decided to make my own jam from fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar.  The vinegar really brings out the sweetness from the strawberries.

The result has a texture and flavor similar to that of a croissant, only it's not as soft on the inside. I also love the strawberry filling combined with the chocolatey glaze.  I'm definitely going to make these again.  You can mix it up and use any fillings and glazes you want.


To make the jam: cook the strawberries with the sugar and vinegar.
It's ready when it looks like this.
Here's the cooled jam, ready to use.
I stored my jam in a Smucker's strawberry jam jar.  (Very resourceful, I know)
To make the dough, mix cold butter pieces with the dry ingredients until incorporated. 
Then stir in egg yolks and milk until it forms a shaggy dough.
Place the dough on an unfloured surface.  Form a tight mound.
Starting from the top of the mound, slide your palm down the mound, flattening the dough.  Repeat for all sides., until you have a flat dough with smears of butter. 
Gather up the dough, cover in plastic wrap, press into a disk , and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to a couple of days.
Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a rectangle.

Score one rectangle into 8 smaller rectangles and brush this with egg.

Put on some jam.

Place the other sheet of dough on top, cut into 8 rectangles, then bake.

Let the pastries cool.

Whisk together the glaze.

Pour the glaze on the pastries, put on some sprinkles, let the glaze set, and enjoy!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pop-Tarts

makes 8 large pastries
adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang


For the Pastry Dough:
1-3/4 cups (245g) all-purpose flour
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks/288g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
2 egg yolks
3 tbs cold milk

For the Filling:
Strawberry balsamic jam (recipe below) or other strawberry jam

For the Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup water
1 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

To Finish:
1 egg, beaten
sprinkles (optional)


  1. Make the pastry dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.  Mix in the cold butter pieces until the flour is clumpy and there are pecan-sized pieces of butter visible.  Whisk together the egg yolks and milk in a separate bowl, and then add to the flour mixture.  Mix for a few seconds until incorporated and the dough looks shaggy.  On an unfloured surface, form the dough into a tight mound.  Starting from the top, slide your palm down the sides, pressing the dough flat until the butter is smeared and the dough comes together.  Gather the dough into a ball, then wrap in plastic wrap and press into a disk 1" thick.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  2. Split the pastry dough in half.  Keeping the other half refrigerated, place on half on a floured surface. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top and roll the dough into a 14" by 11" rectangle.  Return this half to the refrigerator and roll out the other half of the dough to the same dimensions.  With a knife, score one sheet of dough into 8 smaller 3-1/2" x 5-1/2" rectangles.  Brush this dough with beaten egg and place 2 tbs of jam into the center of each small rectangle.  Carefully place the other sheet of dough on top and lightly pres down.  Cut the dough into 8 rectangles, following the score marks you made.  
  3. Place each rectangle on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350*F for 30-40 minutes, until the pastries are light golden brown.  Let cool for half an hour.  
  4. Make the glaze: whisk all the the ingredients for the glaze together in a small bowl until smooth and pourable.
  5. Pour the glaze on each cooled pastry and then sprinkle the pastries with sprinkles, if desired.  Allow the glaze to set for 10-15 minutes.  
  6. Store pastries in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. 

Strawberry Balsamic Jam 

recipe adapted from Savory Sweet Life


2 cups chopped strawberries
1 cup sugar
2 tbs balsamic vinegar


  1. Add the chopped strawberries, sugar, and balsamic vinegar to a large pot. Simmer until strawberries are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  2. If you have an immersion blender, puree strawberries right in the pot until slightly smooth but still slightly chunky. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and pulse until desired consistency, then add the mixture back to the pot.
  3. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, and cook for 30 minutes, allowing the mixture to thicken. Stir frequently to ensure the mixture doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot. It's ready when it's thick enough that when you stir, you can see the bottom of the pot.  

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