Search This Blog

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How to be Awesome at Cooking: Pop Tarts

There are few things more awesome than Pop-Tarts.  I literally lived on pretty much just them for a decent portion of high school.  Yes, I mean literally.  That's why I can't eat the brown sugar cinnamon ones anymore.  But that's a different story.

Anyway, my mom was in town recently.  By about the fifth day of my pathetic calls to Florida, whining about how I couldn't get out of bed and I felt terrible, I think she thought I was dying and decided to come see me as soon as possible.  She came for two weeks, and it was awesome.  I am not at all exaggerating when I say that I spent most of those two weeks lying on a cot in the kitchen while she cooked/cleaned/took care of me.  It was great, and she is awesome.

While she was here, she had the brilliant idea to try to make homemade Pop-Tarts.  And who says no to that?  So we did.  Well, mostly she did.  I just came in for the fun part at the end.

We got the recipe from this website.  It has a great step-by-step tutorial on making them.  We did about half brown sugar cinnamon, ('cause those are Brian's favorite, and he is the big Pop-Tart eater in the family), a couple of Nutella, and a couple of strawberry and raspberry jam.  They looked like this before we cooked them.

And they looked like this afterwards.

I ate that little tiny spare one in the middle.

To keep track of which ones were which, I made the dots on the top in the shape of the first letter of the filling.  That was my one genius idea.

We topped them with some basic icing that Mom made,

And a little cinnamon on the brown sugar cinnamon ones.

and they were pretty good.  Good enough that everyone who ate them liked them.

However, I don't think I would make them again, at least not like that.  Here's why.

1)  The pastry was a shortbread, basically, and it was pretty thick and dry.  Now, normal Pop-Tarts are pretty dry, too, but they aren't so thick.  Of course, we could try to make the dough thinner, but we were having a hard time keeping it together as it was.  I don't think we could have gone any thinner.

2)  Because of the dryness, they really had to have icing on them.  Unfortunately, you can't put the icing on ahead of time, because real icing (i.e. not plastic, which I assume is what Pop-Tart icing is)  melts in heat, like a toaster.  And homemade icing doesn't store very well, so that means every time you want to eat one, you have to make more icing.  Kind of defeats the point of an easy breakfast pastry.

3)  This wasn't a problem for us now, but a couple of weeks ago it would have been.  You can't really put these things in a toaster.  We have our toaster oven out now, so that was fine with us, but they really don't do well vertically.  They are too crumbly.  Remember?  Shortbread.

4)  The process was pretty involved.  I mean, not "I slaved all day over these" but still, considering that the point of Pop-Tarts is to have an easy breakfast, it's kind of a stretch.

5)  The price wasn't that much better.  You can get a box of Pop-Tarts at Wal-Mart for a little over $2, and I'm sure that the price of the ingredients was about that much, plus time factored in.  All in all, not that great an exchange, and honestly, they didn't taste that much better.

If I did it again, I would probably buy pastry dough instead of making it from scratch.  That would make things a lot easier, and maybe even make it taste better.  Still, it was interesting to try.

No comments:

Post a Comment