My daughter had never seen a commercial Pop Tart until two weeks ago when we were visiting a friend’s house for a breakfast playdate. Once handed this frosted, sprinkled ridden, store bought pastry of death she happily inhaled it while I cringed internally. Not that I am against pastries for breakfast, because if any girl loves pie and donuts in the morning it’s this gal, but I do have serious issues with all the crap in a Pop Tart – high fructose corn syrup, bleached flour, artificial flavorings, etc… it’s alright I know I’m neurotic but seriously, yuck!
Now I am not a no fun mom. I indulge the kiddos in my house quite a fair amount, just instead of buying toaster pastries I make these homemade. They are an easy, big winning, alternative that I have full control over sugar content with. Especially if I make my filling homemade. Which for this post I did not do, sorry, but cut me some slack I am due to have a baby in less than 10 days people.
I also wholeheartedly think these taste infinitely better than the ones coming out of a box. Hands down, any day of the week! So without further ado…
Strawberry Jam Toaster Pastries
(makes a half dozen – this recipe is easily doubled or tripled)
For the Pastry:
1 stick unsalted cold butter
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (optional)
1/4 cup cold water
For the Filling:
1 cup (ish) Strawberry Jam
(I used an Organic Strawberry Spread from Costco of all places, it’s Kirkland brand and I swear I’d eat it with a spoon it’s that good. Of course feel free to use whatever jam you love or whip up a quick stove top jam filling with whatever fruit is in season.)
Vanilla Powder (You can use confectioners sugar but I just have this thing for vanilla powder it is inherently sweet without the sugar… so yummy!)
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make your pastry dough by combining your flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla powder in a medium bowl. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers and a knife cut in your butter so your mixture resembles coarse sand with butter pieces no larger than small peas. Using a rubber spatula add in the water (note if you did not have vanilla powder, you could choose to add a 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract into your water to add that flavor) and finally use your hands to incorporate any remaining bits in the bottom of the bowl and form dough into a disc.
Roll out your pastry on a well floured surface into a rectangle-ish shape that is somewhat thinner that you would do for a pie crust. (Vague I know, sorry) Then using something as a template cut your dough into rectangles roughly 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches, I used a pasta box and a butter knife but certainly if you have such a cookie cutter USE IT! You may need to re-roll out your dough once or twice to get all twelve rectangles.
Place six of your pastry slices onto a cookie sheet covered with either tin foil or parchment paper (I prefer parchment but I used what was on hand which was tin foil and it was just fine!), equally space them apart from each other and using a teaspoon, spoon your jam (about a tablespoon and a half on each) into the middle of the dough and spread it out a little less than 1/2 inch from the edge. Be careful not to overfill as you will get an oozy mess on your hands after baking if you do. Cover filling with remaining six pastry slices and crimp down the edges with the tines of a fork nice and tight. Puncture a few vents in each and place cookie sheet on the center rack of the oven.
Turn down the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool until they are no longer scald your face hot, sprinkle with vanilla powder and enjoy!
If you are not eating these (good luck with that) immediately or if you are a stockpiler, wait for them them to cool completely before sprinkling them with vanilla powder or confectioners sugar, store in an air tight container on the counter for up to three days or in the fridge for up to a week. Heat in the toaster before eating!