I went to Target the other day–no breaking news there, since I go to Target every week (or multiple times per week.) I don’t remember what I went there for, but let’s be honest, does it really matter? I mean, who actually goes to Target and comes out with exactly and only (“only” being the key word here) what they originally went there to purchase?
I’ll tell you who: Nobody.
It’s like some sort of a Target special power, something that they pump in through the air vents that puts shoppers in a Target trance, causing them (and by “them” I mean “me”) to toss things like $8 graphic tees, whimsical serving pieces and holiday cupcake liners into their carts, so that by the time they reach the check-out line their “quick trip to Tar-jay for a bottle of Mr. Clean” has turned into (yet another) $50 spree.
Well played, Target Executive Team.
During this particular trip, as I rounded corner #2–you know, the back left side of the store–I was surprised to see that the entire section had already been transformed from what had been “Backyard Barbecue Land” the week before to “School Supply Ville.” Several rows of bins and shelves were piled high with eye-catching displays of notebooks, binders, art supplies and locker decorations. By the way, when did locker decorating become such a huge thing? I think I had a picture of Donnie from New Kids on the Block in my locker–that was the extent of my decorations.
Anyhow, my first reaction to this display was, “School supplies already? Wasn’t it just the Fourth of July?”
My second reaction was, “I love, love, LOVE school supplies!! Must. Buy. Something!”
Obviously, I’m not in school anymore. Apparently, that doesn’t matter. To me, new school supplies are synonymous with getting more organized–something I am on a constant quest to do. If I am able to do this by way of some colorful new pens and folders, even better.
Fortunately, I got out of School Supply Ville pretty cheap–only $2.50 for five multicolored notebooks, a small price to pay for being the most organized person ever (at least that’s my goal.)
So now that my mind is in back-to-school mode (sorry, kids), I couldn’t help but whip up something school-inspired for the blog. These flaky “pocket pies” were clearly inspired by Pop Tarts, which I loved to eat for breakfast before school as a kid. I’m not completely clear on whether or not I am allowed to use the term “Pop Tart” per trademark and such, so pocket pies they are!
This recipe is a variation on one featured in my mini pie book, based on the flavors of the perennial lunch box favorite, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In the book, the pocket pie has a basic buttery crust, but I always love my sandwiches on hearty whole wheat bread, so I changed the crust to a flaky whole wheat, flavored with a hint of cinnamon. The filling is a quick homemade strawberry jam and the glaze is a sweet peanut butter topped with salted chopped peanuts.
The best part is that the pies can be assembled and frozen for up to one month. Seal them in zip top bags, then bake them as directed straight from the freezer. Add the glaze and serve for a freshly baked breakfast on the go or a warm after school snack! See, kids? School’s not so bad after all!
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Yield: 12 pop tarts
Serving Size: 1 pop tart
These portable breakfast treats are a homemade take on popular Pop Tarts, with flavors inspired by a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! Fresh strawberry jam is enclosed in a flaky whole wheat crust with a hint of cinnamon. The pies are topped with a sweet peanut butter glaze and lightly salted fresh peanuts.
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) whole wheat flour
- 1 cup (250 mL) all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 1 cup (250 mL) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) cold buttermilk
- 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp (15 mL) water
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) creamy peanut butter, room temperature
- 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
- 3-4 tbsp (45-60 mL) whole milk
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped salted peanuts
- 1. Prepare the crust dough: In the work bowl of a food processor, pulse both flours, sugar, cinnamon and salt to combine. Scatter butter overtop and pulse several times, until the butter is the size of peas. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
- 2. In a small bowl, combine egg yolks and buttermilk. Add half of the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring with a fork to combine. Add the remaining buttermilk mixture, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time, stirring after each addition, until dough begins to hold together in moist clumps.
- 3. Transfer dough to a large piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a 6-inch (15 cm) square. Wrap the square tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour (or up to 2 days.)
- 4. Prepare the strawberry filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, mashing strawberries with a potato masher until broken down. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove mixture from heat, cover and chill until cold.
- 5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one half of the dough to a 13-inch (33 cm) square. Using a paring knife or a pizza cutter, trim square to an even 12-inches (30 cm). Cut the square into 12 rectangles, 3 by 4 inches (7.5 by 10 cm) each. Transfer rectangles to the prepared baking sheets, spacing apart.
- 6. Brush the surfaces of the rectangles with the egg wash. Place about 1-1/2 to 2 tbsp (22 to 30 mL) of the strawberry filling in the center of each rectangle.
- 7. Repeat the process in Step 5 with the second half of the dough, creating 12 more rectangles. Place one rectangle on top of each strawberry filling, pressing edges firmly to seal. Crimp edges with the tines of a fork.
- 8. Freeze pies for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F/180C, placing racks in upper and lower thirds positions.
- 9. When ready to bake, pierce tops of tarts 3 or 4 times with the tip of a sharp knife. Bake for 28 to 34 minutes, switching positions of baking sheets halfway through, until pies are puffed and golden brown. Let cool on sheets on wire racks for 10 minutes.
- 10. Prepare the glaze: In a small bowl, mix peanut butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough of the milk to make a glaze that is thick but one that you can drizzle. Using a fork or a spoon, drizzle glaze over warm pies and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.