My childhood wasn’t filled with pop tarts, sugary cereals or game consoles, unfortunately. Instead, it was chock-full with what I like to refer to as hippie-dippie food; there was lots of rice milk, fresh fruit that my mom liked to call dessert, and of course, Latin food. It was a strange combo but I wouldn’t have it any other way. And television? It was strictly monitored, if not nearly prohibited. I think not having fun food and television resulted in an adult who loves nothing more than making homemade pop tarts while watching trashy television.
Sometimes restriction does the opposite of what it’s intended to do. Going over other kid’s house was the best ever. It was there when I could play video games for hours on end and eat my way through their pantries and freezers. I was familiar with the traditional strawberry Pop Tarts that were ubiquitous in households in the 90s, but I remember when I first had a S’more Pop Tart. It was riveting. Inside a flakey crust was marshmallow cream and chocolate. The outside was coated in chocolate icing. When it was warmed in the toaster, it was idyllic. The fact that some people consider it breakfast will always stump me. Pop tarts will always be dessert, in my eyes. But let’s not split hairs, as my dad likes to call it.
This homemade version, whether you like to call it dessert or breakfast, is better than the original. Perhaps I’m being a bit boastful, but I it should be all that surprising; we all know everything tastes better when it’s homemade, right?
S’mores Pop Tarts
- For the Pop Tart crust:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) of butter
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, ice water
- For the Egg wash: 1 large egg, beaten
- For the Filling:
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoons butter, cubed
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup marshmallow creme or marshmallow fluff
- 2 graham crackers, crushed, plus more for topping
- For the Icing (optional):
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
- 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- Combine flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Using a box grater, shred butter atop the flour mixture and mix, using your hands, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. To a small bowl, mix 2 large egg yolks with 1/4 cup water. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Stir until it just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and mix again.
- Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Knead the dough until it holds together (I kneaded it about 8 to 10 times) and form it into two discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.
- While you’re dough is in the refrigerator chilling, turn your attention to the filling. Start by creating a makeshift double-boiler. Fill a saucepan one quarter of the way with water and place it on the stove over moderately high heat. In a very dry (chocolate hates water!) stainless steel pan, that easily fits in the saucepan, combine the unsweetened cocoa powder, heavy cream, chocolate chips, sugar, butter and pinch of salt. Place the bowl atop the saucepan and gently stir with a rubber spatula until the mixture is smooth. Remove and set aside. The chocolate mixture will thicken as it cools, which is good!
- Remove both dough disks from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes in order to soften just enough to make rolling out a bit easier. Roll out dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface in the shape of a rectangle with a 1/8″ thickness. Using your cutter, cut the dough into a 10″ x 13″ rectangle. Repeat with the second disk of dough. This is when a ruler really comes in handy. Take your two 10″ x 13″ rectangles and, using your cutter, or a knife, cut each piece into thirds so it turns out that you have about 6 to 8 3 1/2″ x 4″ rectangles. And don't be afraid to re-roll the scraps to get additional pop tarts. If they turn out a bit crooked, don't worry--no one will care! Note: if you're dough is very soft right now, lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, being sure they don't overlap, and stick them in the freezer fro 5 minutes. This will make it easier to assemble them
- To assemble: preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place one half of the pop tart squares, about an inch apart. Transfer a teaspoon of chocolate filling to the center of the rectangles. Then, a few scoops of marshmallow fluff. I did two scoops of marshmallow creme and one chocolate scoop. Sprinkle each mound of chocolate and marshmallow creme with a small handful of crushed graham crackers. Brush the edges with egg wash (this will hold the two layers together.) Place the second rectangles of dough atop all of the ones with the filling, gently crimping the edges together, using the tines of a fork. (I didn't use a fork and a bit of marshmallow and chocolate oozed out the sides. Not the worst thing in the world but I think crimping the sides shut is the way to go!)
- Transfer the assembled pop tarts to the freezer for 10 minutes. After they do their time in the freezer, brush the tops with the remaining egg wash and using a fork, prick four-five holes in the tops. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Transfer to a baking rack to cool for 10 minutes.
- While the pop tarts are baking up, mix together the glaze. In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, heavy cream and pinch of salt until very smooth. If needed, add a splash more of cream. Top the warm pop tarts with the glaze and sprinkle crushed graham crackers.
Yield: 6-8 servings
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.