It took me two days. I repeat, two freakin’ days. One day to prep the filling, pastry, and homemade sprinkles, and a whole day dedicated to assembly which took a little over 4 – hours from rolling out the dough to icing and sprinkling.
For some reason (ignorance is bliss, and I didn’t read the recipe in its entirety. Only read through each segment (pastry, filling, sprinkle) as needed) I thought making homemade sprinkles would be the worst bit.
I don’t have the greatest track record with patience and letting things dry. I’m thirty years old and still can’t manage to let my nails dry throughly before moving on to my next task. The day I don’t smudge one of my home manicures will be the day I finally figured out patience.
Luckily, I had enough wherewithal to think sprinkles were going to require the most time and should do them first. Unfortunately that brain power didn’t think it was necessary to double check my ingredients, and half way through Hubs had to run to the grocery store and pick up more powdered sugar and unsalted butter.
Biggest lesson I learned? Read the damn recipe. Read the damn recipe. Read the damn recipe. There is something to be said about the French saying, mise en place. Practice it while baking or cooking.
After piping out the sprinkles to dry, I moved on to the filling which is in my top three accomplishments of this entire recipe test. The strawberry jam tasted phenomenal!
The recipe calls for you to flavor to taste. I ended up using one whole juiced lemon and zest to balance out the vanilla extract and give my jammy filling the perfect about of lemony zest.
If you don’t enjoy a tart jam, don’t use the entire teaspoon of vanilla extract called for in the Bon Appetit recipe. The extract is strong and requires a whole lemon to balance out. If you want it less tart, cut the amount of extract in half if not by three quarters.
Biggest fack up? The pastry. No surprise there. When I cut into the finished product I noticed a thin line of uncooked dough…cue Claire’s sad music. Biggest bummer ever. Two days of work ended in mediocracy I could’ve prevented! Here’s what happened…
The recipe says to bake for 30 – 35 minutes; you’re looking for a golden bottom and pale top. When my first timer ( 30 minutes) went off I noted the semi-golden bottom and put them in for another 5 minutes.
When the second timer went off the bottoms had gotten more color but I had a weird feeling they could go for another five … but I worried I’d brown the tops and screw up its future toasting capabilities. So I went against my better judgment and pulled them out.
Did I mention I spent two flipping days on this gourmet project?! What a kick in the crotch I missed a home run by 3 – 5 minutes.
But did I mention the filling? SO GOOD.
You know what I’m second most proud about? How uniform and pretty my pop tarts ended up looking (which is not a skill I’m best known for) in the end. There really is a fine art to precision and uniformness. Shout out to all the pastry chefs out there who do this every day, you’re the real MVPs of the kitchen. For reals!
I’m happy to report my gourmet pop tarts held up nicely in the toaster (even though I forgot to add the vanilla and lemon juice to the icing…read the recipe, read the recipe, read the recipe)!
Would I make them again?
LOL. How much longer are we going to be in quarantine? 😅
If I were going to make them again I’d buy the dough and sprinkles from the store. After having the homemade filling there’s no way I could settle for store bought jam. Plus it makes your house smell wonderful!
But honestly? Kelloggs does a damn fine job making pop tarts. The real question I have for you is … do you eat your pop tarts room temp or warm?
This is a question I struggle to answer because while nothing beats a warm pastry; I can never wait long enough for the filling to cool down. I always end up burning my tongue or the roof of my mouth with hot pastry jam. (Please see nail drying dilemma in the 4th paragraph)
Room temperature it is, don’t @ me. 😈
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ps: my third most proud accomplishment was completing this bake. It was one heck of a test! Especially my rolling skills!