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BellaOnline's Cooking for Kids Editor

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Healthy Holiday Pop Tarts


The first time I heard of making your own Pop Tarts from scratch, I though of two things. First, I thought that it would be an incredibly lengthy and detailed recipe, and quite frankly, the thought of a time consuming recipe turned me off. The second thought I had was simple: Pop Tarts aren’t healthy!

I was wrong on both accounts. This recipe is fast, easy, and best of all, it’s actually healthy for you! If you are gluten sensitive, you can substitute the whole wheat flour for an alternate flour of choice, such as coconut flour or garbanzo flour.

You will, however, want to make the filling ahead of time, such as the night before, if you will be making this for a large group of people. It doesn’t take much time to sauté the apple filling, but the filling will need to cool to room temperature before you can use it in the pastry. I love this recipe and I make it frequently when my oldest granddaughter comes to visit. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1 1/8 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/8 cups coconut flour
¾ teaspoon cracked sea salt
½ cup chilled organic pure coconut oil (not coconut milk)
2 tablespoons organic butter, chilled
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or apple juice
5-6 tablespoons ice cold water

For the filling:

2 large organic apples of choice
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons raw honey or pure maple syrup (either will work)
Nuts, raisins, cranberries, cherries, or shredded coconut if desired
¼ cup raw honey or pure maple syrup (for top of pastry)

Pastry Directions:

1.) In a Kitchen Aid-type of mixer, add flours and sea salt to the bowl. With the flat beater attachment, mix on the lowest speed available for 30 seconds. Add the shortening and butter to the mixer, and raise the speed to the next level. Mix for 45 seconds to one minute, or until shortening and butter particles resemble the size of small peas.

2.) While mixer is still mixing, add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, until all of the dough/oil particles are moist and they begin to stick together. Stop the mixer, and scrape down the side of the bowl one time. Continue mixing for 30 more seconds. Stop mixer, remove dough from the bowl, and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Filling Directions:

1.) While the dough is chilling, wash and peel the apples. Dice them into small, fine pieces. You can even shred the apples if you’d like! This gives it a fun texture.

2.) In a medium skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the apples and sauté for 3-5 minutes. At this point, add any other ingredients that you might wish to incorporate, such as a handful of minced nuts, whole raisins or dried cranberries, fresh cranberries or pitted cherries, or coconut. Continue sautéing over medium heat until mixture is soft.

3.) Next, add lemon juice or apple juice, and stir to incorporate. Add cinnamon and honey (or maple syrup) and continue stirring for 1 additional minute. Turn off stove, and bring the apple mixture to room temperature before using. (I like to do make the filling the night before… it’s saves so much time!)

Creating Your Pop Tarts:

1.) Separate your pastry dough ball into 2 round, equal parts, just as if you were making a pie crust. Place a ball in between 2 sheets of good quality wax paper. Roll out dough, trying to form a rectangle instead of a circle, until it is approx. 1/8” thick.

2.) Carefully remove wax paper. Cut out rectangular or round shapes with a knife, cookie cutter, or any other shape large enough to fill. For each Pop Tart, you will cut out 2 pieces.

3.) Remove exactly half of your pastry cut-outs with a spatula, and place them on a parchment paper-lined large cookie sheet. Place a few spoonfuls of apple filling onto each cutout. Carefully cover the cutout with another piece of pre-cut pastry. Using a fork, gently mash the edges down around the “Pop Tart” in order to hold them together.

4.) With your remaining ¼ cup of raw honey, heat it up in a microwave-safe container for about 25 seconds. This will warm it up slightly and make it easier to spread. With a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of honey over each of the tops of the “Pop Tart” crusts.

5.) Bake Pop Tarts in a 400 degree oven for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until crust is browned but not burnt! Watch these carefully; the edges can burn quick if they are too thin.

6.) Remove from pan immediately with a spatula. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before eating, as they will be very, very hot on the inside. Always test heat on the inside of the pop tart with a fork before serving to small children.

*These can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. You can re-heat them in your toaster or in a 375 degree oven for 5 minutes.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Kymberly Morgan. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Kymberly Morgan. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Kymberly Morgan for details.

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