*4th of July Pop Tarts*

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There’s only a couple of days left in June, and you know what that means!  The 4th of July is right around the corner!  For my family, the fourth is always a day filled with lots of fun in the sun, some good BBQ, and lots of sweet treats while we watch beautiful fireworks that light up the night sky.  I always love to make my dessert in the red, white, and blue color scheme to add some patriotic flair for the occasion.  This year I wanted to make a treat that not only is perfect to enjoy while watching the fireworks, but also is able to be enjoyed as an afternoon treat if your tradition is to celebrate earlier in the day {and for those with little ones that have an early bedtime 🙂 }.  My homemade 4th of July Pop Tarts are an all-butter pie crust stuffed with a strawberry filling and iced with a vanilla glaze.  Add red, white, and blue sprinkles to dazzle your loved ones with these deliciously festive treats!

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To make our patriotic hand-pies, we’ll start by making the pie dough.  In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the all-purpose flour and granulated sugar.  With the mixer speed on low, slowly add your cold pieces of salted butter.

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Continue mixing on low until your mixture has a crumb texture.

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Next, add your ice-cold water a tablespoon at a time while mixing on low speed.  Mix your dough just until it starts to hold together.  You don’t want to over mix your dough, because it will make the pie crust tough instead of nice and tender.

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Press your dough together, making sure there are no lumps of butter or flour.  Separate the dough into two equal sized balls and wrap them in plastic wrap.

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Place the two balls of dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  While your pie dough chills, let’s make the filling!!  In a small sauce pot, place your cornstarch and ice-cold water.  Whisk them together until smooth.

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Next, add your vanilla extract and strawberry jam.  I love using homemade or locally made jam when I have some on hand.  Usually it doesn’t last long in my family!  (Thankfully I had enough homemade strawberry jam left to make these goodies!)  On medium heat, bring your filling to a boil.  Turn the heat to low and continuously stir for 3 minutes while your filling simmers.  Once done, take your pot off the heat and let it cool for now.

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Back to the pie dough! Take your dough balls out of the refrigerator and let them sit for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature.  On a clean counter top (or table), dust a light layer of flour.  Now that your dough has warmed up a bit and is more pliable, roll your first dough ball into the shape of a rectangle, approximately 1/8″ in thickness.

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Trim the edges of your rectangle so that you have a clean, even shape to work with.

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I cut my pop tarts into 8 rectangles.  I usually eyeball it and try to make them as even as possible, but it’s also a great idea to measure with a ruler to make them all uniform in size.  Lay your pop tart pieces onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together your egg and milk.  Using a pastry brush, brush a light layer of your egg mixture over each pop tart bottom.  Place about 1 spoonful of strawberry filling onto the center of each piece.  I know it doesn’t seem like much filling, but you don’t want too much or else the pop tart filling will leak out when you bake them.

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Re-flour your work surface if needed.  Roll out your second dough ball into a rectangle the same size and thickness as the first one.  Trim the edges of the rectangle and cut into 8 identical pop tart pieces.  Using a fork, poke each piece a few times.  These vent holes will allow any excess steam to escape while the pop tarts bake.  Put each piece over the bottom with the filling on your tray.  Using the same fork, seal the edges with the tines of the fork.  This will make sure none of that delicious berry filling will ooze out!

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Lightly brush the tops of the pop tarts with your egg mixture.  Put your tray back in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to chill.  (Once I’ve made all my pop tarts I like to make mini ones with all the leftover pie dough scraps I have.  I made some cute tiny ones for my son!  🙂  If you’d like to get creative and play with the scraps, it’s a lot of fun!  But if not you can discard any remaining dough.

Time to bake! Yay!!

Preheat your oven to 350*F.  Once the 45 minutes of chilling is over, place your pop tarts in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes (depending on how hot your oven runs).  You’ll know they are done when the pie pockets are nice and golden brown.  Let them cool completely.

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To make the icing for the top, in a medium-size bowl, whisk together your milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  Drizzle the icing over each of the cooled pop tarts.  While the icing is still sticky, toss on your dazzling sprinkles.

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Allow the pop tarts to sit while the icing stiffens before removing them from your tray.  Once the icing has hardened, your homemade pop tarts are ready to be awed at and enjoyed! This recipe is a bit time consuming, but very simple.  Pop tarts are such a fun, delicious treat and your loved ones will fall head over heels for your homemade version!  I hope this recipe becomes a 4th of July tradition you’ll want to make every year!  Now, time for a homemade 4th of July Pop Tart while we watch these beautiful fireworks light up the night sky!  Happy 4th of July from my kitchen to yours!! 🙂

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4th of July Pop Tarts

Yields: 8 Pop Tarts

Prep Time: 2 Hours

Bake Time: 30 to 40 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Pop Tart Crust:

2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour (Plus more for Rolling out Your Dough)

1 teaspoon Granulated Sugar

14 Tablespoons Cold Salted Butter (Cut into Small Cubes)

6 Tablespoons Ice-Cold Water

2 Tablespoons Milk

1 Egg

For the Strawberry Filling:

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

1 Tablespoon Ice Cold Water

1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3/4 Cup Strawberry Jam

For the Icing:

2 Cups Powdered Sugar

1/4 Cup Milk

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Sprinkles for Decoration

To Make the 4th of July Pop Tarts:

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the all-purpose flour and granulated sugar.  With the mixer speed on low, slowly add your cold pieces of salted butter.  Continue mixing on low until your mixture has a crumb texture.  Next, add your ice-cold water a tablespoon at a time while mixing on low speed.  Mix your dough just until it starts to hold together.  Press your dough together, making sure there are no lumps of butter or flour.  Separate the dough into two equal sized balls and wrap them in plastic wrap.  Place the two balls of dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  While your pie dough chills, make the filling.  In a small sauce pot, place your cornstarch and ice-cold water.  Whisk them together until smooth.  Next, add your vanilla extract and strawberry jam.  On medium heat, bring your filling to a boil.  Turn the heat to low and continuously stir for 3 minutes while your filling simmers.  Once done, take your pot off the heat and let it cool.  Back to the pie dough! Take your dough balls out of the refrigerator and let them sit for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature.  On a clean counter top, dust a light layer of flour.  Roll your first dough ball into the shape of a rectangle, approximately 1/8″ in thickness.  Trim the edges of your rectangle so that you have a clean, even shape to work with.  Cut the pop tarts into 8 uniform rectangles.  Lay your pop tart pieces onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  In a small bowl, whisk together your egg and milk.  Using a pastry brush, brush a light layer of your egg mixture over each pop tart bottom.  Place about 1 spoonful of strawberry filling onto the center of each piece.  Re-flour your work surface if needed.  Roll out your second dough ball into a rectangle the same size and thickness as the first one.  Trim the edges of the rectangle and cut into 8 identical pop tart pieces.  Using a fork, poke each piece a few times to create vent holes.  Put each piece over the bottom with the filling on your tray.  Using the same fork, seal the edges with the tines of the fork.  Lightly brush the tops of the pop tarts with your egg mixture.  Put your tray back in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to chill.  Time to bake! Preheat your oven to 350*F.  Place your pop tarts in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the pie pockets are golden brown.  Let them cool completely.  To make the icing for the top, in a medium-size bowl, whisk together your milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth.  Drizzle the icing over each of the cooled pop tarts.  While the icing is still sticky, toss on your sprinkles.  Allow the pop tarts to sit while the icing stiffens before removing them from your tray.  Once the icing has hardened, your homemade pop tarts are ready to be enjoyed!

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These homemade pop tarts are DJ approved! P.S. That’s DJ! 🙂

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I love seeing these chubby, little hands holding a tiny pop tart! 🙂

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