Strawberry Heart Pop Tarts: in the Kitchen with Kiddo
For the last few weeks, kiddo has been asking for strawberry pop tarts. It seems that the nutella pop tarts we made a few weeks ago were “too rich” for her. (No, I don’t know whose child she is.) So, when one of the FB mom groups I’m in decided to that we should all make pop tarts with our kids, it was time for these strawberry heart pop tarts.
This is my own (adapted) tart dough recipe with homemade strawberry jam. If you have the time, imo, it’s always better to make your own, whether it’s jam or tomato sauce or salad dressing. That way, you know what’s in it, and you can control the sugar, etc.
But there are some times I always buy pre-made. Last week I made spanikopita for dinner, and there was no way I was going to make my phyllo dough. There is no shame in taking shortcuts that get something delicious to your plate a little bit quicker when your day is hectic.
But when working with kids, it’s always good to make the space. Cooking and baking with my kiddo always takes twice as much time as it should. Precious learning and together time. So I let go of time and any rules about decorating I might have. I should learn to put together colors like she does!
Frequently asked questions
FAQs about strawberry heart pop tarts
Of course. There’s no limit to what you can make. However, the downside of small shapes is that you can only put a small amount of filling in them, so you get a higher ratio of pastry to filling. Actually, that may not be a downside for you.
Store any extra in the fridge for a week or two. If you want to make more and store it for longer, check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation to make sure you do this safely.
Absolutely. You might need to be careful with them in the toaster if the pop tarts are small.
FAQs about having fun with kids in the kitchen
- The most important thing about spending time in the kitchen with kids is taking the time. Put away the phone, turn off the ringer, and let yourself have fun.
- How should a kid start to work with knives or the cooktop? Carefully. We bought kiddo a plastic knife set, but the knives weren’t sharp enough to cut well. A good lesson for everyone – dull knives are actually more dangerous than sharp ones! So kiddo uses our regular kitchen knives, and we teach her kitchen safety (e.g. always cut away from yourself) and watch her carefully (see above re: putting away the phone).
- How do I get my kiddo excited about being in the kitchen? Let your kids pick out recipes to make. They will be more invested if it’s their thing.
Strawberry heart pop tarts
Pop tart dough (this recipe uses 1/2 batch. Freeze the other half for future use)
- 2 cups (250g) unbleached all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (228g/8oz) unsalted butter, cold
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 egg
Strawberry jam filling
- ½ lb strawberries, stemmed and hulled
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
Strawberry jam filling
- Make the jam. In a small pot, combine strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, and a splash of water over low heat until the strawberries are falling apart and the mixture has thickened. Feel free to smash the berries with a potato masher.
- If you want to remove the seeds, put the jam through a fine sieve. Let cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Add the butter and mix on low speed 1-2 minutes until the pieces are the size of peas.
- Crack the egg into the measuring cup used to measure the milk, and whisk to combine. Add this to the ixer bowl and mix on low until the dough just starts to come together.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead only until the dough comes togehter. Divide into two equal amounts, flatten into disks, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate one for 1-2 hours prior to use. The other disk can be placed in a freezer bag with the air squeezed out and stored in the freezer for up to 3-6 months.
Pop tart construction
- When ready to roll and fill the pop tarts, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured countertop to about 1/4 inch thick and use a cookie cutter to cut out hearts or other shapes and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
- Depending on the size of your cookie cutter, spoon a teaspoon or two of jam into the center of one heart.
- Dip your finger into a bowl of cold water and gently wet the edges of the heart.
- Cover with a second heart cut-out, and use a fork or your finger to seal the edges well. Repeat with the remaining cut-outs.
- If your house is warm and the dough has gotten soft, place the baking sheet in the freezer for 15-30 minutes prior to baking.
- Bake for 40 minutes, until the tops of the pop tarts have turned a golden brown. You may need to rotate your baking sheet halfway through.
- Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely prior to glazing, if desired.
If you make these strawberry heart pop tarts, please comment and/or share a pic!
Sign up for the uglyducklingbakery newsletter!