Pop-Tarts. A sweet convenience that can be addicting. Especially the strawberry ones. I ate so many during the college days that I never bought them again. Fast forward to now, and I seldom buy packaged or baked goods. I make them at home where I am able to control the quality and quantity of ingredients used. I am also able to make them in bulk, offering healthier food choices that are readily available.
Over the weekend, I made the most delicious Homemade “Toaster Tarts” using whole wheat flour (I milled it myself) and cream cheese filling… sans icing and sprinkles. Oh my goodness, they were SO good! They were very easy to make, much like turnovers. The only problem that I ran into was that the pastry dough is tricky to work with. It softens pretty quickly and becomes sticky, so you have to work quickly or keep tossing it in the freezer to keep it hard. Alternatively, you can pick up some pie dough at Walmart or your favorite grocer. Other than that, they’re a cinch. The flavor possibilities with these are endless and they freeze up nicely to be enjoyed at breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Let’s get started!
- 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter, cut into pats
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup water
- In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together. Work the butter in with your hands until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. Small pieces of butter will still be visible. Mix in the egg and milk until it reaches the consistency of a pastry.
- Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a ball. Place dough in freezer for about 15 minutes.
- Beat cream cheese until creamy. Gradually add sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Set aside.
- Remove dough from the freezer and allow it to soften and become workable. Place one ball of pastry dough on a lightly floured surface. I suggest a cookie sheet in case you need to place it back in the freezer. Roll dough into a rectangle to be trimmed to 9" x 12". Using a 9" x 13" pan as a guide, trim off the edges.
- Roll the second ball of pastry dough the same as the first. Gently cut the dough in thirds. You should have nine 3" x 4" rectangles per pastry.
- Brush water over the entire surface of the pastry dough. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of nine pastry rectangles. Place the second set of pastry dough rectangles on top of the first. Seal each pocket of jam, pressing firmly around the sides of dough. Press the tines of a fork all around the edge of each rectangle to seal and make pretty.
- Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. I suggest using a spatula. Poke the top of each tart a few times with a fork so steam can escape.
- Bake tarts at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool on the pan.
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