I love Valentine’s Day. As a young (single) adult I hated it (as do most young single women, I suppose). Once I met (and married) my husband I loved Valentine’s Day because we’d go out to dinner, have a romantic evening, and I’d get flowers. Once my daughter got to be a few years, old Valentine’s Day changed. It somehow became a kid holiday. Parents, do you know what I mean? Suddenly I was making heart-shaped everything: pancakes, sandwiches, muffins. Leaving out a Valentine surprise for her became as exciting as Santa Claus.
Each year I try to find something new and different to make for her to eat (heart-shaped, of course). A long time ago I came across a recipe for homemade pop tarts from Smitten Kitchen. They sounded awesome and as soon as I started thinking about what can (easily) be made into a heart-shaped goody, I thought of them. What’s great is that you can do any flavor you want and you control the ingredients and the size.
Because we aren’t huge “fruit in food” people around my house, I decided to make cinnamon brown sugar “heart tarts”. The filling really does taste like the ones you buy in the store! I used a store-bought pie crust (gasp!) because I had several boxes in the freezer and little time to make dough. Next time I will for sure make the dough from scratch (from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe).
In honor of National Nutella Day last week (yes, really) I bought a huge jar at Target. Because, um,…
I filled some of my tarts with it. Ate some from the spoon. Managed to finish baking with (most) of the jar intact.
You can freeze these pop tarts to save for later. And, if you have leftovers or want to bake the day before you need them, pop them in the toaster to warm. My daughter will for sure be getting these on Valentine’s Day morning. (And so will I!)
Use whatever shape you want to personalize your treat!
1 box refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)
For cinnamon brown sugar filling:
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 teaspoons flour
For Nutella filling, you will need about 1 teaspoon per pop tart, depending on size. Buy yourself a jar, it’s awesome!!
Unroll your pie crusts and cut out desired shapes. I used hearts that were about 3 ½ inches. Be sure to have an even amount (one for the top, one for the bottom). Re-roll any scraps if needed.
Mix together your filling ingredients in a small bowl.
Beat your egg in another small bowl. Lay out half of your crust cut-outs. Brush the entire surface lightly with the beaten egg. Place about 1 teaspoon (depending on the size of your tart) of filling in the center of the bottom crust. Leave an small edge around the sides for sealing. Place the top crust over the filling and press to seal. Use a fork to pinch closed. Poke a few fork holes in the top to allow steam to escape.
Let refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350°.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake your pop tarts about 15-20 minutes, depending on size. Let cool and enjoy.
To store for later, place pop tarts in a single layer on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet and freeze until solid. Then transfer to a freezer safe container until ready to use. Defrost and bake according to above directions.
Toast already baked pop tarts to reheat (watch that they don’t burn).