Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Oatmeal Pop-Tarts

Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Oatmeal Pop-Tarts


1/2 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant or old-fashioned)
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (milder and better for pastry than regular whole wheat)
1 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup cold or frozen shortening (if you are averse to shortening, butter may be substituted. Pop-tarts should be frozen before baking, however.)
2 tablespoons cold butter (chopped)
1 egg
1/3 cup buttermilk or plain fat-free yogurt

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 generous tablespoon raisins (optional)

First: Add all ingredients for filling to food processor bowl and process for 1 minute or until raisins are chopped fairly small. Pour into small bowl and set aside.

Second: Combine oatmeal and flours in bowl of food processor and process for 15-20 seconds. Add shortening and butter and pulse 12-15 times. Mixture should be coarse. Don’t go too far with this. You should have small but visible fat lumps throughout. In another small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Pour over flour mixture and pulse 5-7 times. Remove lid and blade.  Use hands or spatula to press dough together.  All crumbs should come together into a ball.

Third: Divide dough in half and place each in a separate gallon-size zippered plastic bag.   Place dough ball at the center of the bag. Begin to roll out with dough remaining in plastic bag. Roll dough evenly to all four corners. Open bag and re-close to remove air or wrinkles. Flip bag and roll on reverse side to help with wrinkles. Try to roll it as evenly as possible. Holding the bag up to a window or light will show you where the dough may be too thin or thick.  Place flat dough in freezer. Repeat process with second dough ball.

Fourth: When  frozen hard, remove one bag of dough from freezer. Let warm 2 minutes , + or -. Dough should not be so hard it breaks, but also not soft. Use kitchen shears to trim all 4 edges of zippered bag.  Use pizza cutter or knife to  lightly mark cutting lines for 12 equal rectangular pieces. Without removing from bag, cut apart with kitchen shears. Do in this order:
# Cut bag in half.
# Cut each of those halves in half length-wise so you now have 4 long strips.
# Cut each of the 4 long strips into 3 equal lengths.

Place squares in freezer and repeat Step 4 with second bag. Place those squares back in the freezer for a few minutes until completely hard.

Fifth: When squares are frozen hard, take from freezer. Remove plastic from 12 squares and divide between 2 cookie sheets that have been covered with parchment paper. Place spoonful of filling in the middle of each square. Remove plastic from remaining 12 squares. and place one on top of each square with filling. If at any point, dough becomes unmanageable, return it to the freezer until hard.  Seal squares with a fork.

At this point you can bake them or freeze them.  If freezing, place tarts in the freezer on a cookie sheet unwrapped until frozen hard.  Cut paper around each pop tart and place in plastic container or bag with paper still attached. When ready to bake, place pop-tart with attached parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake immediately.

Sixth: Bake in oven preheated to 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. If you plan to toast later, bake only until very lightly browned. Otherwise, bake until golden brown. Frost if desired when cooled.

Mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon butter or margarine and 1 tablespoon coffee (for brown color, but does not really taste like coffee) or milk. Do not try to toast frosted pop-tarts in a vertical toaster. Frosting will melt and make a mess. Kinda makes you wonder what they put in commercial pop-tarts to keep them from melting.

Filling Variations: Try thick jelly or preserves–but expect it to leak a bit during baking. Check out the picture below for an awesome filling using a slice of cold cream cheese and a spoonful of blueberry preserves or lemon curd. You might call them “Cheesecake Pop-Tarts.”

Makes 12 Pop-Tarts

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