Thursday, February 9, 2012

Heart-Shaped Cherry-Nutella Pop Tarts

 Last fall, when I made the Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts, I started thinking of possibilities for other flavors.  I've got quite the list going, but this time I chose to go festive for Valentine's Day with cherry pie filling.  And in a fly by the seat of my pants decision, I decided to do half of them with a cherry pie-nutella filling.  Which turned out to be a very wise decision indeed.  While I really loved the cherry filling, the cherry-nutella filling was just over-the-top good. And cutting them into hearts just makes them so romantic, doesn't it?
I used the exact same recipe and method as the pumpkin pop tarts, but instead of cutting the dough into rectangles, I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter.  I re-rolled the scraps to get a few more Pop Tarts out of the batch, and I couldn't tell a difference in the quality of the pastry at all.

Since cherries aren't in season right now, I used frozen cherries for the filling.  I kept it super simple with a little sugar, lemon juice, and a splash of bourbon, then thickened the mixture with some cornstarch.

This was a really fun project, and I think kids would really get a kick out of making these for Valentine's Day. 

Cherry-Nutella Pop Tarts
pastry from these Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts, which are from Joy the Baker

For the Pastry:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbs granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbs milk
  • 1 large egg (for brushing the dough)
For the Filling:
  • 12-oz frozen cherries, thawed and drained
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • splash of Bourbon (optional)
  • 1 Tbs cornstarch mixed with 1 Tbs water
  • Nutella (optional)
For the Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-4 Tbs milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar and salt.  Add the cold butter and pulse in 1-second increments until the butter is the size of peas.  The mixture should also hold together when squeezed into a ball.

In a small bowl, beat the egg with the milk.  Add the mixture all at once to the dry ingredients and process to make sure that moisture is introduced to all of the flour mixture.  On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough  for a few turns until it really starts to come together.  Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes

While the dough is chilling, prepare the filling:

In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, lemon juice, and bourbon.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, and mix in the cornstarch mixture.  Cook until thickened, stirring often, 5-10 minutes.  Use a fork to mash the cherries.  Set aside until ready to use.

On a well floured work surface, press dough into a 3×5-inch rectangle, roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch thickness.  The dough should be slightly larger than 9×12-inches.  Trim dough with a pizza cutter, creating a perfect rectangle that is 9-inches tall and 12-inches long.  Using the pizza cutter, cut each side into thirds, creating 9 squares.  Place dough squares in the fridge while you roll out the second piece of dough in the same way. Alternatively, use a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the pastry.

Brush one set of 9 squares with beaten egg.  This will act as the glue for the top layer of dough.  Spoon about one to two teaspoons of nutella into the center of each piece of dough, and then top that with one tablespoon of pie filling.  If you aren't using the Nutella, just top the pastry with the one tablespoon of cherry filling.  Top with a second piece of dough and use a floured fork to crimp the sides closed.  Use the tines of the fork to create vent holes in each tart.

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Let tarts rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes while the oven preheats.

Remove tarts from the fridge and brush the tops with the egg wash.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until light golden brown on top.

While the tarts bake, whisk together ingredients for the glaze and set aside.

Let baked tarts rest on a cooling rack to cool completely, and then use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the Pop Tarts.  Best served within 2 days.


Joanne said...

Oh Josie these are so cute! But..I might not want to share with a valentine, or with anyone else!

Nicole, RD said...

I second Joanne's comment. I would have a hard time sharing! Hubby LOOOOVE Poptarts - we have some in the pantry now that wouldn't hold a CANDLE to these.

nicole {sweet peony} said...

ohhh these are adorable! i love how you made them heart-shaped! great flavor combo too :)

Anonymous said...

These look delicious! Homemade pop tarts, what could be better?

Angie @ Sweet Natured Treats said...

These sound amazing! Cherries, bourbon, and Nutella are three of my favorite things ever.

Shanon said...

I have yet to try making my own pop tarts...but this is a BRILLIANT variation! How cute!! I've been so scared to try making my own pastry dough....maybe now I can give it a go. These look too good not to try.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

I'm in love with this?!

Michelle said...

Love these! Is the pastry hard to do? You know I fear pastry.

Anonymous said...

Adorable!! And they looks so flaky - - perfect for Tuesday's breakfast :)

Jen said...

My kids would absolutely LOVE IT if I made these! I'm no good at that flaky-pastry-type stuff, though, so I might need a little practice. Might be worth it, for a fun after school snack!

Jessica said...

These are so cute! What a great idea to use a heart shaped cookie cutter.

Annie said...

I'm just now getting around to seeing these. They are adorable! I'm also glad that the pastry is not actually just pie dough, since that would make them hand pies. But you already know that :)

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