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The Season of the Pop-Tart

By evan barbour, editorial assistant

August 19th, 2010

I'll be the first to admit it; I ate my fair share of Pop-Tarts as a child. Despite my love for breakfast today, it was nearly impossible to get me to eat more than dry cereal in the morning when I was younger. The only breakfast capable of rousing my latent, stubborn appetite were blueberry-frosted Pop-Tarts. Toaster Strudel simply wouldn't do; I craved that cardboard crust, crunchy glaze and goopy, artificially-flavored glucose filling. Moreover, my Pop-Tarts were never toasted (I ate far too fast to worry about burning myself with molten filling and brittle, messy crust). How un-gourmet was that? Though my mother was a stickler for real, wholesome food (in my 22 years of life, I've never touched a Lunchable), she turned a blind eye to a few foods - namely Oreos, Pop-Tarts, Goldfish and Potato Chips - figuring we'd get tired of them ourselves if she had them around without much policing. For the most part, her method worked; my sister and I never had a weird relationship with snack foods as a result, but I still recall my Pop-Tart breakfasts fondly. That is, until I recently ate one again for the first time in a few years (Brown Sugar-Cinnamon flavored), and like most childhood foodloves, it fell from its pedestal of deliciousness and left me underwhelmed.

Obviously, I'm not alone in the revelation that Pop-Tarts, though whimsical and exciting, aren't deliciousy revelatory at all if you're over the age of 18. However, there's a scrumptious, almost mythical quality to them; maybe that's why Pop Tarts world just opened in Times Square this week. In addition, it seems that food bloggers everywhere have been working to recreate the childhood breakfast pastry throughout this past Spring and Summer, and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading about it. In fact, I've got some peaches in the kitchen that are begging to be used before the summer fades; perhaps it's long past time for me to create a grown-up version of my former favorite morning bite, when "breakfast," to me, was a naughty word.

Check out these bloggers' posts for some inspiration:

-Purple Foodie and Feisty Foodie make Nutella Pop-Tarts.

-Brown-Eyed Baker prefers strawberry.

-Big Red Kitchen makes a quick version with lavash bread.

-Pink Apron goes mini.

-Duo Dishes takes tarts to a whole new level with a strawberry-wine filling.

-Salad in a Jar somewhat healthifies the brown sugar-cinnamon classic with oats and white whole wheat flour.

-Panini Happy makes them on a panini press.

-And, finally, Lisa is Cooking recreated my personal favorite (sans icing), the blueberry-filled.

Maybe my Pop-Tart obsession is one of the reasons why I loved the Apricot-Almond Slab Pie so much at our tastings, months before August/September hit the newsstands. If you're as fond of them as I am, I recommend that you make it.

posted in: Blogs, baking, evan barbour, breakfast, Pop-Tarts
Comments (9)

NicoleCelli writes: Look what I found!:

If I were to ever recreate pop tarts, it would be these. Posted: 10:47 am on October 22nd

DMickelsen writes: Have you seen the latest? Two crazy guys on are making pop tart BLTs!
Posted: 3:17 pm on September 17th

Kaykay writes: Last Christmas I made Pop-Tarts as gifts for my family. The recipe I used came from "The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion Baking Cookbook". They were delicious and a big hit with grown-ups and kids alike. One filling I used was from another recipe they had: Fig Newtons-which are even better than store bought. I will have to use Nutella next time. My family would love it. Thanks for the idea! Posted: 7:30 pm on September 6th

ebarbour writes: @jma426 that's so wonderful. i bet your baked goods are a major draw at your farmer's market. i'd buy 'em, with my soft spot for desserts that evoke memories!

oh, and i'd say they're healthier BECAUSE they have butter and sugar. that's more than what those boxed frankenfood manufacturers can say about their versions ;)
Posted: 9:54 pm on August 31st

jma426 writes: I also love recreating childhood favorites and we sell them at a local farmer's market. I make pop-tarts with homemade jams in them and I change the jam each week. They are a big hit and people buy multiples of them. We also make homemade twinkies, ding-dongs, hostess cupcakes and oreos. The community goes mad for them and if we do not show up one week we have hell to pay the next. So much fun to recreate these, and sooo much healthier...well if you don't count the butter and such : ) Posted: 6:26 pm on August 31st

lisaiscooking writes: A peach pop-tart sounds fantastic. And, thanks for the mention! Posted: 8:26 am on August 21st

motheresa writes: homemade popt-arts? yummm!!!! Posted: 7:42 pm on August 20th

ebarbour writes: Gourmet twinkies?! Yum. I'm sure the pan was worth it. Imagine the twinkie flavor permutations made possible by that pan!

Thanks for the inspiration :) Peaches are my favorite fruit...I'm trying to enjoy them every way possible before the end of summer. I think Pop-Tarts, hand pies or peach pockets might be in order this weekend...I'll report back! Posted: 9:36 am on August 20th

BasementBaker writes: I love recreating childhood favorites - I've made gourmet twinkies before with butter sponge cake and pastry cream. Had to buy a twinkie pan, though.

The nutella tarts look amazing! Evan - I have tons of peaches that I just picked, sliced and froze. Made some peach pockets last weekend and they were great. Let me know what you decide to make! Posted: 11:38 am on August 19th

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