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February 27, 2014

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Handmade Pop'Hearts': A Valentines Day Treat!

February 12, 2015

Looking for something sweet to bake for your sweetheart this Valentines Day? How about some delicious and homemade pop tarts? Or shall I say popHearts?


These popHearts will have you nostalgic for your childhood, however make you never look at those silver pouches the same way again. With fresh ingredients and hand mixed dough, these pop tarts are a far cry from the ones you grew up with.


One of my favorite mundane tasks of life is grocery shopping, especially with my boyfriend. What can I say, I love food. Anyway, a few weeks ago while scanning the shelves of our local grocer, and while I was still on a health cleanse, we came across one of my childhood favorite treats, pop tarts. And the thought came to me, what about making homemade pop tarts? Ones that are fresh, with only a handful of ingredients? Ones that couldn't last for months on end on the shelves of some grocery store because of all the chemicals that have been added to them? I immediately fell in love with the idea. So, for this Valentines Day I decided to make delicious homemade popHearts (heart shaped pop tarts) for me and my loved ones, in three different yummy flavors: apple cinnamon brown sugar, fresh strawberry, and chocolate raspberry.


And yum.... you should definitely give them a try!


Homemade PopHearts

Yield: 9-10 PopHearts 


The Pastry:

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the dry ingredients; the flour, salt and sugar, and whisk together throughly. Set aside. Cube the softened butter, cutting it into 1/2" cubed pieces, then add the butter into the dry ingredients, keeping the pieces as separate as possible.


Using clean dry hands, hand mix the butter into the flour, breaking the butter apart with your fingertips. Mix it throughly into the dry ingredients until the flour becomes little beads of dough. Add 1 tbsp of ice water to the mixture and continue to mix with your hand, incorporating the water throughly. Add another tbsp of ice water and repeat. Keep working the dough until it stops sticking to your fingers. Then, form it into a ball and remove it from the bowl. Setting the dough on a cutting board that has been floured with about 2 tbsp of flour. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, then return it to the bowl and cover with a clean towel, and set aside to rest for 20-30 minutes.


The Filling:

While the dough is resting, take a small mixing bowl and combined the apple filling ingredients with a spoon - cubed apples and spices. Set it aside. Next, in another bowl, mix together the strawberry filling ingredients until the strawberries are evenly coated in the sugar. For the chocolate raspberry filling, melt down the semisweet chocolate chips in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Then add the chopped raspberries and mix into the melted chocolate, incorporating them well. Then mix in the sugar, allowing it to dissolve into the mixture. Remove from heat and scoop into a small mixing bowl or dish. Lastly, cover each bowl with plastic wrap to keep the icing from hardening, and set aside.


Creating and filling the shells:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.


Then, using a piece of construction paper create a 6"x3.5" heart using a pen. Cut it out and set it aside. Take dough and place back on the floured cutting board and cut the ball in half. Set aside one half of the dough. Then, sprinkle the remaining dough with flour and roll it out onto a floured surface using a rolling pin, I used the clean countertop. Sprinkle more flour over the top as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. Roll it out until it's about an 1/8" thick.


Using the stencil and a pairing knife trace along the outside of the paper heart. Remove the scraps after there is no more room to create hearts in the dough. Gentle pick up the hearts and lightly sprinkle with flour on both sides, then place onto a nonstick cookie sheet. Ball up the scraps of dough left over and roll them out to create more hearts. You should be able to make 9-10 hearts using this recipe. Set aside, and re-flour the working surface.


Take the second half of the dough and repeat the process above to create the tops of the popHearts. Create 9-10 more hearts. After you are finished, use a rolling pin to lightly roll the hearts out side-to-side, then top-to-bottom, to make them slightly larger than the bottom shells. This will help the top shells to close over the filling.  



Next comes the fun part, filling the tarts!


Starting at the center of each heart, work your way outward, leaving about a 1/2" boarder around the edge of the tart shell. Fill all the hearts, then take the tops and line up the edges of the tops and bottom shells. Using your finger gently seal the edges of the shell, then using a fork go around the edges as well to finish the tarts off. Take the fork and pierce the tops of the shells so that steam can release during the baking process. Lastly, using a pastry brush to brush the tops of the tarts with the egg wash. Avoid allowing the wash to run onto the cookie sheet (this could cause sticking).  Place the cookie sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.


Icing the PopHearts:


While the tarts are baking prepare the cooling surface, place a cooling rack onto a clean cooking sheet, and set aside.


After the tarts are ready, take them out of the oven and allow them to cool for about 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheet before using a spatula to gently transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Using an offset spatula spread the apple and strawberry popHearts with vanilla icing, and the chocolate raspberry popHearts with chocolate icing.

Allow to dry, then enjoy! 


PopHearts in Focus









Stay tunes for more Valentines Day fun to come of MyArtisticBliss.com

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