Recipe Review: Homemade Pop-Tarts via Smitten Kitchen

Recipe Review | Prepared, written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Original recipe from Smitten KitchenOverall Rating: 3

This. will. impress. your. friends.  Smitten Kitchen provides a great idea on how to upgrade a rather bland, but familiar treat from childhood (…or last week for those of us still in college). Pop-Tarts are just simply a stuffed pastry when you get down to it, so making them taste better than cardboard is an easy task even for the extreme amateur.

Overall Ease: 3

I’m not sure you’ll nail it as envisioned on your first try. There are no individually difficult ingredients or techniques per say, just a few touch-and-go moments you’ll likely nail the second time through. These include but are not necessarily limited to: feeling out your Pop-Tart molding skills, developing a go-to filling, using enough filling, etc.

Common Ingredients/Tools Needed: 5

This depends largely on what kind of filling you hope to make. The basis for the Pop-Tarts is made of all basic items – flour, butter, egg, sugar, salt and milk. From there you can simply use some chocolate chips and peanut butter, fluff, fresh fruit or anything your mind can come up with. You likely won’t need a grocery store trip for these.

Idiot-Proof Flavor: 4

I gave this recipe’s idiot-proofing a run for its money. I used all wheat flour (in the future, make it a 1/3 ratio of wheat), didn’t have a surface wide enough for using a roller on my dough (used a travel coffee mug instead)  and in general did not have symmetrical size for my pre-baking squares whatsoever.  Despite all that, they still looked appealing and tasted fine (albeit a bit grainy).  The biggest changes I’d make would be to reconsider my wheat flour proportions and to take the mindset that you can’t overfill a Pop-Tart (enjoyed a lot of empty grain because I went stringy on the filling).

Average all those considerations together and mathematically it’s a “4.” Realistically it’s a must-try recipe (I’ll be doing them again soon).


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