Visiting our son Ryan, can be a bit challenging. The town he lives in is a college town and finding places to take him that he can handle are somewhat limited. For those who haven’t been reading my blog long, Ryan is our adult son who has autism. He is at the lower end of the spectrum, non-verbal, with a related seizure disorder. Our visits are a change in his routine and while he typically does well (thanks to staff reading social stories to him prior to our visits), we still have to make sure that we’re doing things his sensory system can handle.
When the weather is nice and warm, our visits typically include a trip to the park. It usually works well for both him and our girls. In the winter, a visit to the park just isn’t feasible, so last year my husband suggested that we include an over-night stay at a local hotel to our visits. This allows us to have a nice long visit with him, in a nice quiet environment. Okay, it can only be so quiet with my crew, so I should say in a less stimulating environment.
I really am getting to the Pop Tarts part of this post.
We typically stay at the same hotel for our visits, but there was no room at the inn for our last visit so we had to go to a hotel we had not stayed at before and won’t be staying at again. While we were getting ready to leave, my husband went to check out the free breakfast. The choices were really bad, except for the Pop Tarts he brought back for the girls. Not that Pop Tarts are necessarily a great choice, especially when you’re trying to avoid high fructose corn syrup, but at least our hungry girls would have a little something until we could check out and get them breakfast. It was also the first time they had ever had a Pop Tart and believe it or not, they liked them.
Pop Tarts are something that I just don’t buy. Not that I haven’t bought them, because I have. Several years ago I was buying them on a regular basis, but I hadn’t bought any since Lili came home, so it’s been at least 5 years since they’ve been in our house. Let’s face facts, Pop Tarts are tasty and convenient, but we just don’t want those ingredients in our bodies on a regular basis. But did I mention Pop Tarts are tasty, so having them from time to time would be nice, as long as they are being made in my kitchen with my ingredients. Today, that happened. The girls and I made our own Pop Tarts. They didn’t necessary look pretty, but they sure were yummy!!!!
We made cinnamon sugar, strawberry and blackberry Pop Tarts and as you can see, we made them in various shapes and sizes.
Like most things you try the first time, it was a learning experience. We learned to not over-fill and to make sure that the sides are well crimped. Otherwise you’ll end up with them coming apart and filling oozing out the sides. Of course my 5-year-old told me, “That’s why they call them Pop Tarts.” LOL!!!! In our case, they were certainly popping.
The crusts were nice and flaky, but the one thing that would make these even better is filling them with jam or preserves made from fruit in our garden. Until then, we will definitely continue to make our own Pop Tarts because they really are so much tastier than much better than those pretty ones that come in a box.
Here is the recipe I used:
Pop Tarts Weeks’ Style
1-1/2 c sifted flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 c shortening or 1/4 cup unsalted butter
6 T cold water
Combine flour and salt in bowl. Add shortening or butter and blend with fork, or pastry cutter until fairly coarse.
Add water, 1 T at a time. Gently mix dough after each addition until dough forms a soft ball. (If you prefer, you can prepare the dough in a food processor. Use the pulse button just until it starts to pull away from the sides. Be very careful not to overwork the dough.)
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a square/rectangle. Cut out long strips about 2 inches wide, and 3 inches long. Repeat till you run out of dough.
1 c powder sugar
1/4 c Milk
Place powdered sugar in bowl. Pour milk slowly and stir. You want the consistency to be like thick syrup.
Assemble: Take one pie crust rectangle, fill with a teaspoon of jam. Cover with another piece of pie crust. Crimp all four edges. Repeat until you run out of pie crust. Bake at 450F for about 7-8 minutes or until lightly brown.
Allow to cool slightly then drizzle with glaze. Add sprinkles or sparkling sugar for added decoration. Then enjoy!!!
Filling for Cinnamon Sugar:
5 T packed dark brown sugar
5 t granulated sugar
1 T all-purpose flour
3/4 t ground cinnamon
1 T Butter, melted
Mix all ingredients until well combined then divide evenly among the pie crust pieces. Place another pie crust piece on top and crimp sides.
For the glaze, add 1/2 t cinnamon to the glaze recipe above.