by Caroline

The cooking division of labor in our household, as I have mentioned before, is basically Tony: stove; Caroline: oven. Or to put it another way, Tony: dinner; Caroline: dessert. It’s never more obvious than at our New Year’s Day party, for which I produce a line-up of cookies, muffins, coffee cakes and the like:

While this year, for example, Tony made a massaman curry, several batches of veggie spring rolls, a green papaya salad, plus a variety of fabulous chutneys and dipping sauces. He did suggest one thing for me to make, though: home made pop tarts. And I couldn’t resist. I found a recipe from Bon Appetit and it’s a great party snack since you prep them in advance and stick them into the freezer until you want them. Eli helped me with the assembly (and took to heart my caution to keep his warm hands off the pastry!):

They were gone so fast I couldn’t take a picture, but you know what a pop tart looks like. These are too good not to make again.

Here’s the recipe, with my notes in brackets:

* 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour plus additional for shaping and rolling
* 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
* 4 tablespoons ice water
* 12 tablespoons strawberry preserves

* Powdered sugar and fresh strawberries, for garnish [I skipped this step, given the dearth of fresh berries in January]


Whisk 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, coarse salt, and sugar in large bowl. Add butter. Using fingertips or back of fork, blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water by tablespoonfuls, tossing until moist clumps form. [You can do all this in the food processor: whisk together the dry ingredients, then add the chunks of butter and pulse until the mixture is coarse and grainy. Then add the water by spoonfuls and pulse until the dough starts to form clumps.] Gather dough into ball. Divide in half; shape each half into disk [or, shape into a rectangle to make your life easier when you roll it out]. Wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour.

Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on floured surface to about 13×11 inches. Trim to 12×10-inch rectangle, then cut into eight 5×3-inch rectangles.

Arrange 4 rectangles, spaced apart, on each sheet. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons preserves in row down center of each rectangle. Top preserves with second dough rectangle. Using fingertips, gently press all edges of each tart to seal; press all edges with tines of fork to double-seal. Using toothpick, poke a few holes in center of top dough rectangle. Cover; freeze tarts on sheets at least 2 hours and up to 1 week.

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake frozen tarts uncovered until golden, reversing sheets after 15 minutes, 25 to 30 minutes total (some preserves may leak out). Immediately transfer tarts to rack. Sift powdered sugar lightly over. Serve warm or at room temperature [if they last that long] with fresh berries [in season].