homemade red velvet poptarts with cream cheese filling

I have this thing I call my life notebook. You know, it’s a notebook stuffed full of life goals, to-do lists, blog posts, places to visit, books I’ve read, and grocery lists from months ago. And sometimes I leave myself little hints in the margins, like “move this to a google doc” (but it feels so much better to see my own handwriting!) and other suggestions, like “make something with clay.”

Well, the idea for these poptarts came from those margins. I don’t remember even writing this note to myself, but as I scanned the past pages of my notebook, I saw it in the interior-left top corner, a message from a brilliant, or maybe just hungry, lady:

“Make: Red Velvet Poptarts.”

Red-Velvet-Poptarts-Final-(1-of-5)

What a great Valentine’s day post! As I decided to commit to this endeavor and scanned the internet for a decent recipe, I became increasingly nervous. I couldn’t find one. Are they impossible to make? Kellog did it (gross). Eventually, I came to the decision that I’d have to wing it.

Homemade Red Velvet Poptarts

So here it is, a recipe that I developed, almost entirely from scratch.

If you’re going to make these for a Valentine’s Day surprise, give yourself some time. There’s a lot  involved. You can make these a day ahead of time and simply re-heat them in the oven at 300 degrees for a few minutes.

Homemade Red Velvet Poptarts

homemade red velvet poptarts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Red Velvet poptarts with cream cheese filling from scratch!
Author:
Recipe type: breakfast
Yields: 12 pastries
Ingredients
For the pastry
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ c sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks of cold butter, cubed and cold
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • ½ tsp red food dye (note: I used icing gels, you may need to use more food dye if you're using regular dye)
For the filling
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
Egg Wash
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp water
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and red food coloring, until blended.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, and salt until well combined.
  3. Using a pastry blender push in the chunks of cold butter. If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use your hands and a fork. Cut in the butter until there are no large pieces and your flour mixture resembles coarse, damp sand.
  4. Fold in the wet ingredients until everything is well combined.
  5. Shape the dough into two or four small balls. Wrap them in cling wrap and place them in the fridge for an hour to rest.
  6. While the dough is in the fridge, using an electric mixer, whip together all of the ingredients for the filling until it’s smooth. Store in the fridge until it’s ready to use.
  7. After you’ve let the dough rest, flour a surface to begin rolling it out. Using a floured rolling pin, roll your dough into a flat, thin piece.
  8. Using a cookie cutter or a knife, cut the dough into symmetrical rectangular pieces.
  9. Decide which piece will be the top of your pastry and poke a few holes in it using a fork.
  10. Place each bottom layer on a silpat or parchment paper and add some filling in the middle of the square, being careful not to over-fill.
  11. Whisk together an egg and 2 Tbsp of water to create an egg wash.
  12. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on the edges of the bottom piece of dough.
  13. Place the top piece of dough over the bottom piece. Gently press the edges of the pastry together using your fingers, then go back around and press the edges using a lightly floured fork.
  14. Once your pastries are all set, place them in the oven and bake at 375 for 22-25 minutes.

 

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and red food coloring, until blended. Note: I used red icing gel, which is highly pigmented. If you’re using regular food coloring (which is totally fine) you may need to increase the amount of dye you use.

In a large bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, and salt until well combined.

Homemade Red Velvet Poptarts

Using a pastry blender push in the chunks of cold butter. If you don’t have a pastry blender, you can use your hands and a fork. Cut in the butter until there are no large pieces and your flour mixture resembles coarse, damp sand.

Homemade Red Velvet Poptarts

Fold in the wet ingredients until everything is well combined.

Shape the dough into two or four small balls. I found it easier to roll out four small ones. Wrap them in cling wrap and place them in the fridge for an hour to rest and firm up. I didn’t have any Saran wrap, so I just used Ziplocks.

While the dough is in the fridge, using an electric mixer, whip together all of the ingredients for the filling until it’s smooth. Store in the fridge until it’s ready to use.

After you’ve let your dough rest, flour a surface to begin rolling it out. You’ll want to get this as thin as possible without risking ripping the dough. The tarts that came out thicker were a little too heavy on the crust.

If at any time your dough gets too sticky, just pop it back in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up. Using a floured rolling pin, roll your dough into a flat, thin piece.

Then cut your rectangles for the tarts.

Ok, truth. This whole process will be a lot easier if you have a square shaped cookie cutter, which I didn’t. I spent some time trying to make perfect shaped rectangles and well, you see what I came up with. Let’s just go with it. Plus, my geometry skills needed a workout anyway.

So I used a pizza cutter and a knife and did an ok job at making rectangles and some squares  that were originally meant to be rectangles. Besides, I think the imperfect shapes makes homemade poptarts way more charming.

Once you’ve cut your rectangles, decide which one will be the top and which one will be the bottom of each pastry. For the top layer, use a fork and poke a few holes through the dough to make a vent.

Place each bottom layer on a silpat or parchment paper and add some filling in the middle of the square. I used anywhere from ½ Tbsp to 1 ¼ Tbsp of filling, depending on the size of my pastries. Be sure to avoid over-filling.

Whisk together an egg and 2 Tbsp of water to create an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on the edges of the bottom piece of dough. This will create a sealant for the pastry. See the picture below for proof that I’m a messy baker.

Place the top piece of dough over the bottom piece. (Hint: If you have two uneven sizes, try to put the larger size on top.) Gently press the edges of the pastry together using your fingers, then go back around and press the edges using a lightly floured fork.

Once your pastries are all set, place them in the oven and bake at 375 for 22-25 minutes.

You could and should double the filling mixture to create a frosting on the top of these. It’s delicious.

parmesan-baked edamame

Let’s be honest, I really let my sweet tooth get out of hand this holiday and now I’m trying to dial it back a tad. And since it’s the beginning of the year and I know a lot of people (including myself) are trying to stick to their New Year’s goals of cutting back on the sweets, it didn’t seem right to tempt everyone with a blog post of baked goods covered in frosting or peanut butter. Also, can I even still write about New Years? It’s February.

Baked Parmesan Edamame

For this recipe, I grabbed some inspiration from my friend, who commented on one of my MyFitnessPal statuses about her favorite high-protein, low carb snack. She suggested edamame and I picked some up on my last shopping trip.

If you’ve never had edamame, it’s a soybean that you usually steam in the pod. You can eat it by salting them in the shell and sucking them out of the pod. It’s really good and crunchy and satisfying when you want to reach for a potato chip. It doesn’t have an overwhelming bean or pea flavor either.

I normally eat edamame like the method I described above, but this time I decided to venture out and am I glad I did.

I told my boyfriend that these baked parmesan edamame are like Cheeze-Its, but with protein. They’re certainly as addictive.

These are best eaten warm and on the same day, or else they’ll get soggy. But they’re so good that you won’t have any problems with that. We devoured these.

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Generously coat your edamame beans with the olive oil.

Baked Parmesan Edamame

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, parmesan, salt, and pepper until well combined.

I recommend using a fresh grated parmesan (one you’ll find in the refrigerated aisle), instead of the green tubes of parm you find by the pasta. I used to think I hated parmesan because my only exposure to it was that stuff. It’s packed full of preservatives and tastes incredibly bland. Do yourself a favor and either grate your own or buy it freshly grated. It changes everything.

Baked Parmesan Edamame

Using about a handful at a time, place your oil covered beans into the flour mixture and generously coat them.

Baked Parmesan EdamameBaked Parmesan Edamame

Place your battered beans on a silpat or a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Baked Parmesan Edamame

Bake at 400° F for 30 minutes. Be sure to turn them half-way through to cook them on both sides.

Baked Parmesan Edamame

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did. I’ve seen variations where people have added wasabi, and I was tempted to add sriracha – so let me know if you do!

parmesan-baked edamame
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Try this high-protein snack.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Yields: 2 cups
Ingredients
  • 9 oz. (or 2 cups) of shelled edamame, cooked, and thawed, if frozen
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • ¼ cup of flour
  • ½ cup of grated parmesan
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 ° F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, parmesan, salt, and pepper until well combined.
  3. Generously coat your edamame beans with the olive oil
  4. Using about a handful at a time, place your oil covered beans into the flour mixture and generously coat them.
  5. Place your battered beans on a silpat or a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 400° F for 30 minutes, turning halfway through..

 

the weekender 2/1/2015

AntiValentinesDayCandyHeartMagnets_07

Happy February everyone! And perhaps, most importantly, happy Super Bowl Sunday. I’m not into sports, so I won’t be watching the Bowl, unless you mean the Puppy Bowl, which is my favorite. I’ll probably use this time to go to the places in NYC that are normally too crowded to bother (I’m looking at you Trader Joe’s).

These Anti-Valentine’s Day hearts made me laugh. My favorite is “meh.”

Reasons why you’re late.

This hand-painted apron would make a sweet, personalized gift.

I’m so glad copper is in right now. I can never get enough. How elegant is this DIY copper candle? It looks expensive.

I really need to find a reason to use this whale fabric. Suggestions?

These West Coast embroidery kits are stunning. I wish they had some for the East Coast.

Would you try a breakfast soup?

Also for breakfast, these citrus ricotta crepes are so cheery they’d brighten up any winter morning.