Post your links here for these surely better than store bought pop tarts…
We’re in the home stretch for Baked Occasions… Next up is the gentlemen bakers’ riff on a nostalgic treat. Posting date is August 13!
- 1 cup (130 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (130 g) cake flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 ounces (2 sticks/225 g) frozen unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) cubes
- 3⁄4 cup (195 g) creamy peanut butter
- 4 ounces (115 g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄2 to 2 cups (480 to 640g) strawberry jam or preserves
- 2 to 2 1⁄2 cups (225 to 280 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (25 g) unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 ml) whole milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 ounces (1⁄2 stick/55 g) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
- White, yellow, and orange sprinkles (optional)
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt.
- In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the egg, milk, cream, and vanilla until combined. Set aside.
- Remove the mixing bowl from the standing mixer and scatter the frozen butter over the dry mixture. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry mix until the mixture is pebbly and the butter chunks are lentil size.
- Place the mixing bowl back on the mixer, add the wet ingredients, and beat on the lowest or second-lowest speed until the mixture comes together and a dough starts to form. Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and bring it fully together with your hands, kneading ever so gently. Do not overwork this dough. Form into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Place the peanut butter and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until it just begins to bubble around the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat and immediately pour it over the peanut butter and chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute. Starting in the center of the bowl and working your way out to the edges, whisk the mixture by hand until it is completely smooth. Whisk in the vanilla until just combined. Set aside to cool to room temperature. The mixture will thicken as it sets.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it in half. Rewrap half of the dough and return that portion to the refrigerator. Place the other half on a flour-dusted work surface and dust a rolling pin with our as well. Roll out the dough (it will be sticky) into a rectangle approximately 10 by 13 inches (25 by 33 cm), about 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 inch (3 to 6 mm) thick. (If the dough becomes too sticky, return it to the refrigerator to chill.) Cut the dough into 3-by-4-inch (7.5-by-10-cm) rectangles. If you have scraps, you should be able to reroll them at least once and cut more rectangles. Place the rectangles on one of the prepared pans and refrigerate them. Roll out and cut up the second half of the dough, place the rectangles on the second prepared pan, and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. You should end up with approximately 20 rectangles in total, the same amount on each sheet and an even number altogether.
- Place the peanut butter filling in a large zip-tight plastic bag. If it does not feel thick enough to pipe just yet, pop the filling in the refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes to help it set quickly. Snip a small corner of the bag to create a do-it-yourself pastry bag and set aside. Do the same with another plastic bag and the jam.
- Remove the first pan of chilled dough. Pipe the peanut butter filling in a Z shape over the top of the rectangles, making sure to leave a 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) space along the perimeter. Pipe the jam in an inverse Z shape over the peanut butter lling, again making sure to leave a 1⁄2-inch (12-mm) space along the perimeter. Using a pastry brush, brush water along the exposed 1⁄2-inch (12 mm) perimeter of the dough.
- Remove the second pan of dough from the refrigerator. Carefully place each of these chilled rectangles directly on top of the filling on the first pan of rectangles, lining up the edges of the rectangles. Seal the pop tarts by pressing the dough together along all four edges. Dip the tines of a fork in flour and use the tines to crimp the sealed border of the dough. Using the same fork, prick the surface of each pop tart three or four times to create vents. Place the pan back in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Bake the pop tarts, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the tops of the tarts appear dry to the touch, 12 to 18 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix 2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar with the cocoa powder until uniform in color. Add 1⁄4 cup of the milk and the vanilla and keep mixing until the frosting starts to come together; the texture should be thick and almost sandy. Add the cubed butter all at once and beat on medium-high speed until the frosting looks spreadable. If the frosting is too thin, add a little more sugar; if it is too thick, add a little more milk.
- Use an offset spatula to frost each cooled pop tart. Top with a pinch of white, yellow, and orange sprinkles, if you like. Allow to set for 15 minutes, then serve immediately.
Our bakers give these peanut butter blossoms their stamp of approval — and we have some rogue meringues!
What did you think of these classic cookies? Leave your links here!
We’re still making holiday cookies in July… Next up: Peanut Butter Blossoms. Posting date is July 30!
- 36 to 48 Hershey’s Kisses
- 1 1⁄2 cups (170 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 cup (50 g) vegetable shortening, cool but not cold
- 2 ounces (1⁄2 stick/55 g) unsalted butter, cool but not cold
- 3⁄4 cup (195 g) creamy natural peanut butter
- 1⁄3 cup (65 g) granulated sugar
- 1⁄3 cup (75 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄3 cup (80 g) demerara sugar
- Remove the wrappers from all 48 Hershey’s Kisses and place in a bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the shortening and butter on medium-high speed until smooth and combined. Add the peanut butter and beat again on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and add the granulated and brown sugars. Continue beating until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla, and beat until completely blended, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add half of the our mixture. Beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds, stop the mixer, and add the remaining flour mixture. Continue beating until completely blended, about 1 more minute.
- If the dough feels a little wet, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate to firm it up, about 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Otherwise, move directly on to the next step.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the demerara sugar in a small shallow bowl.
- Scoop and roll the dough into balls about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Roll them in the demerara sugar to coat and place them on the prepared baking sheets about 11⁄2 inches (4 cm) apart. Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking time, until the cookies appear set and are dry to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the sheets from the oven, and place them on cooling racks. Immediately gently press a Hershey’s Kiss into the center of each cookie, making sure it’s good and snug so it doesn’t fall out when cooled. The cookie will crack around the edges. Cool completely and serve.
Unanimous praise from our bakers for these very chocolatey chocolate cookies!
Leave your links for your chocolate cookies here!
We’re down to our last five recipes in Baked Occasions. Join us in late September as we start to bake our way through the first Baked book – Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. Schedule will be posted soon.
Now on to our next recipe – we’re continuing with more chocolate, this time in the form of crinkly cookies. Posting date is July 16!
- 1¼ cups (160 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 ounces (170 g) dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 2 ounces (1⁄2 stick/55 g) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1⁄4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 cup (110 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3⁄4 cup (85 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons fleur de sel (optional)
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (double- boiler method, see page 19), and stir occasionally until they are almost completely melted and combined. Stir in the espresso powder. Remove from the heat and continue stirring until the last remaining chunks of chocolate and butter are melted. Let cool to room temperature.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer tted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium speed until smooth and the color of a very light cappuccino, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat again until incorporated. Scrape the chocolate mixture into the bowl and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and add the flour mixture all at once. On the lowest speed possible, beat the mixture until just incorporated; do not overmix. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a small wide bowl.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Scoop and form the dough into balls about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Roll them in the confectioners’ sugar to coat and place on the prepared baking sheets about 11⁄2 inches (4 cm) apart. If the cookies do not pick up enough confectioners’ sugar at first pass (which is important for visual flair), go back and give the cookies a second roll.
- Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through the baking time, until the cookies start to firm up along the edges, 9 to 12 minutes. If anything, pull these cookies a minute before you think they are done; they still taste fantastic slightly underbaked (with a gooey brownie-like texture inside). While they are still hot from the oven, sprinkle the tops of them with a little fleur de sel, if you like. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Serve warm or transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool completely.
Three cheers for pudding cake!
Hot chocolate – better in cake form? Leave your links here!