Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Pop Tarts

It seems to spread further and further every year. Around October, the powers that be unleash upon us a flood of pumpkin-flavored products that we just can't resist. I've been jaded about the constant pumkification of everything in the store for a long time now, but I'm giving up. There's no fighting it, folks. Let go and let gourd.

Sorry, that was bad. All I'm saying is that, if you've ever heard me rant against the wall-to-wall pumpkin assault that hits us every fall, you'll find this recipe more than a little hypocritical. Yes, you're right. I've given in. These homemade pop tarts aren't just pumpkin. They're pumpkin spice, which makes them really trendy. But they're also really good, and that's what matters to me. You can call me a sellout, just remember that it's rude to talk with your mouth full.

One thing to remember: even though these are called pop tarts, do not cook them in the toaster. First, I'm not totally sure they'll fit. Second, the frosting doesn't have the chemicals in it to hold it all together. If you toast them on their sides, the frosting will slide right down into the toaster and onto the heating elements. A toaster oven would be fine, but not a toaster.

For the dough:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp. evaporated cane sugar
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp. Earth Balance, cubed and kept cold
2-3 tbsp. soy or almond milk
1 Ener-G or flax egg, mixed

For the filling:
1/2 cup raw canned pumpkin (plain, not spiced)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp. brown sugar

For the frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp. soy or almond milk
1/2 tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Make the dough: combine the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cold cubed Earth Balance and pulse it all together 10-12 times, until it has a sandy consistency. Mix the egg replacer and milk together in a bowl and pour into the chute of the food processor while it's running. The dough should come together pretty quickly. If it's leaving behind a lot of dry ingredients, pour a little more milk in and let it run for a bit to see if that does the trick.

Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and work it into a ball. Cut the ball in half and work each half into a flat disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Make the filling: Combine the pumpkin, sugar and spice in a bowl. Taste for sweetness and adjust if necessary.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Take the dough out of the fridge, unwrap it and put it back on the floured surface. Roll the first one out into roughly a 9x13 rectangle. I had to cut some of the rounded edges off an end and reattach them in other places that came up short. Do whatever works to get you there, but it doesn't have to be totally perfect.

Using a pastry cutter, cut a horizontal line down the middle, then four vertical lines, roughly 3-inches apart.

Spread a tablespoon or so of the filling around on the bottom-half rectangles, leaving a little edge of dough around on each one.

Wet your finger with a little water and run it around the edge that you left around the filling.

Put the top rectangle of the dough on top of the bottom one, lining up the edges so there's no overlap. Using  a fork, press down around the edges to make a sealed border. Use the fork to poke some holes across the surface of the pop tart.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pop tarts on it. Bake them for about 25 minutes. Once they're done, let them cool on a rack.

Combine all the frosting ingredients in a small bowl. Once the pop tarts have totally cooled, spread the frosting on and let it sit. The frosting will firm up after about 5 minutes.