Homemade Pop Tarts (for your Valentine)

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and for those of you looking for a Valentine treat, THIS. IS. IT!
The original recipe calls for your standard, rectangular-shaped tarts. But I love Valentine’s Day and will look for any excuse to get festive! I have been making the same white chocolate frosted sugar cookies for the past couple of years and was ready for something different this year. I thought I would share with you a day early so you would still have time to make these before the big day if you needed to. 
I ate Pop Tarts all the time as a kid. The Brown Sugar Cinnamon were my fave all the way. Every once in awhile I would have a fruit filled one, or even S’mores, but brown sugar was the best. I didn’t care for them toasted either. Instead, I would heat them in the microwave for about ten seconds, ate around the crusty edges first, the indulged in the sugary, iced middle part last.
Speaking of microwaving them, have you ever microwaved foil? Oh boy. I made that mistake once. I could have sworn I had seen my parents microwave my Pop Tarts with the wrapper on. So there I was, a hungry five-year old. Daddy was still asleep so I thought I could manage getting a Pop Tart for myself. A few seconds of watching colorful fireworks in the microwave and the smell of burn Pop Tart had me in tears and terrified to tell my dad what I did. Needless to say, I had overreacted just a little with the all crying and my Dad didn’t seem too upset. Life went on as usual. No foil in the microwave ever again. Got it.
Over the years, Pop Tarts and I have grown apart. I actually do have an almost-full box in the cupboard, but I think they expired about a year ago. I think when I realized they were about 200 calories each, it just wasn’t worth it anymore. Why would they put two in a single package if a serving is only one?? Hate it when they trick you like that. 
With my discovery of these Homemade Pop Tarts though, it will be difficult to ever take a bite of the store-bought ones again. These went above and beyond my expectations and were worth every dang bite. And trust me, there were A LOT of bites last night (seriously, I think I ate half of the batch before forcing myself to sit down and actually write about them!). 
As usual, I couldn’t just stick to one flavor and wanted to try out a few variations. Some were brown sugar cinnamon, some were raspberry jam and some were even Nutella. Yes. Nutella. 
What you see in the picture up above is a sample of the different types I made (pre-decorating). The ones in the front obviously aren’t Pop Tarts. That was just leftover crust that I filled with the cinnamon brown sugar and rolled before baking. Kind of like a cinnamon twist (these were pretty delish too by the way). 

I honest to goodness can not tell you what my favorite kind is. They are all equally delicious in their own way. The brown sugar cinnamon tastes very similar to the real thing, but the jam-filled tarts literally tastes identical. Scratch that. They taste BETTER than store-bought ones. Then there’s the Nutella. All I can say is MMMMMMMMM!!!

If I have failed to get the message across by this point, I will try again. MAKE THESE. Ok? If you are a Pop Tart lover, be prepared to fall in love with them in a whole new way. If you have never even had a Pop Tart, get ready to become a major fan. If you need to make someone fall in love with you tomorrow, these will do it. If you need something to help you love yourself tomorrow, here ya go!
Get the point now? 🙂
Homemade Pop Tarts
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes up to 12 medium tarts
Ingredients:
1 package refrigerated pie crust
1 egg, beaten
For cinnamon brown sugar filling-
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons flour
For fruit jam filling-
1/3 cup fruit jam (I used raspberry)
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch 
1 1/2 teaspoons water
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat cookie sheet with non-stick spray. 
2. Roll out pie crust onto flat surface. Brush entire crust(s) with egg wash.
3. Cut raw pie crust into desired shapes, making sure you have an even number of cut-outs. Lay half of the cut-outs onto cookie sheet and top with about a tablespoon of desired filling. Spread filling around to about 1-2 centimeters from the edge. Top each filled crust with remaining cut-outs. Use a fork to press down along edges to seal. Then poke holes with the fork sporadically across the top of the tart (allows air to escape while cooking so they don’t puff up too much and break apart). 
4. Bake 14-16 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 10 minutes if you are going to ice/frost them.