My two year old is obsessed with Pop-Tarts.

Obsessed.

Pop-Tart is almost always one of the first words out of her mouth each morning. The routine goes a little something like this.

“Mama, Out!” (To get her out of bed)

Chi-Chi Bear, Plug, B (AKA – Grab her favorite stuffed animal, her plug and her blankey)

Milk and Pop-Tart! (Um, get her a glass of milk and a Pop-Tart pronto.)

Then she walks her cute little bum over to her bean bag, plops down and watches cartoons for about 20 minutes.

I already know what you’re thinking. You don’t have to say a word.

Ahem..

Anyway, I’m not a huge fan of giving her Pop-Tarts every single day. They are full of sugar and should be saved for special occasions. But since she is a bit demanding and we are always on such a tight schedule in the morning, we usually give in.

I know. I know. We’re working on it.

But in the mean time, I decided to find a healthier version of the sweet sugary delight to eliminate the guilt I feel after handing her a sugar square. I think I’ve found the answer:

While these bad boys do have butter in them and a bit of sugar they aren’t full of weird products and I can control what goes into them. Starting with whole wheat flour.

It has to be better with whole wheat ~ right?

This is a combination of two recipes I found on the net, with a few of my own touches. One recipe I found gives step by step instructions on how to cut your dough into perfect squares.

Um, no thanks. Not only is that incredibly time consuming, it involves measuring and math. I’m not a fan of either. Instead, Ella and I found large cookie cutters and used those for our designs. Simple, cute and easy for kids to help.

Easy for mom, too.

The end result was pretty great. My girls loved them and even Kyle thought they were good. “Better than store bought Pop-Tarts, Les,” he said.

Of course oatmeal an apple and a glass of milk is still a healthier version of breakfast, but I don’t feel so bad handing these over to my girls in the morning. You could easily freeze these if you’d like to have some ready for special occasions.

P.S. Couple quick tips:  Make sure your dough is fairly thin. These guys expand which made our pop-tarts huge! Also, next time I will probably reduce the amount of butter used. That’s a lot of butter!

Whole Wheat Strawberry Pop-Tarts

(Adapted from this site and this one – with a few of my own additions)

INGREDIENTS

For the dough:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup milk (not nonfat)

To assemble the tarts:

  • Flour, for rolling the dough
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons strawberry jam

For the glaze:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon milk (not nonfat), plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the dough:

  1. Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl until combined. Add the butter and toss with your fingers until well coated in the flour mixture to make pea-size pieces.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and milk in a small bowl until combined. Add the egg-milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix with your hands until large clumps form. Turn the mixture out onto a work surface and knead briefly, smearing the butter into the dough with the heel of your palm until the dough completely comes together, about 1 minute.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions; wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

To assemble the tarts:

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Whisk the egg and water in a small bowl until evenly combined; set aside.
  3. Roll out the dough to desired size. (Make sure parchment paper is under your dough. This prevents sticking!
  4. Using a large cookie cutter, cut shapes as desired. (Be sure to cut a top and bottom for each pop-tart.
  5. Brush egg mixture onto bottom tart. Spread jam into an even layer on bottom tart, leaving about 3/4 inch border.
  6. Prick the top of your pop-tart with a fork and gently place onto the bottom piece; similar to making a sandwich.
  7. Press on the edges to adhere, and push down gently on the filling to slightly flatten. Using a fork dipped in flour, crimp the edges of the tarts. Bake until golden brown, about 23 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before glazing.

For the glaze:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until evenly combined. (You may need to add more milk by the 1/2 teaspoon if the glaze is too thick.)
  2. Set the wire rack with the tarts on it over a baking sheet. Using a spoon, drizzle about 1 tablespoon of the glaze over each tart. Let set before eating, about 15 minutes.

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Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From Home.com. She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.

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