No. 85: Cutie Pies (Homemade Pop-Tarts)

Mr. McCormick loved Pop-Tarts as a kid ... and adult.

In fact, one of my first gifts to him was a pack of strawberry Pop-Tarts from the Augusta, Maine Wal-Mart. It was an act of love.

Camp Days

You see, Mr. McC and I met in Maine while we were counselors at Camp Laurel. I taught horseback riding (or equestrianism if you want to be fancy) and he coached soccer and general athletics.

It's our little joke that a girl from Kansas went all the way to Maine to meet a boy from Arizona. That's quite a long way to go to find your future husband. And mind you, we were 20 at the time, so we were a bit surprised to find each other that summer as well.

To understand what we were dealing with at Laurel, picture a rich kids camp. Now supersize it. That was Camp Laurel. There were specialists there in everything from archery to theater, lacrosse to water sports.

But there was also a very strict eating regimen at camp. No snacks, healthy meals. If you didn't have a friend with a car who could get you the 25 minutes down the road to Wal-Mart, you were probably going to be hungry at some point. And we were.

So as Mr. McC and I got to know one another, I found out about how much he was craving Pop-Tarts. I asked a friend get me a box on her next run to town and if only you could have seen his face when I gave them to him. Pure joy.

Cutie Pies

I couldn't resist the idea of a homemade version of these delectable treats to surprise the boy. These cutie pies from PureWow looked too fun not to try.

Ingredients

Hand Pies*
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 sticks cold butter, cut into cubes
1/3 cup cold water
1 cup fruit preserves

Frosting
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sprinkles

*I used Pillsbury ready-made dough. No regrets.

To make

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

If making homemade dough, in the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour with the salt and sugar. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the butter is the size of peas, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the water through the top spout, and pulse just until the dough comes together. Remove the dough and wrap it in plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness.

Rolling

Cut into 2-by-3-inch rectangles. Place 2 tablespoons of jam in the center of half the rectangles. Brush water around the edges of the dough. Place the remaining rectangles on top of the jam-covered ones, and press the edges with a fork to seal. Use a knife to cut a tiny vent into the center of the top piece of dough.

Putting together

Ready to cook

Place the pies on the prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 10 to 13 minutes. Cool completely.

Cooked

In a small bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the cream and vanilla. If the frosting is too thick, add more cream 1 tablespoon at a time until it is easily spreadable.

Frost each hand pie with about 1 tablespoon of frosting, and top with sprinkles if desired.

Frosted

The results

These little pies live up to their name, they are so, so cute.

Final

They are also delicious. And a sugar rush. So be prepared.

The quality of preserves you use will definitely make a difference in the flavor and quality of these little pies. Go for one packed full of fruit to cut the sugar in the frosting and sprinkles.

And what a fun kid cooking project this would be!

All in all, making these was a fun start to my birthday. Another highlight was this adorable card my Dad sent me.

Girl

So true. Happy Sunday!

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