peanut butter s'mores pop tarts

Omg I love a s’more occasion because it means it’s warm enough to sit outside but not so warm that you’d overheat near a bonfire. It’s a similar pleasure to having the temperature of your house on the colder side just so you can wear your coziest sweatshirts. 

I made these s’mores pop tarts last month for Eggboy’s cousin Sarah’s bridal shower. She’s getting married at a ranch in the Tetons next week and I cannot wait!!! We are staying one night in Jackson Hole, which will be my first time to Wyoming, and then driving to the ranch to hike and celebrate. Where do I need to eat brunch in Jackson Hole???

There are some very specific things I need to talk to you about with these pop tarts. I’m going to do this in list form:

  1. The magic is in the crust! It is a pie crust dressed up as a graham cracker and the measurements below are such that the crust remains thick. It’s true that I have a complicated relationship with pie crust and that I am so not opposed to using store bought pie dough in situations where the fillings carry the dish, however, 1) this crust is truly magical and nutty and oomphed up with cinnamon and nutmeg, and 2) the fillings require no preparation so the crust is the only place where you need to exert energy. It’s so good! 
  2. An unfortunate thing about marshmallows is that they really can be too sweet. It’s one reason why Lily doesn’t like them. But between the crust, which is not very sweet, and the unsweetened peanut butter, there is a really nice balance that happens in this tart that I think Lily and others alike would approve of. Where these tarts leave off in sweetness, they pick up in nuttiness from the peanut butter. Obviously almond butter or another nut butter or tahini would also be great here.
  3. Real marshmallows alone do not werk! They are firmed up with gelatin, which melts down to complete liquid in the oven and has a very, very high chance of oozing out. However, if they do stay put in the tart then when they cool back down to room temp, they leave you with some of that signature s’mores chewiness. Marshmallow fluff, on the other hand, does the opposite of all of that. It is thickened with egg whites and therefore gets firm in the heat of the oven so there’s little risk of that oozing out but then when it cools you don’t have the chewy marshmallow texture. My solution is to use both. Fluff to lock in the marshmallows, marshmallows to provide chewiness, and both to provide flavor. You can make both from scratch if you’re truly feeling extra (this fluff rules), or you can make neither from scratch. Just do whatever option will leave you with enough energy to make the pie crust because that really is the most important part of this picture.
  4. To me, Hershey’s bars are a very important part of a s’more. The waxy texture and milk chocolate flavor are what I latch onto when I dream of a s’more and that’s just how I am. You might have a need for a fancy chocolate and that’s fine, you do you. I’ve opted to use a straight up piece of the chocolate bar here rather than using a chocolate spread because I like how it firms back up when the tarts cool. (I also like my chocolate croissants this way, with a full on hard chocolate bar in the middle. It’s texturally more exciting to me than a soft spread. It makes me want to eat a chocolate bar sandwich. We’re getting off topic.)

Make these!!! 


Peanut Butter S’mores Pop Tarts

Makes 10

Ingredients

Crust

1 1/2 c (195g) all-purpose flour
1 c (130g) whole wheat flour
1/4 c (50g) sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
A few passes of nutmeg
18 tb (253g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1/4 c ice cold water


Filling and assembly

About 1/4 c (65g) unsweetened peanut butter (I like Smucker’s All-Natural)
2 hershey’s milk chocolate bars
About 3/4 c (60g) marshmallow fluff
30 mini marshmallows
1 egg, beaten 


Glaze

1 c (120g) powdered sugar
1/4 c (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tb whole milk
A pinch of kosher salt

Sprinkles

Clues


In a food processor, pulse to combine the flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the butter and pulse until pea-sized (a few larger bits are ok). Drizzle in the water and continue to pulse until the dough starts to come together. It may still look crumbly but it’s ready when it sticks together if you squeeze a handful of it together. Turn it out onto a clean surface and use your hands to smush it all together into a ball. Divide it in half and pat out into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to a day or two. 

Preheat the oven to 425ºf. Line two pans with parchment and set aside. 

On a lightly floured surface, working with one dough disc at a time and dusting with additional flour as needed to prevent it from sticking, roll it out until it’s just under 1/4” thick (3/16” is ideal but I don’t mean to freak you out with such an odd measurement). Cut out 10 3” squares, re-rolling scraps, and arrange them on the baking sheets at least 1” apart. Top each with a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter, 2 chocolate rectangles, about a tablespoon of marshmallow fluff, and 3 mini marshmallows. I recommend adding the marshmallow fluff by piping it out of a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner cut off. It makes this process cleaner and allows you to make a little border that will hold in your mini marshmallows. (See the gif above as a reference.) And you can eyeball the tablespoon measurement, it doesn’t need to be exact. 

Roll out the remaining dough disc along with any scraps from the first disc and cut out 3 1/2” squares, re-rolling scraps as needed. Brush the edges of the bottom squares with a thin layer of egg wash and top with a larger square. Pinch the edges to seal well and crimp with a fork to ensure that they’re sealed. Trim the edges if desired so that they line up cleanly. Poke a few holes in the top with a fork and brush the tops with egg wash. Bake until golden brown; begin checking for doneness at 16 minutes. Let cool on the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. 

Top the tarts with glaze and sprinkles and enjoy! These will keep for a couple of days at room temperature.
 


-yeh!

photos by chantell and brettshirt from of a kindsprinkles from supernatural!

peach bakewell tarts

ok hi from dinnertime in sydney! i'm eating couscous and french fries in bed right now and refreshing my email every few minutes to make sure that i can download the final pass of molly on the range in time for the thousand hour flight that i'm about to embark on. i get that room service couscous is not what you're supposed to eat on your last night in sydney (and that kangaroo and emu pizza probably is what you're supposed to eat on your last night in sydney??), but i am totally pooped! i had quite the day of eating vegemite and butter on toast, getting emotional at the sight of the sydney opera house, and then ferrying over to the zoo to meet koalas.

my number one goal of the day was to cuddle a koala. i put on extra lip gloss and cleaned the frosting off of my nice sweatshirt, and then figured out the ferry boat system to get to the zoo and restrained myself from taking 100 pictures of the opera house on the way in order to save camera battery life. and then when i got to the zoo i thought i'd better eat a small snack so that i could be extra alert and not at all woozy for my new koala friend, so i bought a bit of pumpkin, which is so common and great here (my understanding is that all squashes in australia are actually called pumpkin), and then sat and caught up with eggboy about the tour de france, the sugar beets, etc., and then i just sort of enjoyed my pumpkin and the crisp winter weather... 

and do you know what was happening during the exact moment that i was leisurely eating my pumpkin and being an all-around space cadet????? the koala cuddling station closed for the day. two hours before the actual zoo closed, i had no idea! 

i frowned so hard. it was my only chance because i leave bright and early tomorrow. so i bought a cherry coconut chocolate bar to try and make up for it and watched some koalas sleep and climb trees from a distance. they are the cutest plops of fluff in the world, they would make such great cuddlers!!!!!! 

oh well, more reason to come back! 

these peach bakewell tarts were cut from molly on the rangei was so sad because they are so tasty and almondy and i love how the photos came out, but ultimately they didn't totally fit right in with the story of the book, so here they are now! they are a great summery version of the cake-within-a-pie that is a bakewell tart, and they transport well. so bring these on your next picnic, as soon as the weather cools down (or heats up, depending on where you are in the world).


peach bakewell tarts

makes 12

Shells:

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/2 c sugar

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 c unsalted butter, cold and cubed

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 tsp almond extract

Filling:

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 c almond meal

1/2 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened

1/2 c sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/3 c peach preserves

Glaze:

1 c confectioners’ sugar

5 tb heavy cream

1/4 tsp almond extract

To make the shells: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Coat a 12-cavity muffin tin with cooking spray and set it aside. In a food processor, pulse to combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is pea-sized. Whisk together the egg and almond extract and add it while pulsing. Process until the mixture comes together to form a dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut it into 12 equal small balls. Roll them into about 4-4 1/2” circles and press them into the muffin cups, trimming the edges. Freeze the shells for 10 minutes, fill them with paper muffin liners and pie weights or beans, and then bake for 15 minutes. Let them cool.

To make the filling: In a small bowl, whisk together the salt, almond meal, and flour and set it aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and then mix in the lemon juice and almond extract. With the mixer running on low, add the flour mixture and beat to combine. 

To assemble the tarts: Spoon a heaping teaspoon of peach preserves into the bottom of the tart shells. Spoon in the filling and then bake until lightly browned, begin checking for doneness at 25 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove to the rack and cool completely.

To make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, cream, and almond extract. Spread it over the tops of the tarts and serve.

Note: for a more transportable version, forego the glaze and simply dust the cooled tarts with powdered sugar.


-yeh!

pictured: mini cake pan