Let’s throwback with a childhood inspired treat… Yep, I’ve got a Jumbo Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Toaster Tart for you today!
I’ve been playing around with this recipe for awhile now and decided to post the most current iteration. While I plan to keep tweaking it, this tart was a hit and I figured I’d get it to you sooner than later.
We all have our childhood food favorites…Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts were one of mine. I don’t really buy them any longer due to their ingredient list. But, my love for them has stood the test of time.
Oh…but there are plenty that haven’t stood the test. I think I loved SpaghettiOs when I was 8. It was total comfort food back then.
I know, I know. It was pasta in a can in some form of sauce that was more like tomato soup than marinara. For fun, I tried them again in my twenties. Um, no. Just no.
Ditto for Fruity Pebbles. So much sugar. Couldn’t get past a bite. Or, er, maybe it was two… ;)
I know none of this is shocking considering my make from scratch, buy organic, CSA member, small local farms loving kind of self. Oh and my penchant for not too sweet frosting….
But no one’s 100% all the time. We just do our best to make good choices as often as possible.
Oh, and the irony isn’t lost on me that I’m rambling on about processed foods in the same post where I’m offering up, what is basically, a giant pop tart.
That was the idea, anyway…create a giant pop tart in my favorite flavor. It was actually going to be a whole slab pie’s worth of cinnamony goodness. I love a good slab pie like this Apricot Cherry Slab Pie and this Lemon Lime Cream Slab Pie. Those are perfect for a crowd sized dessert.
Instead, I decided to rein it in and go for a smaller, yet still jumbo, size. Because, really…how much pop tart do we need? (Ok, maybe that was the wrong question ;)
Alright, let’s move on with a disclaimer…First, this is not a copy cat version of a pop tart. I mean, it is, sort of…Let’s just say I was inspired by the original. Just don’t expect it to have the exact taste and texture of the original.
Expect it to be buttery pie crust filled with delicious cinnamony brown sugar filling, and trust me, there’s not a thing wrong with that :)
Choosing the Pie Crust
You see, I really wanted to use my Easy All Butter Pie Crust recipe for the crust. If you’ve ever had a pop tart, they’re not made of flaky pie crust. Pop tart crust is a whole different kind of crust.
I was simply looking for a new way to use traditional pie crust. So, let’s begin there…with the crust.
I have a whole post and video you can check out for my All Butter Pie Crust. Trust me, it’s one of the easiest traditional pie crusts you’ll make, and clean up will be quick and easy. No muss. No fuss.
You can even make the pie crust the day before you use it, and just stash it in the fridge until you’re ready to fill it.
For my jumbo tart, I made one recipe of the pie crust and divided it in half. (If I wanted to make a big slab I would have doubled the recipe.)
No Muss. No Fuss. Pie Crust!
Ok. Here’s where the no muss, no fuss comes in.
You’ll see in my recipe that I don’t use any extra flour to roll out the dough. I simply laid out a surface of plastic wrap on my rolling surface (this works best if the plastic wrap sticks to the surface you’re rolling on.) Then, I placed the ball of dough onto the surface and covered it with another layer of plastic wrap.
I rolled out each piece of dough into about a 10×8″ rectangle, or big enough to cut a 9×7″ rectangle from it. The dough will be thin, maybe just a little thicker than 1/8″.
Then, you need to chill the dough. Wrap it up in the same plastic wrap you rolled it in. (See? Isn’t that convenient?)
I like to let it chill in the freezer for about 20 minutes or for an hour or two (or overnight) in the refrigerator before I use it. Do whatever works for your schedule.
The Secret Filling Ingredient
While your dough is chilling, go ahead and make the filling. The filling I used has a bit of a secret ingredient.
One of the things I didn’t love about some of my other trials was the filling. I had used flour to help absorb some of the moisture from the sugar liquefying during baking.
But, I sort of felt like I could taste the flour. I didn’t love how it worked in the filling.
So, I went back to look at the ingredients on the box of pop tarts, I noticed this one…”cracker meal.” It suddenly made sense to me. Let me get rid of that raw flour and add something else that could do the job AND taste better.
And, instead of just adding any ole’ cracker meal, I thought graham cracker crumbs would work beautifully with the brown sugar cinnamon filling. I only needed two sheets of graham crackers to get about 1/4 cup of crumbs.
Filling? How Much is Enough?
Then, I added a little corn syrup. (Remember that simple corn syrup is not high fructose corn syrup. There’s also organic corn syrup, if you’re looking for that option as well.)
I thought the corn syrup would add some interesting texture. But, I was nervous about how much to add, so I only added a couple of teaspoons. I will likely experiment with increasing that amount to see if I like the change.
I also added a bit of butter because I was channeling cinnamon roll filling. I didn’t add a lot because there’s plenty in the pie crust dough. I might also experiment with increasing that a bit as well.
Let’s talk about how much filling I made. My goal was to have a generous amount of filling. I succeeded in that goal.
This recipe makes enough for a nice thick layer. If you’re not into a thick filling, feel free to cut the filling recipe in half.
In any case, my mini food processor made light work of this step. Just break up the crackers into smaller pieces and put them in the processor with all of the rest of the filling ingredients. Done and done. Set it aside.
Keep the Pie Crust Dough Cold, Cold, Cold
Time to get back to the crust. Once it’s chilled, it’s time to cut it. The dough needs to be chilled in order to get nice clean cuts.
So, only take one piece of dough out of the freezer at a time. They warm up quickly because the pieces are thin.
I’ll warn you, you might not have a perfect situation when you go to cut your rectangle pieces. I didn’t this time.
Maybe you’ve got a perfect rectangle, except the dough doesn’t quite make it to one of your corners.
No worries, you’ll have dough left over from cutting out the rectangle. Just press a left over scrap where that corner is supposed to be and cut the corner again as if that dough was always there.
It’s a great patch up solution and no one will ever know there was an issue. As a matter of fact, I had to patch up a couple of corners on my crust and you can’t tell at all. At least, I don’t think you can ;)
And if one of your rectangles needed more patch ups than the other, just use it for the bottom crust. No big deal.
You’ll still have dough left over even after you’ve done any patching. Everyone has their own favorite way to use up the leftover. Me? I gathered it together and rolled it out between plastic wrap and stuck it in the freezer.
(Hold that thought while we move on with our main event. We’ll catch up with that excess piece of dough after the recipe.)
Filling the Tart
Once you’ve cut your rectangles, it’s time to fill the “tart.”
Just spoon the filling over one of the cut pieces of dough leaving about a 1/2″ border bare for sealing.
Remember, during all of this time, you’ve left your other piece of dough in the freezer to stay firm. The firmer it is, the easier it will be to place on top of the filling.
Because of all of the picture taking, I actually cut both of my rectangles and then put them both back into the freezer to chill before filling. You can chill the dough whenever it gets too warm to work with.
Then, just remove the other piece of dough from the freezer, unwrap the top and cut it into another rectangle. If it’s still firm, pull the rest of the plastic off and place it evenly on top of the filling.
If it’s soft, just cover it with the same plastic wrap and chill it until firm again.
Sealing the Tart
I didn’t use an egg wash anywhere. I really didn’t need to for this recipe. And now, we don’t need it for sealing the edges either.
You can seal the edges any way you want to at this point.
Do you want to grab a fork and press all the edges with it? Go ahead. You’ll have a nice little rustic design on your edge.
Do you want to roll up the edges or crimp them in some fashion with your fingers? Do it!
Me? I wanted it to look more like a classic pop tart. So, I just gently, but firmly, pressed the edges together with the edge of my hand. The dough was a little soft at this point so the edges sealed together rather easily.
That’s right. The dough was warm again. It’s thin, it heats up quickly.
Mandatory Rule: You may NOT bake this tart while the dough is soft and warm. So, it must go back to the freezer or refrigerator to thoroughly chill.
All of that lovely butter in the dough must be firm to do it’s flaky work. So chill it while you preheat your oven.
Once it’s chilled, you want to make sure air doesn’t build up under the top crust, so take a toothpick and poke it all over the top crust, making sure you penetrate the top crust through to the filling.
That’s it. Into the oven it goes to bake to a light golden brown.
Making the Frosting/Icing/Glaze
Frosting, icing, glaze…Call it whatever you want. You know I don’t like things over the top sweet. But, we’re talking about icing now, and icing is sweet.
I was going to go all in on a more complicated glaze for this tart and decided against it. I mean, we already had to roll out pie crust and make our own filling, there was no need to get crazy at the end, you know, when we’re soooo close to finally consuming this darn thing!
So, I went with a simple confectioner’s sugar glaze with some cinnamon and vanilla. It takes a heartbeat to mix it up and you’re ready to go.
Does anyone remember opening a pop tart package and looking at a barely glazed tart? Really disappointing. And, seriously, you could see through the icing. It wasn’t thick at all.
I’ve given you enough in the recipe to give the tart a nice coating. I think the amount hits a nice middle ground.
Icing: Thick, thin or in between?
But here’s the thing…and this “thing” is for all of you “don’t make it too sweet” people. The tart doesn’t need a lot of icing/glaze.
Remember? I made the filling nice and thick. And when we were discussing the merits of doing that, my daughter thought maybe it was too thick.
But, after tasting a bite without any icing, I thought the filling was fine, but maybe there was too much icing.
So, next time, I’m probably going to cut the icing back…maybe in half. Then, I’m going to make it a little thinner and just give the tart a nice super thin glaze.
I think I want it to be a little transparent. That way, it will complement instead of compete with the filling.
Yep, even though I felt cheated when I opened a barely glazed tart, there just may have been something to it.
That’s me though. I know some of you double the icings on my recipes because you want more. That’s cool. I love opening up any recipe to as many options as possible so that you can make it just the way you like it.
The icing will set up pretty quickly and you’ll be ready to cut and serve in no time. Or, cut it when the icing is still wet, if you like it that way.
Here’s a cool bonus when you make this Jumbo Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Toaster Tart…There’s more MIDDLE!
I was never a fan of the dry edges of a pop tart. I would eat those first so I could save the middle for last. With this jumbo tart, there’s simply less edge and more middle.
Of course, there’s also more tart when you make it jumbo. Why did we make it jumbo? Because we’re throwing back to our childhood. And, making things bigger or smaller than they’re supposed to be is FUN.
Oh, and jumbo also means that you’ll have plenty to share…if you’re so inclined… :)
Jumbo Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Toaster Tart
For the pie crust:
- 1 recipe Easy All Butter Pie Crust see recipe notes for link
For the brown sugar filling:
- 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs about 2 rectangle cracker sheets
- 6 Tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon salted butter melted
- 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
For the icing:
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 Tablespoons milk
Make the pie crust:
Make one recipe of Easy All Butter Pie Crust (link in recipe notes.) After gathering the dough into a ball, divide it in half. Place two overlapping pieces of plastic wrap on your counter to create your rolling surface.
Shape one half of the dough into a thick rectangle and place it in the middle of the rolling surface. Cover with another two overlapping pieces of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle big enough to cut a 9x7" rectangle. Mine was about 10x8 before cutting. Don't cut it yet. Wrap it in the plastic wrap and place it in the freezer for a quick chill. Repeat with the other half of dough. Chill both until firm, about 20 minutes. If you plan to chill it for longer, just stick it in the refrigerator and feel free to chill overnight, if that works better for your schedule.
Make the brown sugar filling:
While the crust is chilling, make the filling. Break up the graham crackers into smaller pieces and place them and the balance of filling ingredients into a small food processor. Then, process until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
Cut the dough and assemble the tart:
Take one piece of chilled dough from the freezer. Unwrap it and cut into a 9x7" rectangle. Clear away the excess dough. (See recipe notes for using these scraps.) Place the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving about a 1/2" border. Set aside.
Remove the second piece of chilled dough from the freezer and cut it to the same measurement as the first. Place it carefully over the filling. Using the edges of your fingers, press the edges of the dough together to seal them.
Cover the assembled tart with plastic wrap and place back into the freezer to chill for about 30 minutes or until dough is firm again. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the tart from the freezer and remove plastic wrap. Using a tooth pick or a fork, prick the entire surface of the tart to allow steam to escape. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet.
Make the icing:
Place confectioner's sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a small bowl. Add a Tablespoon of milk and whisk to combine. Add more milk, a small spoonful at a time whisking after each addition until smooth and at desired consistency. Add more milk for a thinner glaze, less for a thicker icing.
Drizzle icing over the top of the cooled tart. Using an offset spatula, a butter knife or the back of a spoon, spread icing evenly over top of tart. Allow icing to set until dry to the touch. Cut tart into squares and serve. Cover leftovers but do not seal airtight. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
*Here is the link to Easy All Butter Pie Crust.
*When I cut one of my rectangles, I didn't quite have enough room to get a full corner. I just used my trimmed pie dough scraps to press on some additional dough and recut the corner.
*When I was done cutting both rectangles, I gathered the dough scraps together again and rolled them between two pieces of plastic wrap to about an 1/8" thick. I had enough to make an individual tart. I wrapped the rolled out dough in the plastic wrap and chilled it in the freezer until firm. Then, I filled it with some jam, folded it over, sealed the edges and chilled it again, just as I did with the large tart. I pricked it with a toothpick and baked it. I didn't waste any dough, and we had a fun sample to snack on in a different flavor. See photos after recipe.
*If you want to warm up a serving of the tart before eating, you can do that in a toaster oven or regular oven at 350 for just a few minutes. I wouldn't heat it in a traditional toaster because the filling is exposed on the individual pieces.
_The Merchant Baker Copyright © 2018_
Hey, remember those leftover pie dough scraps? Yep, I gathered them together and rolled them out into an oval-ish shape. Then, I filled it with raspberry jam, folded it over and baked it. It was about the size of a traditional sized toaster tart.
When it was done baking, I frosted half of it and left the other half plain. I loved it plain. Others loved it frosted. And, of course, because it was the only one, everyone was fighting over getting a piece of it. Clearly we’ll be making a Jumbo Raspberry Tart someday soon :) (Looks good, doesn’t it?)