Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly Pop Tarts
Is PB&J nostalgic for everyone? To be honest, we rarely ate it growing up. We were much more the 'turkey sandwich with 2-3 Oreos and a bag of baby carrots' kind of crew. There was a solid period of time that Kate would only eat mayonnaise and cheese sandwiches, which I'd truly like to forget about.
As I meandered into adult hood, like many other 20-something's when you realize you can live your truth and have as many boxes of Velveeta shells (bought 'em yesterday, no shame) and sour gummi worms as you want (does Trolli have a support hotline?), PB&J was almost like a rediscovery for me. I buy regular white bread maybe 2-3 times a year for Martha Stewart's Genius Mac & Cheese, so I was never going to sit down and make myself a sandwich. But I have a cracker collection that takes up the entirety of one of very few cupboards in my house. And one day, I just started stacking them with peanut butter & jelly. There's something about natural peanut butter, that while I hated it at first, is actually perfect in every way for this addiction I've developed. It's much softer and smoother and less sweet, which is perfect with the Bonne Madame strawberry preserves I love, and probably spend too much money on.
When pop tarts came through for the weekly recipe, it only made sense to implement my nighttime guilty pleasure into another nostalgic favorite we definitely didn't have enough of growing up.
Peanut Butter & Grape Jelly Pop Tarts
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks butter, very cold and cubed
1 tbsp, sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water, ice cold
1 egg with 1 tbsp. milk (for egg wash)
Concord grape jelly, see note below
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add cubes of butter and mix until ir resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add ice water 1 tbsp. at a time, mixing until it just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough doesn’t hold together, add a little more water and mix again.
Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Gently shape into 2 discs. Knead the dough just enough to form the discs, so that you can still see flakes of butter, being careful not to over knead. Sprinkle a little flour around the discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Roll out dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle with 1/8″ thickness. Using your cutter, cut the dough into a 9″ x 12″ rectangle. Repeat with the second disk of dough. Take your two rectangles and, using your cutter, or a knife, cut each piece into thirds so it turns out that you have nine small rectangles. This won't be an exact science but they'll still come out great.
Transfer a tablespoon of jelly to the center of half of the rectangles. Dip your finger in a ramekin of water and run it along the edges of each of the rectangles with the filling. Place the second rectangles of dough atop all of the ones with the filling, gently crimping the edges together.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Gently transfer the assembled pop tarts to a silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet and transfer to freezer for 10 minutes. Once they have been in the freezer, lightly brush with egg wash and using a fork, prick four-five holes in the tops. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Top with peanut butter sauce and nut topping.
Peanut Butter Glaze
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup nut topping
Combine peanut butter, milk, and vanilla to create a thin, spreadable sauce. Use more or less milk depending on your preference. Finish pop tarts with glaze, and sprinkled nut topping.
Note: I made this concord grape jelly for this recipe-- it was grape season and they were looking supreme at the market. But let me just say, this is a short cut I will take for the rest of time. I am terrible at jelly making. I don't know what it is about the heating and cooling process, but every time I try it comes out mealy and thick. This is a moment I'm thankful I have 2 other, more patient counterparts, who have skills that I don't. Hillary is actually an expert jelly maker, and homemade is definitely better. But when I can't steal it from her, I'm going Welch's.