I would be lying if I said I wasn't proud as a prancing unicorn about my latest creation: Unicorn Pop-Tarts.
To be completely honest, this wasn't the first time the combination had occurred to me. I mean, Pop-Tarts employ rainbow sprinkles and taste like happiness. Unicorns are trailed by rainbows and are the embodiment of happiness. See? They have loads in common.
But there are some real technical issues with making Unicorn Pop-tarts. Mainly, the shape of unicorn cookie cutters. They're generally thin in places, which is fine, but not conducive to filling pastry with jam or chocolate. I didn't want these to just be double-decker pie crust cookies. I wanted them to have filling, and taste like pop-tarts. Homemade, of course.
I figured that a unicorn bust would be perfect, as it would have the horn but be a larger shape to hold together, but such a cookie cutter was not easy to find.
So I dealt with that issue by making my own. I'll post a tutorial soon on how to do that, but rest assured it required a trip to the hardware store, which is DEFINITELY not my natural element.
It was worth it. The cutter was easy to make, and within hours I had unicorn pop-tarts, which are truly the most magical start to the day. Any day.
Here's the recipe.
Homemade Pop Tarts
Makes about 6 unicorn-shaped tarts; adapted from wonderful, wonderful Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3 tablespoons cold water
For the filling
Jam, about 1 heaping teaspoonful per pastry (your choice of flavor)
For the icing
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- heavy cream, to thin (you could use milk...but I like cream)
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set to the side.
- Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add butter and blend with a fork, pastry cutter, or your impeccably clean hands. Blend until the mixture is fairly coarse. Add the water, bit by bit, gently mixing the dough after each addition, until the dough is cohesive enough to form a ball.
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out using your unicorn cutter. Re-roll the scraps and cut out more unicorns. You should get 10 to 12 cutouts, which means 5 or 6 tarts.
- On half of the unicorn heads, place a small spoonful of the jam of your choice in the center. You don't want it to be too thick or the top crust will mound on top of it. Spread it where it makes sense (easy on the horn).
- Place the remaining unicorn head cutouts on top of the ones with jam. Crimp all four edges by hand... or with a fork to ensure that your filling won't ooze out. I also poked the top of each with a fork, to vent them.
- Place the tarts on your prepared baking sheet, and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until light golden on the edges. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely.
- While the tarts cool, prepare your icing; make sure it is fairly thin but not so thin that it will just drip off. Once the pop tarts are cool, drizzle it on top. Garnish with sprinkles.