It has been well documented that Pop Tart Tuesday is a revered and time honoured tradition for the Cheerios. It was a pleasant coincidence that the city cheerleading championships were scheduled for this very Tuesday. The one. The only. Pop Tart Tuesday.
However, Saucy was puzzled as to how she would transport boxes of Pop Tarts and her toaster with her to the competition site. It seemed a little fraught with problems. Until she decided to do this:
If Bakerella can put a ball of cheesecake on a stick, then surely, Saucy reasoned... a bite sized Pop Tart would do the trick.
They would be baked and bundled and presented to the team during roundup - you know, the pep talk portion of the evening. One simple bite of toaster pastry goodness.
Without a toaster... but whatever. Close enough. It would have to do.
And they're freaking adorable. The team thought so. Just look at those.
Saucy sat on this idea for a few weeks and even found a couple of homemade Pop Tart recipes online but they were more pastry based, and Pop Tarts (although labeled toaster pastry) are more like a dry, crumbly cookie. Most people who attempt homemade Pop Tarts are trying to improve the flavour.
Saucy, on the other hand, would have been happy with some sort of magical shrinking machine. She just wanted tiny, recognizable, similar tasting treats. She ended up winging it with an online recipe that she changed so it was less flaky, more shortbread like in its consistency. This would ensure that the little fellas didn't break apart when held upright on their sticks. Here's what she ended up with:
3 sticks (one and a half cups) butter at room temperature
1/3 cup plus one tablespoon milk
1 egg yolk (reserve white for brushing)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 and 1/2 cups flour
In food processor, pulse together butter, milk, egg yolk, sugar and salt until roughly blended. Add flour and pulse until it starts to come together. Form into two discs, wrap in plastic and chill (no time to chill today, Saucy just rolled and cut).
In the end, the ones that looked the cutest were the ones that were rolled a little thinner. This is a very sturdy dough - don't be afraid to roll it to 1/8" thin. Cut into bite-sized rectangles by slicing with a ruler as your guide for uniformity.
Before squeezing some nice raspberry preserves from a pastry bag onto the bottom piece, brush with a little beaten egg white and press the lollipop stick into the base cookie. Squeeze around the middle of your little pastry and leave room to press the top part on.
You'll want to press the top piece on snugly by fingering it all the way around the edges. That way, it won't pop apart or lose preserves.
Bake at 350 degrees for 14 - 15 minutes... they should be cooked but not overly browned. If you like your Pop Tarts to look toasted, let them brown longer. You can also brush the cookie with egg white before baking to help with browning.
The frosting was a simple mixture of milk with confectioner's sugar. Start with about a teaspoon of milk and add enough powdered sugar until you like the consistency. It should be slightly runny. To this mixture Saucy also added about a half teaspoon of the raspberry preserves that had been run through the sieve to remove seeds - it gave the frosting a nice pink shade and a little shot of extra flavour. When frosted, they look adorably cute... like a mini Pop Tart should.
Because, like Cheerios, mini Pop Tarts served on a stick are outrageously, adorably cute.
Like Cheerios, they like to arrange themselves in pretty patterns too.
Oh, and how did the Cheerios do tonight, you ask? Those were some mighty powerful Pop Tarts. Of the teams in their division, they scored the highest. They leave on Friday for the Provincial Championships, fueled by determination, confidence and teeny tiny pastry.