Friday, August 28, 2015

#BookClubCookbookCC: Maple Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts

Somehow I let this month slip away from me.  Today is the day that my post is due for The Book Club Cooking Crew, and I planned so well I forgot to plan to make and blog my submission.  I just hope it's in time.
This month, Andrea of Adventures In All Things Food invited us this month to take a walk in the woods and eat a slice of impossibly lemon pie.  I took up the challenge with J, after reading the synopsis in my copy of The Book Club Cook Book of Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, I thought this was a book we could enjoy together:

As an individual with a visual impairment, my husband isn't a big reader.  It's just too taxing.  As an Eagle Scout, my husband has spent way more time roughing in the woods than I have.  I thought the subject matter would appeal, and we spent a couple of weeks after dinner, sitting as I read Bryson's wonderful story aloud.  We both so enjoyed the story - and now we're looking forward to Labour Day weekend so we can go see the movie.  The book is always better, but we have high hopes.
While the cook book suggested lemon pie, I made one not that long ago, so I went looking for something else.  The inspiration came in the form of Bryson and Katz's trail fare.
Early on in their travels, Bryson and Katz are joined by a woman named Mary Ellen, who turns out to be difficult for both of them to put up with.  At one point, they plan to ditch Mary Ellen, with Katz commenting if it doesn't work, they could always "kill her and steal her Pop Tarts."
I knew in that instant that I wanted to make Pop Tarts.  I spent some time on Pinterest looking at options, J told me that they had to be Brown Sugar Cinnamon, his favourite flavour from Boy Scouts.  I wanted to make the icing maple.
I found very realistic recipes, but finally decided that mine were going to be more of an homage to the Pop Tart with J's filling, my icing, and ideas from a variety of sources.  This one we're going to call my own.
I present to you now Maple Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts:

Pastry, enough for 1 pie crust (I use the Tenderflake recipe)
Flour, for rolling out
1 egg
2 tsp milk
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c icing sugar
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2.  On a lightly floured pastry sheet, roll pastry out to about 10" by 9".  Trim edges straight (I used a pizza cutter) to create a rectangle 9" by 8".  Cut rectangle into 6, making pieces 3" by 4".  Re-roll scraps to create 4 pairs of pastry rectangles.
3.  In a bowl, stir together brown sugar and cinnamon until well combined.  In a separate bowl, beat egg and milk to create egg wash.
4.  Lay 4 pieces of pastry on parchment covered baking sheet.  Brush rectangles with egg wash, covering completely.  Spread about 2 tablespoons on each rectangle, leaving a border all the way around the edge.  Cover with a second pastry rectangle and press edges well to seal.  Brush each tart with egg wash, and prick each tart with a fork 3 times so steam can escape while baking.
5.  Bake tarts at 350F for 20 minutes, or until golden.  Let cool completely.
6.  In a small bowl, stir together maple syrup and icing sugar.  The icing needs to be very thick, but still smooth.  Spread over tarts and let dry before serving.

When I placed my pastry on the baking sheet, I put down the 2 rectangles together so I knew which one I was going to use as a lid for each.  I then assembled one by one.
So it looked like a lot of filling, but leave a border so there's something for the top layer to adhere to.  I didn't use a fork to press, I just used my fingers to press hard.  Not to crush the layers, just join them.
And this is how it looked coming out of the oven.  They smelled really good, and I'd managed to press the edges well enough that no filling leaked out.
Then you put on the icing.  It needs to be a little more pourable than what you think.  Either that, or my pastry was too flaky.  When the icing was too thick, I tried to rip the top layer off the tart.  While I wouldn't recommend these for everyday (because you can feel your teeth seizing as you bite into this sugary delight), they're a nice little treat.  I'm sure they would have fit the bill for Bryson's sugar craving!

This month Andrea at Adventures in all Things Food, this month's host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from August 1st till August 31st at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

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*Disclosure: Andrea received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp to use in this year-long project plus the opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.


  1. I love your homemade pop tarts. The scenes with Mary Ellen just cracked me up...the whole book cracked me up. Enjoy the movie...I can't wait to see it.

  2. Yes! I suddenly wanted to eat poptarts when reading this book. Something I haven't had for decades.

  3. These look delicious! Thanks for posting this month.

  4. Mary Ellen was hilarious! I can't wait to see how she's portrayed in the movie. Maple Brown Sugar Pop Tarts used to me one of my favorites growing up and this recipe reminds me of a combination of those and another one of my favorites, Toaster Strudel! That's definitely the best of both worlds! ;-)

  5. mmm, what a delicious treat! so fun that you & your husband enjoyed the book together.