We’ve heard the stories about the weird things pregnant women crave… pickles and ice cream, etc. Thankfully I haven’t had much of that, at least not the weird cravings (although pickles do ALWAYS sound amazing). I have, however, been really craving pop-tarts for the last couple of months. Here in Mexico they do have pop-tarts, the standard, full of crap and gluten-filled variety long loved in the States. Definitely NOT gluten-free pop-tarts… They barely have gluten-free pasta here! So, as with many things since moving, I had to figure out how to make my own…
It started as all good recipe searches do, Googling gluten free vegan pop tarts. I am long devoted to the brown sugar-cinnamon variety (frosted of course) but at the start I figured any recipe would do. I found a few viable options and pinned them all for reference later, when I might actually have the ingredients (xanthan gum, anyone?).
This weekend turned out to be the time. We’re getting ready to move into a new place, so all my baking supplies will be packed away for at least a week and food is getting kinda low as we don’t want to stock up on too much. My MIL had brought me xanthan gum back from her recent trip to the states, and we’d picked up some gf all purpose flour last time we saw it at the local grocery. Yay! After reviewing the recipes, I decided on this one from Cara over at Fork & Beans. Seems simple enough…
First challenge, no vegan shortening in Mexico. Hmmm, I’m thinking I can’t just sub the vegan “butter” I found at Costco since the recipe calls for both butter AND shortening. There must be a reason. Another Google search and I find this easy to follow DIY recipe. I only needed 4 Tablespoons so I figured the Vitamix would be overkill. Threw the coconut oil and grapeseed oil in a small jam jar and shook like mad for 1 minute. That’s hard work! The threw it in the freezer overnight, along with another small container of butter since I figure I’m in Mexico and the colder to start with the better! Also, I had the forethought to put our metal mixing bowl in the freezer, too. I’ve never really made pastry dough before, but somehow I feel like stuff needs to stay cold.
Alright, armed with shortening, butter and a COLD mixing bowl, I am super excited to discover that my electric hand mixer came with dough hook attachments! Yay! This part goes pretty smoothly, it’s hard to mess up following directions and mixing dough. Me being me, I actually use the kitchen scale to measure out exactly the same amount of dough for each ball. Toss them in the fridge in Ziploc sandwich bags (we haven’t yet found cling wrap here) to wait at least the recommended 30 minutes. That turns into overnight.
Sunday morning dawns and I’m stoked to finish these bad boys and have delicious breakfast. Needless to say, it’s not one of my sunnier pregnancy mornings. I’m weepy and achy and ech. But, the promise of my favorite morning pastry pulls me into the kitchen anyway. Time to roll out the dough. Easier said than done. The recipe brilliantly directs to roll out between two sheets of parchment paper. Saves my expensive and rare gf flour! But… Have you ever tried rolling out dough on parchment on a granite counter????? It’s sliding all over the place. I manage to sort of hold it down by placing various objects on the edges, but it’s still kind of a pain. The first attempt is way too thin, so I fold it all up and do over. This time I hit it right, about 1/8 inch thick (the recipe states 1/4 inch, but a previous version on the same site correctly indicates 1/8). One bottom… By the time I’ve rolled out the top the dough is getting too warm and stretchy, it gets a bit messy, but hey, it’s all about taste, right?
Next challenge, no brown sugar for the filling I’ve snagged here. So, I use sugar, and since brown sugar tends to have a bit of moisture I slowly add melted coconut oil until the filling is slightly clumping. I pat myself on the back for my resourcefulness. When all is said and done, I get four 5×3 pop-tarts, 2 mini-tarts and 1 “plop-tart”, which is the left over dough rolled out with the edges folded up over the filling. Sweet!
Final step, the icing. They just aren’t right without it. And, final challenge, I don’t have powdered sugar. No worries thanks to one of my favorite bloggers who wrote a brilliant post about sugar-free powdered sugar! I actually used sugar, but same concept. Again, figured the blender was overkill so I used the coffee grinder. So easy! 1/3 cup sugar whirled for just 15 seconds and I had powdered sugar. That is too cool.
So, after all that, here’s the final product! I’m realizing now why food bloggers take so many pictures of the process, it breaks up the monotony of the “story”. Sorry about that! Anyway, they turned out really well, I and DH think. They are pretty darn sweet, I think because brown sugar isn’t quite as sweet as straight sugar. I think next time I try this I’ll definitely make sure to buy some for the filling. We’ll also try some fruit filling and frosting next time, too. Can’t wait!!