Valentine’s Day Pop Hearts

Growing up Valentine’s Day was never a holiday that my family made much of a to do about.  Rather than splurge on each other, my parents did the sweet thing of making Valentine’s Day more about my sister and myself.  Mom would get us little gifts, and Dad would send us flowers.  So ever since then, even when I was in relationships, I never really saw it as a day that required much.   I still had to go to work, and get up early the day after.  Plus, I have never been the girl who passed up anything she liked in a store.  So I never felt that I needed a gift just because everyone else was getting one on that day.  I’m more the girl who would rather pick up two great filets from the market, prepare a nice dinner at home, and break into a great bottle of wine.

And this year is seeming to be just like the rest.  My Mom, Sister and myself still keep the tradition where we each buy each other a little happy (typically something from the Chanel makeup counter).  Then the three of us will treat ourselves to a simple dinner made at home, and toast to the fact that we are all in good health and in the same place this year.  And of course, we will need something sweet to end the meal.

Taking a spin on a childhood favorite, I thought I would make my own homemade version of Pop Tarts.  But when you use a heart shaped cookie cutter and festive sprinkles, they are immediately transformed into Pop Hearts!  Yes, cheesy, but I don’t care.  And since I gave up eating anything containing preservatives, this recipe is a fun way to enjoy that childhood sweet treat, without the guilt.  I hope you all enjoy your days doing whatever it is you choose to do….even if it is just hanging with your cat and watching Gilmore Girls reruns on Netflix.

Happy Tastings,

Lauren

heart-cookie-cutter-and-rolling-pinheart-cutouts-in-doughpop-hearts-on-baking-sheetpop-hearts-on-cake-pansall-you-need-is-love-and-a-cat

Valentine’s Day Pop Hearts

Ingredients:

For the plain dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/3 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup cold water

For the chocolate dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/3 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup cold water

For the egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the jam filling:

  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam (or any other jam of choice)

For the chocolate filling:

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, cup into small cubes
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tsp milk (may need to add more if needed)
  • 1 1/4 tbsp light corn syrup
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 drops pink food dye

For the chocolate icing:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 ounces milk chocolate, melted
  • coarse salt or sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions:

1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until blended. Add the shortening and pulse just until the mix is crumbly. Add the egg and cold water and pulse just until blended.  Repeat steps and ingredients for the chocolate dough.

2. Shape dough into two disks (plain and chocolate), wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

3.  While dough chills, prepare chocolate fudge filling for chocolate hearts.  Stir together cocoa powder, brown sugar, milk or cream, salt and half of the chopped milk chocolate. Place in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until chocolate is melted. Cook mixture at a low boil, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, add remaining chocolate, butter and vanilla and stir until smooth. Set aside to cool and thicken.

4. Once your dough is chilled, roll out on a lightly floured surface until about 1/8 inch thick. Take a large heart shaped cookie cutter and pop out pieces of dough hearts. Place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

5. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

6. To make the egg wash, just whisk the egg and water together until foamy. Brush half of the hearts on your sheet with the egg wash.

7. Fill two piping bags, one with jam  and the other with the cooled chocolate fudge.  Pipe a small amount  of jam on the the plain dough hearts, and pipe the fudge filling for the chocolate hearts.  Both egg washed.  I did about 1 tsp worth of jam for the plain hearts since I used a small cookie cutter, about 3″ tall.  Since my chocolate ones were a bit larger, about 5″ tall, I used a tbsp of the fudge filling. Remember not to overfill the tarts, you want them more flat than round.  Follow instructions and use the

8. Top each filled heart with a dough heart that has not been egg washed. (Plain on top of plain and chocolate on top of chocolate).  Seal the edges together with your fingers. With a fork, crimp the edges together along the entire heart. Repeat with remaining hearts.

9. Bake the pop tarts in your preheated oven for 15-18 minutes until the tops are golden brown and you can see the fruit jam bubbling out of the sides.

10. Make your icing while the tarts cool. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the pink icing, set aside.  Repeat steps for the chocolate icing and keep in separate bowl.

12. Pipe or spread each glaze onto the corresponding pop hearts and top with sprinkles. Enjoy!

 

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