The Ultimate Valentine's Day Treat Box


 
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox
The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox

I couldn’t let Valentine’s day go by without a sneaky wee cookie box. Personally I’m not a giant fan of Valentine’s day, but what I do really love is making super cute pink stuff, so here we are! My friend Chelsea reached out a while back and asked if I wanted to do a wee valentine’s day collab with some macarons, so I roped in Jase and we took it one step further and came up with this epic Valentine’s themed treat box! We each did a bunch of prep the day before, then got together and put it all together, hung out, and took 12 zillion photos. It was the best day.

Jase and I made Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Macarons (classic v day flavour, chocolate and berries), and then some meringue kisses, which are super easy to make - the recipe makes loads, and they keep for a super long time. We also tried our hand at making some soft caramels, which turned out beautifully. We made an earl grey version, and I’m now hooked on making them and can’t wait to make more in the future. Finally, we also made some super cute marshmallow hearts, flavoured with a freeze dried raspberry powder.

Chelsea brought Sugar cookies, linzers, and chocolate sandwich cookies. She ices the cookies with royal icing and then paints on them with edible paint - I am totally, totally blown away by her talent. She did some wee heart cookies which became little conversation hearts, and then made THE most amazing, detailed, valentine’s themed cookies I have ever, ever seen. She chatted away while she just casually painted macarons, a task which would have me hiding in the corner in tears five seconds in. She’s also just an amazing human being, and will be opening a bakeshop in the near future. I am so excited for her, but also so, so grateful that I am lucky enough to call so many amazingly talented people my friends! Yay to more collabs in the future!

Here’s what we ended up with:

  • Earl Grey caramels

  • Vanilla bean Meringue Kisses

  • Raspberry Heart Shaped Marshmallows

  • Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Jam (Chelsea brought these but I have included a version below)

  • Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Macarons - Recipe Here

  • Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (This recipe, but without any leavener, and filled with extra buttercream from the macarons)

  • Decorated Sugar cookies (Chelsea made these with her recipe, but I have a version here - I like this royal icing recipe)

A few wee tips:

  • The key to a good Cookie box (in my opinion), is choosing one colour and sticking with it as a theme throughout. We went with pink for valentine’s day.

  • We did all the prep work the day beforehand, then put it together and shot it the next day!

  • Make sure you plan out your cookie box before you start so that you have a good mixture of things - I like to do a combination of cookies but also little sweet treaty things such as as the caramels and the meringue kisses

  • A good way of making things a little easier on yourself is to make some components that can be used in a few places - for example, the jam and the buttercream from the macarons can be used to fill the linzers and chocolate cookies.

  • Here is the box we used - I got Rich to make us some dividers on the laser cutter.

 

 

Earl Grey Caramels

- Makes about 160 caramels -

Recipe Adapted from ‘Candy Is Magic’ by Jami Curl

Earl Grey Cream
300g Heavy Cream
30g Loose leaf Earl grey tea

Caramels
438g Glucose syrup or light corn syrup
800g sugar
220g Earl Grey Cream
8g Kosher Salt
2g Vanilla bean powder (I used Heilala)
330g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1 inch cubes

 

- PROCESS -

EARL GREY CREAM

Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan, and heat over low to medium heat until just shy of a simmer. Add the loose leaf tea, cover the pot, and steep for 20 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down on the tea to get as much liquid out as possible. Clean out the saucepan, wipe dry, and measure 220g of the cream into the saucepan. Place over a low heat until ready to use. If you are making ahead, store in an airtight container in the fridge, then rewarm when ready to use.

CARAMELS

Butter a 9” x 13” pan and have nearby.

Place the corn syrup or glucose into a large heavy bottomed saucepan (It is easiest to weigh directly into the pan). Heat over medium high, until it begins to bubble. Swirl the pot occasionally to prevent any hot spots

Sprinkle in a third of the sugar, and, using a spatula or wooden spoon, poke the sugar so it is covered by the corn syrup. Do not stir at any time. Once all of the sugar has been covered, add the second third, and repeat the poking process. Repeat with the final third of sugar.

Place the cream into a small saucepan and place over low heat. Add the salt and vanilla bean powder.

Cook the corn syrup and sugar mixture, swirling the pot occasionally, until it is dark amber in colour. This should take around 13 to 15 minutes. Do not walk away from the caramel - it is important you watch it carefully so you can swirl the pot as needed to distribute the heat and ensure even cooking.

Once the mixture is dark amber, remove from the heat, and add in the earl grey cream mixture, followed by the butter. Using a large whisk, whisk the mixture for 5 minutes, until it is completely emulsified. Make sure you whisk for the full 5 minutes to ensure this.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and allow to set for at least 3 hours, or ideally overnight.

To cut, prepare a chopping board and sharp knife. Carefully lift the caramel out of the pan - I found it was easiest to start in one corner and slowly work my way out. Use a ruler to mark the caramel - we did approximately 1 1/2 “ by 3/4” pieces, but you can cut however you like - 1” squares work great too.

Wrap the caramels in wax paper or cellophane squares - we used wax paper squares.

 

 

Vanilla Bean Meringue Kisses

- Makes about 60 meringue kisses, or about 24 nests -

Note: This recipe is very scaleable - the ratio of egg whites to sugar is 1:1.5, so adjust to your liking. Because the meringues are essentially ‘dried’ rather than cooked, you can pipe various sizes and bake all together.

200g egg whites
300g granulated sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
Pink Gel Food colouring (Optional)

 

- PROCESS -

MERINGUE

Preheat the oven to 225˚f / 110˚c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fit two large piping bags with your tip of choice (I used an Ateco #826).

Measure the egg whites and granulated sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or other heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture, whisking often and watching the edges carefully, until it no longer feels gritty when rubbed between your fingers, and it registers at least 70˚c / 160˚f on a thermometer. 

Carefully transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form, approximately 4-5 minutes. Transfer half to a to piping bag, then colour the remainder with a few drops of gel food colouring, mix to incorporate, and transfer to the second piping bag.

Use a few small blobs of meringue to secure the parchment paper to the baking sheet. Pipe 'kisses', onto the baking paper lined sheets, leaving a small amount of space between each (they will not spread in the oven). You can pipe whatever shape you would like here - blobs, nests, kisses etc.

Place the baking sheets into the oven. Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until they feel firm and no longer sticky, and peel cleanly off the paper when you lift them up. Turn off the oven, and leave them in there for at least an additional hour to dry out and crisp up.

Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

 

 

Raspberry Marshmallows

- Makes one 13” x 9” pan of marshmallows -

Marshmallow Dust
35g (1/4 cup) powdered sugar
35g (1/4 cup) Corn Starch

Raspberry Marshmallows
75g cold water
14g (2 sachets) powdered gelatine
75g cold water
270g Sugar
106 g light corn syrup
1 tablespoon (18g) vanilla bean paste, or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
20g freeze-dried raspberry powder (we used Freshas brand)

- PROCESS -

MARSHMALLOW DUST

Sift together the powdered sugar and corn starch. Set aside - this will be used to dust the pan.

RASPBERRY MARSHMALLOWS

Grease a 9” x 13” quarter sheet pan with butter, and dust with marshmallow dust. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine 75 grams water with the powdered gelatine. Combine well and leave to bloom while you prepare the sugar syrup.

In a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan, heat the second measure of water, granulated sugar, light corn syrup, vanilla bean paste, and freeze dried raspberry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until a candy thermometer registers 240˚f (116˚c). Remove from the heat, and allow to cool to 210˚f (99˚c).

Turn the mixer to medium speed, and allow it to break up the gelatine slightly. Carefully stream in the sugar syrup mixture. Increase the speed to high, and beat until the marshmallow has doubled in volume, holds a small peak, and is fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Working quickly, scrape into the prepared pan, and smooth down with a lightly oiled offset spatula. Dust with additional marshmallow dust, and allow to cure for at least 3 hours.

Dust a work surface with marshmallow dust, and turn the marshmallow onto it. Using a heart cutter of your desired size, cut out heart mallows, dusting the cutter with marshmallow dust as needed.

Store in an airtight container until ready to use.


 

 

Shortbread Linzer Cookies

- Makes approximately 18 sandwich cookies, depending on size -

Shortbread Roll-out Cookies
180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
65g powdered sugar, sifted
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
265 g all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar to dust

Raspberry Quick Jam
375g frozen raspberries
400g granulated sugar

- PROCESS -

SHORTBREAD COOKIES

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste on high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the flour, and mix on low until just combined.

Dump the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and press out into a rectangle. Wrap tightly, and refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight, to allow the butter to firm up.

Place the wrapped dough on the bench for 10-15 minutes to allow it to soften slightly. Cut two pieces of parchment paper the same size as a half baking sheet (13” x 18”). Unwrap the dough, and place between the two sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, bang the dough gently to help flatten out, then roll to the size of the parchment paper. If you have some wrinkles in the parchment paper, which will then in turn cause wrinkles in your dough, peel the sheet off and smooth it back onto the dough, then continue rolling.

Once you have rolled your dough to the size of the parchment paper, transfer it, still between the two sheets of paper, to a baking sheet, and place in the freezer to firm up, 15-20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325˚f (170˚c). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 2” fluted cookie cutter, cut circles of dough, and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet (you can fit quite a few cookies on a baking sheet, as they do not spread much). If the dough starts to soften, return to the freezer to firm up. Re-roll scraps, freeze briefly, then cut out the rest of the dough.

Place the cut out cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes, then, using a small shaped cutter, cut out a hole in the middle of half of the cookies.

One sheet at a time, bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes, until the shortbread is set and only just beginning to go golden. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

RASPBERRY QUICK JAM

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, mash the raspberries roughly. Bring to a rolling boil, and then add the sugar. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a container or sterilised jars, and allow to cool completely before using. Store in the fridge.

FILLING AND ASSEMBLY

Pair up the cookies so each pair has one solid half, and one half with a cut-out. Arrange the halves with a cut-out on a wire rack, and dust generously with powdered sugar. Place all the solid halves, smooth side (the side that was facing upwards on the baking sheet) down, and, either using a piping bag or a spoon, dollop about a teaspoon of the Raspberry Jam Filling onto the halves. Top with a cut-out half, and carefully press down to sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies.

Store leftovers in an airtight container. If you are not planning on eating these on the first or second day, store the cookies and the filling separate, and sandwich closer to eating, to avoid them going soggy.

The Ultimate Valentine's Day treat box - a perfect mix of cookies and sweet treats to help celebrate valentine's day or the ones you love. This would make the most amazing gift - we included macarons, painted sugar cookies, linzer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, meringue kisses, soft earl grey caramels, and marshmallow hearts. #valentinesday #cookiebox

Roasted Pear and Vanilla Bean Scones with Salty Honey Glaze


 
Roasted Pear and Vanilla Bean Scones with Salty Honey Glaze - Giant Craggy Scones filled with pear chunks held together with tender scone dough, and finished with a sticky honey glaze and a generous dose of flaky sea salt.
Roasted Pear and Vanilla Bean Scones with Salty Honey Glaze - Giant Craggy Scones filled with pear chunks held together with tender scone dough, and finished with a sticky honey glaze and a generous dose of flaky sea salt.
Roasted Pear and Vanilla Bean Scones with Salty Honey Glaze - Giant Craggy Scones filled with pear chunks held together with tender scone dough, and finished with a sticky honey glaze and a generous dose of flaky sea salt.
Roasted Pear and Vanilla Bean Scones with Salty Honey Glaze - Giant Craggy Scones filled with pear chunks held together with tender scone dough, and finished with a sticky honey glaze and a generous dose of flaky sea salt.

Hi! Happy New Year! Sorry for going a bit quiet over here - I took some time off, and then couldn’t quite kick myself back into a routine. This time of the year is always a little weird for me, as I tend to get super homesick (I’m sure that the cold doesn’t help either), which tends to trigger anxiety, and I then find it super hard to get anything done. It happens every year and I’m always surprised, until Mum reminds me (every year) that it does, and I have to just remind myself to go a little easy just for a bit. Once I manage to get myself back into routine it usually sorts itself out, and I am super happy to have found my baking mojo again! I can’t wait to share some super fun things with you this year - there are some awesome things lined up!

These roasted pear and salted honey scones are inspired by some I ate when I spent 24 hours in Portland, Maine in October last year. I got up early and made my way to Tandem Coffee and bakery, which is a crazy cute little cafe and bakery. I plopped myself in the corner with a book, ate the best breakfast sandwich I think I will ever have in my life, and then grabbed a scone to go as I was leaving for the airport. And oh man am I glad I did. The scone had giant chunks of pear, held together by tender scone dough, and was topped with a salty honey situation that rounded it all off so, so perfectly. I knew I had to immediately recreate them, so here we are (like, 3 months later haha).

Because pear, like most fruit, releases liquid when it bakes, I decided to roast the pear chunks slightly first to help get rid of some of the moisture, stopping the final product from being too soggy. The cooled roasted pear chunks are then tossed through the scone dough, and stay firm enough after baking to give an amazing variation in texture. The honey on the top adds a lovely sweetness, and then the flaky salt on top cuts perfectly through the honey, while adding crunch. Because of the giant chunks of pear, the scones are slightly more craggy and rustic than regular scones, but I promise you that this is totally made up for by how they taste. They would make a perfect morning or afternoon treat, and are easy enough that you can quickly whip them up at short notice. Enjoy!

A few wee tips:

  • These are a little more craggy than traditional scones, because of the moisture provided by the pear. This also makes them super tender and delicious.

  • Depending on the juiciness of the pear, you may need a little additional liquid in the scones. Add the amount called for in the recipe, then add by the teaspoon as needed, focussing on dry spots. The pears do provide some moisture, so make sure you are aware of this - you won’t need more than 240g (1 cup) of milk total.

  • Because you don’t want to completely squish the pear, I add three quarters of the milk and mix it into the flour mixture, before tossing in the roasted pear chunks. This helps reduce the chances of breaking up the pear as you mix in the rest of the milk.

  • Don’t take the honey too far - you only want to boil it for a minute tops. If you take it too far it turns into a hard caramel that is super hard to eat. I took mine to 240°f / 115°c and then left it to stand, where it thickened nicely.

 

 

Roasted Pear and Vanilla Bean Scones with Salty Honey Glaze

- Makes 8 Large Scones -

Scones
6 large, firmish pears, peeled, cored, and diced (800g chopped pear)
600g all-purpose flour
5 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
160g unsalted butter, diced into small cubes and frozen for 15 minutes
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
210g whole milk, divided, plus a little extra if required (see notes)

Honey Glaze
150g honey (I used a raw clover honey)
Flaky Sea Salt to finish

 

- PROCESS -

SCONES

Preheat the oven to 400°f / 200°c. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the diced pear evenly over the lined sheet. Roast the pear for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pear feels dry and is beginning to turn golden brown in places. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Leave the oven on.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and rub in using your fingertips until it is mainly combined, with a few lumps remaining. Mix the vanilla bean paste into the milk. Add about half of the milk into the dry ingredients, mixing with a spatula or your hands until combined. Add the cooled pear chunks to the bowl, and toss well with your hands to ensure they are evenly dispersed through the mixture.

Add the remainder of the milk, and mix gently with your hands until incorporated, taking care to not crush too much of the pear chunks. You want the dough to be cohesive with no dry parts. Add extra milk a teaspoon at a time if needed, and mix to combine.

Line the baking sheet used for the pears with a fresh piece of parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and flatten into a rectangle using your hands. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the dough into 8 pieces. Dust the bottoms of the scones lightly with flour and arrange evenly on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the scones for 20-25 minutes, until they are golden brown on the bottoms and lightly golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. While the scones are cooling on the rack, prepare the honey glaze.

 

SALTY HONEY GLAZE

Place the honey in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until it starts to bubble. Once the honey is boiling, boil for one minute, then remove from the heat and allow to stand in the saucepan for 20 minutes to cool and thicken.

Using a pastry brush, brush the cooled honey thickly onto the top of the scones. Finish with flaky sea salt. Best eaten the day they are made, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container and reheated in the microwave before eating.

Roasted Pear and Vanilla Bean Scones with Salty Honey Glaze - Giant Craggy Scones filled with pear chunks held together with tender scone dough, and finished with a sticky honey glaze and a generous dose of flaky sea salt.

Apricot Pop Tarts with Vanilla Bean Icing


 
Apricot Pop Tarts with Vanilla Bean Icing - a quick apricot jam is enclosed in a buttery, flaky puff pastry, before being finished off with a vanilla bean icing. #poptart #pastry #apricot #jam #apricotjam #vanillabean
Apricot Pop Tarts with Vanilla Bean Icing - a quick apricot jam is enclosed in a buttery, flaky puff pastry, before being finished off with a vanilla bean icing. #poptart #pastry #apricot #jam #apricotjam #vanillabean
Apricot Pop Tarts with Vanilla Bean Icing - a quick apricot jam is enclosed in a buttery, flaky puff pastry, before being finished off with a vanilla bean icing. #poptart #pastry #apricot #jam #apricotjam #vanillabean
Apricot Pop Tarts with Vanilla Bean Icing - a quick apricot jam is enclosed in a buttery, flaky puff pastry, before being finished off with a vanilla bean icing. #poptart #pastry #apricot #jam #apricotjam #vanillabean
Apricot Pop Tarts with Vanilla Bean Icing - a quick apricot jam is enclosed in a buttery, flaky puff pastry, before being finished off with a vanilla bean icing. #poptart #pastry #apricot #jam #apricotjam #vanillabean
Apricot Pop Tarts with Vanilla Bean Icing - a quick apricot jam is enclosed in a buttery, flaky puff pastry, before being finished off with a vanilla bean icing. #poptart #pastry #apricot #jam #apricotjam #vanillabean
Apricot Pop Tarts with Vanilla Bean Icing - a quick apricot jam is enclosed in a buttery, flaky puff pastry, before being finished off with a vanilla bean icing. #poptart #pastry #apricot #jam #apricotjam #vanillabean
Apricot Pop Tarts with Vanilla Bean Icing - a quick apricot jam is enclosed in a buttery, flaky puff pastry, before being finished off with a vanilla bean icing. #poptart #pastry #apricot #jam #apricotjam #vanillabean

Hi hi from Montauk! We are up here for  few days with Richard's Mum and Sisters who are over visiting from home! So far we've eaten a couple of giant salads made with ingredients from the local farm stand, a few fish tacos, and have indulged in a lot of blobbing about. It's going to be so nice to have a wee break from the city!

I just wanted to pop by and share this recipe with you while we are still in stone fruit season here in the states, although it can be made with a jar of your fave preserves. I had some extra puff pastry left over from a project, and a bowl full of amazingly fresh apricots, so pop tarts really were a great mistake waiting to happen. This recipe is incredibly versatile and can really be made with any type of puff pastry - fresh or home made, or a store bought jam, or one you have made yourself. However you choose to make them, I promise they will be delicious. If you haven't made your own jam before I really do encourage you to give it a try - it's super easy and the most amazing way to preserve fruit when it is at its peak long after the season ends. And you can't go wrong with the butteriest, flakiest of puff pastries, and a vanilla bean icing. Enjoy!

A few wee tips:

  • The apricot jam does take some time to cool, so ensure that you leave time for this. If you need it to cool faster, you can place it into a shallow dish to increase the surface area. 
  • Make sure you sterilise your jars and lids - I like to put the jars in the oven at about 300˚f for 15 mins to kill off any germs. I then put the lids in boiling water and leave them in there until I am ready to use them.
  • This recipe is easily customisable - you can use store bought puff, and definitely can use a regular store bought jar of jam or preserves inside. 
  • It is also very easy to scale - the recipe makes about 3 jars of jam, so make as few or as many as you like. They do freeze very well too - freeze until solid then transfer to an airtight container, then bake when you are ready. 
  • I use a homemade puff pastry in this recipe because that is what I had leftover, but since making and shooting these I have also been playing around with a rough puff pastry recipe which is a bit easier to make and just as delicious, so you could absolutely use that too.
  • Apparently people put pop tarts in the toaster? I definitely wouldn't recommend that with these - if you would like to reheat, a few minutes in a preheated oven would help crisp them up a little - just bear in mind the icing might get a bit melty.
 

 

Apricot Pop Tarts with Vanilla Bean Icing

- Makes about 9 pop tarts -

Pastry Recipe via The Fearless Baker, Apricot jam filling slightly adapted from David Lebovitz

Pastry
1/2 recipe Homemade puff pastry, or 1/2 recipe of Rough Puff pastry, or about 700g good quality store bought puff pastry (the filling recipe makes more than enough jam, so this can be easily scaled depending on how many you want to make, and they freeze very well)

Apricot Jam Filling
1kg apricots, pit removed and roughly chopped
60g (1/4 cup) water
600g sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
pinch of kosher salt
Juice of half a lemon

Vanilla Bean Icing
150g Powdered sugar, Sifted
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp milk 

- PROCESS -

APRICOT JAM FILLING

Place a small plate in the freezer to use later to check the gelling of the jam. 

In a Large heavy bottomed pot (I used a dutch oven), bring the apricots and water to a gentle boil, and then cook, stirring often, until the fruit is tender. 

Add the sugar and cook, stirring often, until it is starting to reduce slightly, or reaches 105˚c / 220˚f on a candy thermometer. Skim off any foam if it develops.This generally takes me about 15-20 minutes, and I prefer to use the thermometer method and double check with the plate method.

To double check if the jam is done, place about a tablespoon on the frozen plate, then return to the freezer for 2-3 minutes (remove the jam from the heat while you wait to ensure that it does not overcook). Give the jam on the plate a little nudge with your finger - if it wrinkles, it is done. 

Ladle the finished jam into the sterilised jars, and screw the lids on tightly. Allow to cool completely, then store in the fridge.

 

ASSEMBLY

Preheat the oven to 375˚f / 190˚c. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry into a large rectangle. If you are worried about it getting too warm and soft, you can cut it in half and do this in two parts. Using a ruler and a sharp knife or pastry cutter, cut the pastry into 3" x 4" rectangles (7cm x 10cm). You should get approximately 18 rectangles. Place the cut rectangles carefully onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and refrigerate for 10 mins to help firm up the pastry slightly. 

Remove the pastry rectangles from the fridge and match up into pairs. Lightly brush the edges of one piece of pastry with egg wash, then place about a tablespoon of apricot jam in the centre. Top with a second piece of pastry, pressing down lightly around the edges to seal, ensuring that there are no air bubbles. Use the tines of a fork to press down around the edges to help seal. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining rectangles of pastry until all the pop tarts are assembled. 

Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer, and freeze the pop tarts for 15 minutes. Remove from the freezer, and brush lightly with egg wash. 

Bake the pop tarts for 30-35 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. Remove from the oven, cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. 

ICING

Combine all of the icing ingredients in a small bowl until a spreadable consistency. Add more powdered sugar or cream if necessary. Spoon over the pop tarts and garnish with sprinkles if desired. 

Best eaten on the same day that they are made. 

Apricot Pop Tarts with Vanilla Bean Icing - a quick apricot jam is enclosed in a buttery, flaky puff pastry, before being finished off with a vanilla bean icing. #poptart #pastry #apricot #jam #apricotjam #vanillabean