Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned pop-tart for breakfast? Am I right or am I right? For the holidays, I tend to go for the traditional desserts like pecan or pumpkin pie (or my famous pumpkin bars), but this year I decided to try my hand at a little non-traditional treat that’s appealing to everyone around the holiday table, from young tots to grandma and grandpa… homemade holiday pop-tarts.
As a southern girl, one of my most favorite desserts is apple pie. So when deciding on the filling for these pop-tarts, the choice was simple: caramel apples! You see caramel apples a lot this time of year–why not put them in some pop-tarts? Y’all these are so, so good.
– 1 package of refrigerated pie crust
– 3-4 medium apples, cut into slices
– Brown sugar
– Unsalted butter
– Lemon juice
– Cinnamon sticks
– Confectioners’ sugar
– Ground cinnamon
– Vanilla extract
Heat a cast iron dutch oven or pot on medium heat and throw in your apples, skins removed, with 1-2 tablespoons of butter. Add 2 cinnamon sticks, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a generous sprinkle of ground cinnamon and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Let the apples break down and become soft, stirring every few minutes or so. Once they are super soft, remove from the heat, pour into a Cuisinart or blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
In a saucepan, combine 1 cup of brown sugar with 1/2 cup of half-n-half and 2 tablespoons of butter. Gently whisk while the mixture melds over medium to low heat for about 6-7 minutes. It will start to thicken and take on a nice dark/golden brown color. Add 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract and let the caramel cook for another minute or two. Pour the caramel sauce into the pot of blended apples; mix until combined. *Note, eyeball the caramel when you’re pouring it into the apples. You may not need to add all of the caramel!
On a sheet pan, lay out your pie crusts in 3-inch wide strips. Spoon the caramel apple mixture (you want it cooled or room temperature) into the bottom half of each pie crust, fold over to create pop-tart pockets and press gently down on all sides to remove any air. Using a fork, score the edges of the pie crusts, pinching them together on the open 3 sides. Bake on 425 for 10-12 minutes and until the edges are golden brown.
While the pop-tarts bake, it’s time to make the icing! Whisk together 1 and 1/3 cup of confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons of half-n-half and a splash of vanilla. Once the pop-tarts are out of the oven and cooled, spread the icing and add your sprinkles or toppings. *Quick tip: If you are pressed for time and need to ice these pop-tarts quickly, place them on cold plates and pop them into the refrigerator for about 10 minutes. This should help!
I opted for white icing with gold sprinkles to make these treats fun and festive for the holidays. And as a self-proclaimed non-baker, I’m pretty proud of the way they turned out! And the best part is that these homemade holiday pop-tarts are delicious for breakfast the next morning too (or as a snack when no one’s watching). Hope you enjoy!
* This recipe yields 4-6 pop-tarts.