Aimee’s Pretty Palate: Making Breakfast Pop

Photos by Aimee Broussard

A couple of years ago, I purchased a rectangular mini pocket pie mold locally at Party Time. I really didn’t know that I “needed” it, but because I enjoy creating recipes in individual sizes I thought for sure I would put it to good use at some point. A recent trip there revealed they no longer carry them, but no worries because you can find them on Amazon and it’s pretty easy to make them on your own as well.

You can create all sorts of hand pies and pastries with the mold, but what I discovered is that it also allows for making homemade breakfast pastries, i.e. Pop-Tarts! And I know that you can purchase store-bought Pop-Tarts in a box super inexpensively, but let me ask you this: have you ever seen Pecan Praline Cream Cheese Pop-Tarts that look like mine? They are the perfect way to celebrate Mardi Gras!

My Spiced Pear Breakfast Pastries are a delicious way to enjoy fresh pears. I often feel like pears are a forgotten fruit, but combining them with lots of spice and then stuffing them inside pie crust will have you soon thinking of nothing but pears.

And finally, I can certainly attest to the fact that you will not find Bananas Foster Pop-Tarts anywhere on the market. They are everything good about transforming a favorite dessert into something appropriate for breakfast. You choose whether you want double doses of rum. I’m not judging either way.

Have fun experimenting with flavor combinations; it is what makes creating the most fun!

Note: Each pie crust will yield about 4 rectangles. You can use the scraps to reroll the crust to get additional pastries if desired.


PECAN PRALINE CREAME CHEESE POP-TARTS

Ingredients:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ tsp. vanilla extract, divided
¼ cup chopped pecans
1 pkg. pie crust (2 per container)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. half-and-half, plus more as needed
Sanding sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ½ tsp. vanilla extract together until light and fluffy. Fold in chopped pecans.
On a floured surface, roll out pie crusts. Cut out rectangles about 4½ in. long by 3 in. wide. You need 2 rectangles per pastry. Add 1½ to 2 heaping spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture to the base of the rectangles, in the center only, making sure to leave edges clean. Top with additional pie crust and use a fork to crimp edges to seal. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until desired number of pastries is reached. Before baking, use a fork to prick a couple of times to vent each pastry. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a baking rack before icing.
For icing, in a mixing bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp. half-and-half and ¼ tsp. vanilla extract. Add more half and half, ½ teaspoon at a time, to reach desired consistency. It should be slightly runny but able to maintain its shape. Spread icing over tops of Pop-Tarts, leaving a small rim uncoated around all sides. Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar while icing is still wet. Serve immediately.
Makes 4-6.

BANANAS FOSTER POP-TARTS

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar plus more for topping
2 ripe bananas, cut into ¼-in. rounds
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ cup plus ½ tsp. dark rum, divided
1 pkg. pie crust (2 per container)
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and brown sugar in a sauté pan over medium heat until butter has melted and brown sugar is combined. Add bananas, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and vanilla, and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove pan from heat and add ¼ cup rum. Note: If you add rum to hot liquid while using a gas range, vapors will potentially ignite.
On a floured surface, roll out pie crusts. Cut out rectangles about 4½ in. long by 3 in. wide. You need 2 rectangles per pastry. Add 1½ to 2 heaping spoonfuls of filling mixture to the base of the rectangles, in the center only, making sure to leave edges clean. Top with additional pie crust and use a fork to crimp edges to seal. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until desired number of pastries is reached. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before icing.
For glaze, combine powdered sugar and 2 to 3 Tbsp. water to achieve desired consistency. Add water gradually, 1 tsp. at a time, and whisk vigorously; add more water as needed. Add ½ tsp. of rum to glaze if desired. Pour glaze over Pop-Tarts and sprinkle with brown sugar. Serve warm.
Makes 4-6.

SPICED PEAR BREAKFAST PASTRIES

Ingredients:
Pastries:
2 Tbsp. butter
3 large ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced into ½-in. cubes
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed
3 Tbsp. light agave nectar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. allspice
1 pkg. pie crust (2 per container)
Icing:
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
4 Tbsp. butter, softened and slightly melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 to 2 Tbsp. whipping cream
Slivered almonds for topping (optional)
Turbinado sugar for topping (optional)
Pastries:
In a medium sauté pan, heat butter until melted. Add diced pears to butter and cook for about 5 minutes, until pears begin to release some liquid. Add vanilla bean, agave nectar and spices. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook until mixture begins to thicken and pears become tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, remove vanilla bean, and allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out pie crusts. Cut out rectangles about 4½ in. long by 3 in. wide. You need 2 rectangles per pastry. Add 2 heaping spoonfuls of pear mixture to the base of the rectangles, in the center only, making sure to leave edges clean. Top with additional pie crust and use a fork to crimp edges to seal. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat until desired number of pastries is reached. Before baking, use a fork to prick a couple of times to vent each pastry. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before icing.
Icing:
With a whisk attachment on a stand mixer, blend together powdered sugar and butter until well combined. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon. Scrape down sides of bowl, and slowly add whipping cream until smooth and spreadable and desired consistency is reached.
Use an offset spatula to frost each pastry with icing. Top with slivered almonds and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar if desired.
Makes 4-6.

Aimee Broussard is a Southern food blogger and award-winning cookbook author. Seen on QVC, Rachael Ray and more, she is a self-proclaimed accidental entrepreneur with a penchant for porches and sweet hospitality. Find her online at aimeebroussard.com.

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