I’m obviously no Martha Stewart when it comes to cutesy treats. I can barely frost a cake. But when the idea for these heart tarts came to mind, I couldn’t let my lack of craftiness get in the way.
The idea for these tarts really stemmed from my nostalgic childhood love of the strawberry Pop-Tart. I used to eat them quite religiously for breakfast, warmed up with a glass of cold strawberry milk on the side. Sugar with a side of sugar. It’s how I liked to roll.
These days, I know my limits a little better with sugar, so the Pop-Tart breakfast days are few and far between. But since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, I thought it would be a good occasion to treat myself, homemade heart-shaped strawberry pop tart style. With a side of regular milk and fresh strawberries. It’s a more-than-fair compromise.
Of course, I have every intent to share these heart tarts with my Valentines in this house (minus the cat, obvi — maybe they have heart-shaped cat treats?). Avery already tried to claim one as her own when I was photographing these, but thankfully my quick mama reflexes caught her before she yanked the towel off the table and with it, the entire batch of hearts. There would have been a lot of broken hearts that morning if that had happened, both literally and figuratively.
The crust on these tarts is everything you would hope it to be — flaky and buttery, thick but not dry. It’s the perfect complement to the sweet jam filling and the vanilla icing on top. I love the crunch sprinkles give to the tarts, too — and let’s be honest, they just look cuter that way (just don’t look too closely at my childlike decorating skills — apparently I haven’t grown out of those just yet).
These tarts also can be made ahead and frozen — so if you don’t have time to cobble together a homemade pop tart recipe on Valentine’s Day morning (who ever does on any morning, really?), you can prep them this week and bake them straight from the freezer. Once they’re fully cooled, spread on a little icing, sprinkle on a few sprinkles and eat the love.
Sunday, you’re already looking extra sweet.
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
- ½ cup strawberry jam or preserves
- Pink and red sprinkles, for topping (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- In food processor, pulse flour, salt and sugar until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 4 tablespoons water; process just until dough forms (if dough doesn't form, add remaining 1 tablespoon water).
- Divide dough in half. Shape each half into 5-inch round disks. Cover disks tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap 1 dough disk. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to ¼-inch thick. Use large heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut dough. Transfer hearts to baking sheet. Re-roll scraps once to cut more hearts, if desired.
- Spoon and spread scant tablespoon jam on top of each heart, leaving ½-inch border around edges. Unwrap second dough disk, roll out and cut into hearts. Place hearts on top of jam-topped hearts on baking sheet, gently pressing seam with fingers to seal. Use fork tines to seal seams, then poke top of each heart 3 to 4 times. Cover hearts with plastic wrap and freeze 2 hours or up to 1 week.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Uncover hearts and bake 20 to 25 minutes until crust is baked through and lightly golden. Cool completely before icing.
- To make icing, mix powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon milk and vanilla. Add remaining tablespoon milk if needed to make smooth but thick icing. Spread icing over fully cooled hearts, leaving ½-inch border around edges. Top with red and pink sprinkles, if desired. Let icing set at room temperature.