Tasty Toaster Tarts

Who doesn't love that classic cereal-aisle favorite, the toaster tart? This is our take on that legendary breakfast pastry, inspired by chef-owner Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery in Boston. We've filled these with brown sugar and cinnamon, but also offer a jam filling at the end of the directions.
Prep
23 mins
Bake
30 to 35 mins
Total
1 hr 53 mins
Yield
9 toaster tarts
Tasty Toaster Tarts

Instructions

  1. To make the dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Work in the butter until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it, with pecan-sized lumps of butter still visible. Mix the egg and milk, and add it to the dough, mixing just until everything is cohesive.
  2. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a rough 3" x 5" rectangle, smoothing the edges. Wrap in plastic or waxed paper, and refrigerate for 30 minutes; this will relax the gluten and firm up the dough a bit, making it easier to roll. You can also refrigerate the dough for up to 2 days; let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes at room temperature before you roll it out.
  3. To make the filling: Whisk together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
  4. To assemble the tarts: Place one piece of the dough on a generously floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 1/8" thick, large enough that you can trim it to an even 9" x 12". Trim off the edges; place the scraps on a baking sheet, and set them aside, along with the 9" x 12" rectangle of dough.
  5. Roll the second piece of dough just as you did the first. Press the edge of a ruler into the dough you've just rolled, to gently score it in thirds lengthwise and width-wise; you'll see nine 3" x 4" rectangles.
  6. Beat the egg, and brush it over the entire surface of the dough. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling into the center of each marked rectangle. Place the second sheet of dough atop the first, using your fingertips or a chopstick to press firmly around each pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides.
  7. Press the tines of a fork (or the chopstick) all around the edge of the rectangle. Cut the dough evenly in between the filling mounds to make nine tarts. Press the cut edges with your fingers to seal, then press with a fork or chopstick to seal again.
  8. Gently place the tarts on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Prick the top of each tart multiple times with a fork; you want to make sure steam can escape, or the tarts will become billowy pillows rather than flat toaster pastries. Sprinkle the tarts with cinnamon-sugar, if desired. Refrigerate them, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  10. Remove the tarts from the fridge, and bake them for 30 to 35 minutes, until they're a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool on the pan.
  11. Store on the counter for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to a month.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Want to make a lower-fat, higher-fiber crust? Substitute 1 cup (4 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour for 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) of the all-purpose flour; and substitute 1/4 cup vegetable shortening for 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) of the butter. Increase the milk to 3 to 4 tablespoons, enough to make the dough cohesive. Prepare as directed in the original recipe.
  • It's easier to shape and bake tarts without cutting them apart first, though you do run the risk of their edges not being completely sealed once they've baked and you've cut them up.
  • Instead of brown sugar and cinnamon, fill the tarts with jam filling: Combine 3/4 cup (8 ounces) jam with 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool. Use to fill the pastry tarts.
  • Sprinkle the dough trimmings with cinnamon-sugar; these have nothing to do with your toaster pastries, but it's a shame to discard them, and they make a wonderful snack. While the tarts are chilling, bake these trimmings for 13 to 15 minutes, until they're golden brown.
  • For frosted toaster tarts, mix 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar with a pinch of salt and enough water, milk, or cream (1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons) to make a soft, spreadable frosting. Add the liquid gradually, starting with 1 tablespoon. Drizzle/spread the frosting on the completely cooled tarts.