Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pop Tarts

I tried to do too much this weekend. That happens sometimes. I spread myself too thin, put too much on my plate, or put too much pressure on myself. I kinda, sorta, maybe did that during my “relaxing” weekend at home

See, I got this idea in my head that I had to make every single recipe that I had bookmarked in the past week. I had to make blondies and pies and cupcakes and caramel and cookies. I was on a mission. 

I spent virtually all of Saturday afternoon in the kitchen. A prospect that normally would have had me tickled as pink as my KitchenAid. But I wasn’t. I was scattered and stressed and sloppy. And baking started to feel like something more akin to a chore. Soon, making the food was something I had to do, it was no longer something I wanted to do. 

And the food that came out of my kitchen showed it. My cupcakes were too oily, my pie crust was black and dry and I burnt my finger because I was hurrying to get things done. Here I was, finally at home after over a month away at school, and I felt more stressed than I had during my midterms. Something needed to change.

So, I was done. I made and ate dinner with my dad, and then I was gone. I left my kitchen behind, with its droopy half-whipped cream and mountain of dirty dishes. I left and spent time with my friends and family – the real reason I was home.

Sunday morning I returned to the kitchen to make my farewell breakfast, as per tradition. My little sister wanted to make a pastry, I wanted something pumpkin and so we came up with these Pumpkin Cheesecake Pop Tarts. They were creamy, sweet, and flaky. And after a weekend of too much, they were just enough. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pop Tarts (makes 4, recipe adapted from Food Coma)

1 box store bought pie crusts

1/3 package softened cream cheese

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

2 TBSP brown sugar

1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

On a flat surface, roll out pie crusts and trim edges so you are left with two rectangles. Cut rectangle in half horizontally and vertically so you are left with four equal pieces of dough from each crust, eight little rectangles in total.

In a medium bowl stir together cream cheese, pumpkin, spices, and brown sugar until no lumps remain.

Spoon about ¼ cup of the filling into the middle of four of the small rectangles, leaving about a ½ inch border. Top with remaining pieces of dough and press with fork to seal the edges. Either poke holes in tops of tarts or use a small leaf cookie cutter if you’re feeling festive to allow steam to escape.

Brush each pop tart with a little bit of egg wash before place on a cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated oven 15 – 17 minutes, until edges are golden brown and filling is warmed through. 

Home, sweet (and tasty), home.

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