Pastries

Spiced Apple Cider Pop Tarts


Merry Christmas (almost) everyone and welcome back to A Common Kitchen! I don’t know about you but I have been extremely busy the last few weeks. Christmas time is the time to bake but honestly, I haven’t had much time to do it! That’s why this week I am sharing a quick and easy recipe that you can fit into your busy holiday schedules. I am sharing my recipe for Spiced Apple Cider Pop Tarts! My mother always used to buy donuts or some kind of pastry for us to eat on Christmas morning so this year I thought I’d make my own to bring to my families house to keep up the tradition.

I decided to make these Spiced Apple Cider Pop Tarts with store bought puff pastry and Apple Cider Jam. Here’s the thing, I rarely buy/use store bought anything, but to make these pastries super easy for myself and you guys, I opted to try it. And the results were amazing! If you’ve ever tried making homemade puff pastry you know that it can be a nightmare trying to create all of those layers, keep the butter cold, etc. Not to mention it takes almost a whole day to make it…

That’s why I used the Trader Joe’s puff pastry sheets. You can find pre-made puff pastry at almost every grocery store today and it’s actually a great alternative to making it at home. It’s not as ‘puffy’ and ‘layer-y’ as the homemade stuff but for these pop tarts it works like a gem. It’s still buttery and delicious which is all that matters!

Now for the Apple Cider Jam. I got this at Trader Joe’s and had had my eyes on it since they put it on the shelf back in October. This is what it says on the bottle:

We combined chunks of sweet apples, tart apple cider, and the perfect amount of fall spices to create this delicious Apple Cider Jam".

And it is delicious! It isn’t overly sweet so when you get a bite of the entire pop tart you taste the buttery pastry, the sweet glaze, and the slightly tart Apple Cider Jam. It all pairs so well together and I can’t wait for my family to try them! Jake may have eaten three of them the first day I made them… I may have also eaten two… but who is counting?

These Spiced Apple Cider Pop Tarts are the perfect quick and easy pastry to make for Christmas morning! I promise they will not last more than 10 minutes once you put them out. I hope you enjoyed this weeks recipe and thank you so much for visiting A Common Kitchen this week everyone. I hope you have a joyful and wonderful Christmas everyone.

Merry Christmas, Bell.


Spiced Apple Cider Pop Tarts


Makes 6-8 Pop Tarts

Ingredients:

For the Pop Tarts

  • 2 Sheets Store Bought Puff Pastry, thawed

  • ½-1 Cup Apple Cider Jam *See Note

  • 1 Egg + 1 Teaspoon Heavy Cream (milk or half & half works too), for egg wash

    For the Spiced Glaze

  • 1 ¼ Cup Powdered Sugar, sifted

  • 2-3 Teaspoons Heavy Cream or Half and Half

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

  • 1⁄8 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom

  • 1⁄8 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

  • ¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425℉ and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. On a clean work surface dusted with flour, roll out a sheet of puff pastry to a rectangle that is 12x9 inches (use a ruler to get exact measurements). Once rolled out, use the ruler to cut 9 smaller rectangles that are 3x4 inches each. Repeat with the second piece of puff pastry.

  3. Place half of the puff pastry rectangles onto a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving about 1 ½ inches in between them.

  4. Place about 1 ½ tablespoons of the Apple Cider Jam into the center of the pastry and use an offset spatula to spread it out, leaving a ½” border around the edges. Top with a piece of puff pastry and use a fork to crimp the edges together. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and heavy cream and brush the tops of each pop tart with the egg wash. Place the baking sheet with the pop tarts into the freezer for five minutes.

  5. Once the pop tarts have chilled for five minutes and the oven is preheated, bake the pop tarts for 14-16 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

  6. Once the pop tarts are fully cooled, make the glaze. In a medium sized bowl, sift in the flour, spices, and salt. Whisk to evenly combine. Add in 2 teaspoons of heavy cream and whisk until no lumps remain. Add another teaspoon or so of milk if the glaze is too thick.

  7. Use a spoon to spread about 2 teaspoons on top of each pop tart. Leave the pop tarts like that or top with sprinkles, a dusting of cinnamon, or anything you’d like.

  8. These are best served the day they are made but can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for two days or in the fridge for up to 3. Enjoy!

Notes:

  1. You can find Apple Cider Jam in a variety of grocery stores (Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods) as well as online. I will list a few links below on where to get it.

    https://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article/4387

    https://www.amazon.com/Trader-Joes-Apple-Cider-Pack/dp/B076238HR7

    https://www.stonewallkitchen.com/apple-cider-jam-101369.html

Espresso and Dark Chocolate Scones


 
Overflow gently—
don’t drown.
— Albert Camus
 

One thing that I have always had a problem with is giving myself much more to do than I know I can handle. I always find myself juggling twenty things at once and end up falling behind on it all. I was finding myself stressed out constantly and never feeling like I could catch my own breath. And to be honest, I started to feel a little broken.

I decided that I didn’t want to, that I couldn’t, spend my time that way anymore. I needed to feel calm again. I needed to feel whole again.

Recently I have been making a very conscious effort to slow down and not overload myself and I am still struggling with it. Every week I try to do only what I have time for and forget about the things that aren’t completely necessary.

Luckily I have a wonderful husband who helps me and provides an amazing level of support that I have never been given before. I am a very independent person and I always have been, but it has been so wonderful having someone to experience it all with.

I would like to end this by saying, don’t overwhelm yourself. Take your time and enjoy every moment.

Now onto this weeks recipe. Espresso and Dark Chocolate Scones. These scones are tender, flaky,, buttery, have hints of espresso, and have gooey pockets of dark chocolate.

They are simple and quick to make, coming together in under an hour! In this recipe I chose to use a stand mixer because I don’t have a pastry cutter and I have naturally warm hands, not good when making pastry. If you don’t have a stand mixer a pastry cutter will do just fine.

As always, I recommend using high quality dark chocolate bars and chopping them up into medium-large chunks. The chocolate in this recipe is very important because it provides gooey pockets of chocolate throughout the scones. It creates the perfect balance of textures.

The next ingredient is Espresso Powder. A simple ingredient but often times people get it wrong. Do NOT use instant coffee as it is a completely different thing. Try finding a good quality one which you should be able to find at most grocery stores, specialty shops, and online (Amazon). The espresso in this recipe is subtle but important. Chocolate and Espresso compliment each other so you don’t want to skimp on this ingredient.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks recipe. If you try it please share your photos with my on Instagram (@acommonkitchen). I would love to hear from you! Have a wonderful and well balanced week everyone. Xx


Espresso and Dark Chocolate Scones


Ingredients:

  • 4 Cups All Purpose Flour

  • 2 Tablespoons Baking Powder

  • 2 Tablespoons White Granulated Sugar

  • 2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

  • 24 Tablespoons (3 Sticks) Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into ½” cubes

  • 4 Eggs, lightly whisked

  • 1 Cup Cold Heavy Cream (very cold)

  • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

  • 8 Ounces Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped

  • 2 Teaspoons Espresso Powder

  • 1 Egg + 1 Teaspoon Heavy Cream, lightly whisked (for the egg wash)

  • 2 Tablespoons Coarse Raw Cane Sugar (for dusting)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºf and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt and mix on low speed to evenly combine the dry ingredients. Stop the mixer and add in the butter. Mix on low speed until the butter is broken up into pieces that are pea-sized. Do not let the butter get smaller than pea-sized.

  3. In a large measuring cup (you can also use a bowl), combine the four eggs, heavy cream, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. With the mixer off, add in the egg/cream mixture all at once. Turn the mixer on to low and mix just until the dough comes together. Stop the mixer and sprinkle in the chocolate and espresso powder. Mix on low again until just combined— do not over mix!

  4. Heavily flour a clean work surface and dump the dough out onto it. Knead the dough 3-4 times just until it comes together. Using a 3 inch round biscuit cutter, cut out as many rounds as you can and place them about 2 inches apart. Once you have cut out as many rounds as possible, carefully knead the dough together once more and cut out as many more as you can. Only re-knead the dough one time or else the butter will become too soft and melt.

  5. Once all of the scones are on the baking sheets, brush them with the egg wash and sprinkle with the raw cane sugar.

  6. Place the baking sheets into the oven and bake the scones for 30 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.

  7. Let the scones cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!