I love a good kitchen adventure. While it’s important that I have my regular and dependable recipes to pull out when needed, I also want to try making something new every now and then. I mean, let’s live life, amirite? Who wants to become the predictable girl who always brings the same Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt into the office? Not me. So last week, inspired by both King Arthur Flour’s instagram and a snack-loving coworker, I set out to make my very own Pop-Tarts®. Let’s just call them Breakfast Hand Pies.
Making these hand pies was such a kitchen adventure. Not only because I made a double batch to accommodate two different fillings, but because (smart girl that I am) I decided to wake up at 7AM after a night of drinking “house champagne” at a sports bar (as categorized by Yelp) to make something I’ve never made before. Hey! I did it, and it worked and they came out pretty nicely. Was I utterly exhausted and nursing just a little bit of a hangover? You bet! But yay kitchen adventures!
That said, my hand pies were, shall we say…rustic? They were definitely not all the same size. Rolling the dough into a 9”x12” rectangle was challenging for me that morning. Putting an appropriately sized dollop of jam filling in each rectangle was also challenging…as was baking the hand pies for the recommended time. What’s an adventure without some challenges?
No matter! With the great love and devotion I poured into each and every hand pie, my early morning fumblings couldn’t bring them down. They were a hit when I finally made it into the office.
Dipal, I hope you liked those “breakfast hand pies” as much as I enjoyed making them for you. Henderson, thanks for always pushing me to make different baked goods and, hey, thanks for the strawberry preserves.
If you work with a bunch of big kids who still don’t want to grow up, I heartily recommend making these for them. Maybe just be a little more realistic about time and bake them the full 20-25 minutes. I mean, it couldn’t hurt, ya know?
Breakfast Hand Pies
Double batch yields: 16-18 hand pies
Jam filling (for half the recipe):
¾ cup (8 oz) jam
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
Cinnamon Filling (for a little more than half the recipe):
½ cup brown sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
Maple Glaze (for cinnamon filled hand pies):
½ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
A dash of vanilla extract
A pinch of kosher salt
Basic Glaze (for the jam filled hand pies):
½ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons milk
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups (or…4 sticks…eek!) of butter, cut into cubes
3 large eggs, plus one for brushing on the dough
¼ cup milk
- To make the jam filling: mix the jam with the cornstarch and water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower to a simmer, stirring, for 2 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- To make the cinnamon filling: Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Set aside.
- To make the dough: Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using either a stand mixer, a food processor, a pastry cutter, or your hands, work in the butter until you have pea-sized lumps of butter. Whisk the 3 eggs and milk together and stir them into the dough until everything is cohesive, kneading if you need to.
- Divide the dough into 4 parts and shape each into a smooth rectangle, approximately 3×5 inches. You can either refrigerate the dough or roll it out straight away. If you refrigerate it, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before rolling it out.
- To assemble the tarts: On a floured surface, roll one piece of dough out into a 9×12 inch rectangle. From here, form nine 3×4 inch rectangles. (Or if you’re me, just form some sort of cutout pattern that will match two pieces of dough together to form a hand pie – see pictures).
- Beat the extra egg, brush it over the dough and place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the middle of ½ the rectangles. Leave room to seal the edges. Place the corresponding rectangle (the empty rectangles) over its partner, press down around the sides with your fingers. Then, use the tines of a fork to press around the edges. Prick the top of the hand pies to let steam out when they bake.
- Repeat three times, until you’ve used all your dough (minus scraps).
- Place the hand pies on a parchment lined baking sheet (or two) and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the hand pies from the refrigerator and bake them for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Place the hand pies on a cooling rack set over parchment paper.
- To make the glazes, whisk all the ingredients (for each glaze) together until smooth. I use the maple glaze on the cinnamon hand pies and the basic glaze on the jam-filled hand pies. Sprinkle some…sprinkles…on top, if desired, and bask in your glory as you just made “breakfast hand pies.”