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Remember how I quit my job last week? And did so without having another job lined up?

By the end of the week, I had not one, but two job offers.

Now, neither of these job offers were likely to make me a millionaire. One was a front-of-house bakery job, the other a barista position at Starbucks.

But the point is this: God provides.

In case you’re wondering, I ended up going with the Starbucks job – yes, I know it is shocking that I passed up a job in a bakery, but I couldn’t discount the fact that Starbucks was offering me slightly higher pay and benefits. Not to mention that the manager and I simply clicked – I am looking forward to working for someone who really seems to want me there.

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Do I know if this is where I want to be forever and ever, amen? I honestly have no idea. But I am certainly going to take this opportunity to see, and to figure out what it is that I really want to be doing. The more I ponder on it, however, the more I feel something inside of me whispering me toward food and writing.

I am going to stop thinking about my very expensive college degree. I am going to stop wondering what my former classmates will think when they find out that the girl who graduated at the top of the class is working as a barista. I’m going to let go of all of the ideas I have had about what my life is supposed to look like right now. I am opening up my life to new possibilities, and to finding out what makes me truly, deeply happy.

And what made me truly, deeply happy the other day was pulling together a pastry dough, filling it with fig butter and brown sugar, and baking up these pop tarts to absolute perfection.

I don’t say this often, but I will say it now: I personally think that these are some of the best things I have ever made.

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I never particularly cared much for iced pop tarts as a kid, so instead of icing these, I opted to give them a light egg wash and an additional sprinkle of brown sugar, making them 100% perfectly toast-able for a lovely morning treat.

Don’t let the number of steps fool you – these aren’t as hard as they seem. And if you are truly, deeply petrified of making your own pastry, you could use a bought pie crust in lieu of the provided recipe (though I certainly encourage you to face your fears and give it a try – you’ll be glad you did!).

Oh wait…you wanted to serve these warm from the oven? For dessert? Then they’re not pop tarts at all – they’re hand pies!

Because, really, it’s all in how you choose to look at it.

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Recipe inspired by Smitten Kitchen, though the pastry was (fairly heavily) adapted from my Thick and Crusty Chicken Pot Pie.

Recipe for fig butter.

Brown Sugar Fig Pop Tarts
 
Yield: 9 pop tarts
Ingredients
For the pastry:
  • 3 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cold buttermilk
For the filling:
  • 1 egg yolk + 2 tablespoons water
  • Fig butter
  • Brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment; set aside.
  2. Make your pastry: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the cold butter and the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Pour over the flour mixture and, using a fork, stir to combine just until the dry ingredients are moistened. The mixture will be very crumbly.
  4. Turn the dough onto a flour-lined surface. Knead the dough very gently - just a couple of times - to bring it together, then divide in half. Roll each half into a 13x9-inch rectangle - you can use a ruler to measure, or you can cheat (like I did) and use a 13x9-inch pan to check for size and cut around. Trim around the edges of the rectangle so that you have clean, straight edges (again, the pan comes in handy here), and cut each rectangle into thirds in both directions, giving you 9 equal-sized rectangles from each larger rectangle (18 total small rectangles).
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and water. Brush 9 of the pieces with the egg wash, then spoon on about 2 teaspoons of fig butter. Sprinkle the fig butter with a small amount of brown sugar - maybe ½ teaspoon for each piece. Top with one of the remaining dough pieces, pressing along the edges slightly. Using a fork, crimp along the edges of each tart and poke a few holes in the top to allow steam to escape.
  6. Place the tarts on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with some of the remaining egg wash, then sprinkle with a bit more brown sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  7. Store cooled pop tarts in a zip-top bag for up to 3 days. To reheat, toast in a toaster set to the medium setting.
Notes
I suspect that these would freeze quite well, though I have not tried it myself. To do so, freeze unbaked tarts on the lined baking sheet, then transfer to a zip-top bag. Bake straight from the freezer, adding extra time to the baking time.

 

24 Comments

    1. Seriously. Flaky, homemade crust versus the kind of carboard-y, crumbly stuff in a packaged pop tart? No comparison. Homemade all the way!

      (Thanks, dear!)

  1. True life: I gained my “freshman fifteen” largely due to excessive brown sugar Pop-Tart consumption. You just gave me a whole new (and waaay better-sounding!) reason to gain it all back! This recipe sounds absolutely killer.

  2. Yep, God provides.
    Is it easy to give up caring what people think of you? If you figure that one out, please let me know. You seem to be doing it with more grace than me. My ‘expensive college degree’ hangs over my head daily.
    I’m glad you found a job! You will be great at it because you’re a people person. Plus, you’re cute. xo

    1. Aw, thanks. And I don’t know how easy it will be to give up caring what other people think, but I certainly will give it a try. As my hair therapist (my family’s term for “hair dresser”…because there’s always as much therapy involved as hair-doing) told me today, “You’ll be making people happy – you’re giving them their coffee!” So, there’s always that. 🙂

  3. Good for you for following your heart instead of staying in a job that is unfulfilling. There are so many days where I’m absolutely miserable at work yet I keep going because of pride (what will everyone think if I quit and waste 9 years of university?!) and I’m afraid of the unknown. I really wish I had your courage. I also wish I had one of these gorgeous pop tarts to eat right now. What perfect looking pastry. Yum!

    1. Aw, thank you. It certainly took me a while to work up the you-know-whats to leave, but I am so glad I did. On to bigger and better things! (And likely more pop tarts. Yum.)

  4. Julia at The Roasted Root posted this on her FB page, and I had to come over and check it out for myself. I’m so glad that I did and I’m off to explore more of your blog. Congrats on having job options! I hear that Starbucks is a great place to work, not to mention, I just love Starbucks!

  5. It is hard to not care what others think. I grapple with this daily. I think that it is a kind of “fake it until you make it” situation. If you have confindence in your voice and when you tell others what you do, they won’t think twice. Then slowly those doubts you have start to get smaller and smaller. I don’t think ti will ever go away, but at least you can be more sure that you did the right thing for you, right now! I feel like this post and all the comments are soooooo Oprah! Love it!

  6. I am so proud of you, Stephie! Really exploring your dreams is the scariest thing on the planet! It take a ton of strength and courage and I know you have that in you. It took me a lot of tears and walking with my tail between my legs to admit to myself that the field I got my degree in is not right for me….and I still struggle with comparing myself to my former classmates because they all seem so peachy keen with their professional jobs. Follow your heart…your gut….allow yourself to feel like crap, to fail and keep going because you will make it! I freaking love your pop tarts and I love that there’s no icing on them because like you, I prefer them without the added icing! Have a wonderful day missy and remember that you’re not alone!!

  7. Ok I am insanely jealous. You get to work at Starbucks and you got to eat these pop tarts?! You are pretty much, like, my idol right now. 🙂 Good luck and good for you for taking the risk!

  8. Good for you for going with your gut and taking the barista job! Have you read the book “How Starbucks Saved My Life” by Michael Gates Gill? I bought it at a garage sale of sorts just before Christmas and just got around to reading it a couple of weeks ago. Great story of a guy who screwed his life up but turned it around working at Starbucks for a manager who believed in him. According to his account, Starbucks is a great company that really invests in their employees. Whether this is your Forever and Ever job remains to be seen but I am sure you will get a lot of good out of it! Keep trusting! God does indeed provide.

    I am a fan of figs and brown sugar and these little pies look like the perfect combination of the two!

  9. I made these last weekend, and froze half of them unbaked to have for this weekend’s breakfasts. Baked them last night, and added about 5 minutes to the baking time. Perfect! They were delicious this morning. 🙂

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