"The Pop Tart tasted like freedom, and rebellion, and independence."
Do you know who once spoke those famous philosophical words? That's right, it was Lorelai Gilmore; the fast-talking, junk food-loving, resilient as hell, single mother who I would have loved to have been the one who raised me. I only watched Gilmore Girls for the first time in the last couple of years, so I am quite late to the game, and yes, I am quite sad about it. I definitely feel like I would have stayed on track more during high school if I had grown up with the Gilmore girls as my inspiration.
Not to mention I would have lived for seeing Alexis and Milo as a couple in real life, but that's not the point of today's post. Today's post is about Lorelai, as her birthday is tomorrow, on the 26th of April. This year she would be 50, which is insane to me as I have only just watched the series, so she's still 30-something with a college aged daughter in my eyes,
I knew I wanted to create a recipe to celebrate this wonderful woman, as her eating habits are something I admire, and often think about whenever I feel guilty about how badly I eat. Even though the above quote is from an episode where Lorelai is unsure about whether or not she likes Pop Tarts, I decided to base this recipe on them as they do continue to pop up in the series - and the revival - which leads me to believe that she does indeed like them, and therefore would appreciate this recipe that I created just for her.
Of course, though, this just wouldn't be The Small Adventurer if I didn't add some kind of twist to my creation, so instead of creating regular Pop Tarts, I made Pop Tarts-inspired blondies instead. Blondies have been on my list of things to make for a while now, and I knew adding a little frosting on top and jam in the middle to mimic the good, old fashioned Pop Tarts would make them even better - and I was right! If you'd like to make your own Pop Tart blondies for your next Gilmore Girls marathon, or for a night of bad movie watching - as you know they'd both be super proud of you for doing so - then keep on reading 😋
For the Blondies:
♡ 115g unsalted butter
♡ 2 cups flour
♡ 1 cup brown sugar
♡ 1/2 cup caster sugar
♡ 2 eggs
♡ 1 tsp vanilla extract
♡ 1 tsp baking powder
♡ 1/2 tsp salt
For the decorations and filling:
♡ Royal icing, piping consistency, dyed pink
♡ Sprinkles in various colours
♡ Raspberry or strawberry jam
♡ Piping bag and skewer
1. Spray a 9x13 inch baking tray with cooking oil, or line with baking paper (I like to do both for good measure!). Preheat your oven to 180C, or 350F.
2. Cream the butter with both sugars in an electric mixer until smooth, then beat in the eggs and vanilla essence. Add the flour, baking powder and salt into the mixture and beat until all the ingredients are incorporated.
3. Spoon the mixture into your lined tray, and smooth down with your spatula as much as possible. As this mixture is quite sticky, I laid a sheet of baking paper over the top and pressed down with my hands to smooth it down and make sure it reached all the edges of the pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester or skewer comes out clean, or at least close to it. Set the blondies aside to cool.
4. Once the blondies have cooled, take them out of the pan and cut them into small rectangle shapes to resemble Pop Tarts. How many you get depends on the size that you cut them. I got six out of mine, with some of the baked blondie mixture leftover.
5. Cut your rectangle blondies in half and spread a decent amount of jam in between the two halves, then place back together. I recommend keeping these in the fridge while you make your royal icing if your kitchen is particularly hot as you don't want the jam to warm up and start spilling out the sides.
6. Whip your royal icing until it is a thick, piping consistency, then tint it a light pink colour. If you're using liquid food colour, you may need to make the mixture a bit thicker after you've coloured it. Spoon a very small amount of icing into a piping bag and pipe the outline of your icing onto the tops of the blondies. Despite what their packages may look like, no Pop Tart is ever iced perfectly, so add some character to your icing by including some swirls and waves.
7. Add a tiny bit more lemon juice into your royal icing to make it thinner. Either spoon or pipe it inside the outlines on your blondies, using a skewer to help push it into each corner, curve and crevice of the outlines. Gently shake the blondies to get rid of any icing bubbles or clumps, then add your sprinkles before the icing has set completely.
As you may be able to see, I added some dots around the edges of my rectangles as I have seen some Pop Tarts with them, and it seemed a lot easier than the crimped edges that most other Pop Tarts have, but in the end it didn't really add much to the overall look, so feel free to skip that step if you wish!
And you're done! I had a lot of fun trying out this new recipe, which involved a lot of winging it and tweaking as I couldn't find a blondie recipe that I was completely happy with, so I made my own! Whilst that can be a little risky when making a brand new recipe, it ended up working out really good. Then again, blondies are essentially just brownies without the cocoa powder, so it wasn't too hard to figure out 😂
I usually try not to eat most of my creations as I bake multiple recipes every single week, but I honestly couldn't resist with these guys! I just kept going back for more. The extreme sweetness of the jam mixed with the subtleness of the blondies, and the tanginess of the royal icing (I tend to add quite a bit of lemon juice as I love the flavour it gives!) all go together so well, I could not get enough!
Where do you guys stand on the topic of blondies? I certainly don't see them around as much as I see brownies, but I think they are a really nice treat! Before I go, I can't finish this blog post without including another one of my favourite Lorelai quotes, which is also definitely one of her most wisest: "If eating cake is wrong, I don't want to be right." New life motto? I think so!
Until next time,