Monday, June 21, 2010

Pop-Tarts Fourth of July Recipe and a $100 Visa Gift Card

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Pop-Tarts.



The challenge: come up with a 4th of July project/recipe using Pop-Tarts® Ice Cream Shoppe(tm) Vanilla Milkshake.

The research: eating Vanilla Milkshake Pop-Tarts while thinking. (The taste, in case you are curious: kind of like frosted sugar cookies.)


One thing I like about Pop-Tarts is that they are already DONE. They are mixed, filled, baked, cooled, frosted, and sprinkled. They are FINISHED. There is no need to deconstruct them in order to make something new, although I admit it's pretty genius to use them as a pie topping.

(And by the way, if you click that link and then want to "Browse All Our Tasty Creations," there is a little slider bar to the right of the six little pictures, do you see it? You use THAT to browse. You don't, for example, repeatedly click the words "Browse All Our Tasty Creations" as if they are a link, and then keep clicking it even when nothing happens. Ahem.)

I would be more likely to make something like the ice cream sandwiches. Or maybe the Celebration Flags, where you take unfrosted Pop-Tarts, add some frosting yourself, and then add pretty flag-fruit a la the classic 4th of July cake.

(This is a photo I yoinked from the Pop-Tarts site,
which is why it looks so much better than
the photos down below.)



I would be even MORE likely to make what I did in fact make, which didn't require me to have additional ingredients on hand OR cut and arrange tiny bits of fruit. Here is what you will need:


1. Cookie sheet
2. Cutting board
3. Sharp knife
4. 8-count box of Pop-Tarts
5. Photoshop, to "clean" your walls

If you are nervous and/or Pop-Tarts has sent you a case of Pop-Tarts, you could have TWO boxes on hand instead of one.

Now! CUT the Pop-Tarts into letters.


Go for SIMPLICITY. To make a P, for example. I cut out a big chunk and then cut off two little corners, that's IT. I didn't try to do the middle cut-out, I didn't try to do a cool font, I did as little as possible.

If there is a little mishap, and the Pop-Tarts are splitting as you cut them, DON'T PANIC! Just sort of smoosh them back together and then put them carefully on the cookie sheet.

ACK! It split and blurred when I cut it!!


DON'T PANIC. It's fine. Just smoosh it back together.
And hold your camera a little steadier.
And maybe consider a newer model that takes better flash-free photos.



And here they are on the cookie sheet:


The exclamation point is one of the pieces I cut off the T, plus a triangle scrap that seems like it must be from the top of the Y, but isn't, but could be.

I like my Pop-Tarts toasted, so I put the cookie sheet in a pre-heated 350F degree oven for 7 minutes, which was perfect. Do I need to remind you that things that come out of the oven are BURNING HOT, and that sugary sizzly melty fillings are PARTICULARLY burning hot, and that you should not TOUCH or EAT hot things until they are COOLER THAN BURNING HOT?

So! This project was a total success. I forgot to look at the clock but it took maybe 10 minutes to cut the letters. And then 7 minutes to bake them. And the result was shaped, filled, frosted, sprinkled sugar cookies (this would also work for birthdays or anniversaries or whatevs). And in case this is something you go for, it totally got a "WHOA!!!" reaction from the children, who were super impressed with my mad skillz and/or were kissing up to get sweets.

Yes, our coffee table cover is repaired with duct tape.
That poor cover.



The giveaway portion goes like this: I'll be writing two Pop-Tarts posts, this one and another one in about a week. You can enter on each post, but there's one $100 gift card from BlogHer for the two Pop-Tarts posts together, so the drawing will be on July 4th, after the second post.

To enter, leave a comment telling me how AWESOME you think my recipe is (I especially like the way it has EIGHT letters so it takes exactly one 8-ct box of Pop-Tarts), or what your favorite flavor of Pop-Tart is, or whether you like them toasted or right-out-of-the-box.

And dudes, you have 9 other chances to win (plus 9 other chances to see what recipes other people came up with): go to the BlogHer.com special offers page to get the links.

See the official rules for more details.

123 comments:

Mami2jcn said...

That's adorable! And how fun for the kids!

It's a great idea and I think I'll steal it. Thanks!

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Shelly Overlook said...

You are a creative genius!

Tess said...

Ooo, how satisfying to have used exactly one whole box.

Strawberry frosted, all the way. And of COURSE you toast them, what the?

Jen in MI said...

Too Cute!

Jess said...

Um, that is awesome, and also brilliantly creative for not requiring all this WORK like the flag, or extra ingredients, or anything. I like strawberry frosted best.

Mimi said...

TOTALLY awesome recipes! It's been a while since I've had one and now a good ol' strawberry frosted (and toasted) Pop Tart sounds yummy.

may said...

Chocolate frosted, MICROWAVED for like 11 seconds. Ah, college.

And nice work on the letters! I need to do more creative stuff like that. But "creative" = work, so...

3 Boys and an Old Lady said...

I like the idea but baking in summer heat - sigh - thank goodness for the microwave. YAAAY! I may just have to try this, I know my kids would LOVE it.

Farrell said...

AWESOME!
And yummy too!

Def. toasted.

Misty said...

My husband and I debate on whether Poptarts are intrinsically supposed to be toasted.

It is a stupid debate. Why would they be called POPtarts if they weren't supposed to POP out of the toaster?

Melanie said...

I love your recipe! Looks awesome!

I like Strawberry - I can take them toasted or not, but I do not like the frosted kind. I am weird.

Julie said...

Totally awesome. That's all there is to say.

jillyrh said...

Very clever and creative!!

Jen said...

@Melanie - You're totally not weird. my favorite are unfrosted strawberry too. I need to have them toasted though.

I sort of put Poptarts in two categories - breakfast-ish (unfrosted strawberry or brown sugar cinnamon) OR cookie substitute (all other flavors).

I love the idea of making letters out of these...super clever and easy!

Beth said...

awesome, of course. even better with the BROWN SUGAR ones!

Kate@And Then I Was a Mom said...

You are a clever one. I admire such craftiness in my bloggers.

Chocolate's the best. Untoasted. And straight from a dorm vending machine after attending too many frat parties your sophomore year OH SO LONG AGO.

Sigh.

samantha said...

Chocolate frosted as a snack. Hot with a glass of milk or cold with no milk. I like to eat off the frosting first then dive in to the yummy middle.

Frosted strawberry for breakfast, heated.

velocibadgergirl said...

My favorite flavor is frosted cherry, and they have to be toasted. Yummm...Poptarts. I like to eat them for late evening snacks, which is terrible I know, but yummmmm.

Anne said...

I like the strawberry frosted ones best, and by "best" I mean that they are the only ones I've ever tried, because I was a Picky Eater as a kid and I haven't put forth the effort to attempt other pop tarts flavors while they continue to sell the strawberry frosted ones. NOM.

Kelsey Kim said...

Great idea! I like the chocolate fudge ones, but my kids don't eat them, so I haven't had a pop-tart in ages!! I might have to go get a box.
micahandkelsey1@cox.net

parkingathome said...

OH man those brown sugar ones. They got me through a whole trimester. MMMM

leashah said...

Strawberry is probably my favorite, though the vanilla milkshake sounds pretty yummy!

And definitely toasted!

Kristi said...

Great idea! The kids look really excited about it. :)

My favorite flavor is brown sugar.

kristisdeals1 at yahoo dot com

Mama Bub said...

S'mores. Straight out of the box.

Carmen said...

Right out of the box sounds rather revolting. I prefer them toasted. Although I think in the US you must get more flavours than here in Canada. I think we get Blueberry, Raspberry, Strawberry & Chocolate. All those fancy flavours you mentioned I've never heard of. But I'd sure like to try them! (Of the ones we can get, Raspberry is my favourite.)

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

Very cute presentation. I like pop tarts out of the box and toasted. Yummy.

St said...

I love the smores ones straight from the toaster. I'll intermittently crave strawberry and brown sugar ones as well!
Your idea is adorable!

Amy said...

Great idea! So fun for the kids!

Smores are the best and they have to be toasted in the toaster until they are molten and almost burnt.

Leigh said...

Very cute idea! Still love the frosted Strawberry ones.

breezysmom123@gmail.com

Blue Girl said...

I love what you did with this box of poptarts. I'm always experimenting with foods and making them more creative and other uses!

Liz said...

I love how you did something cool without messing up the pop tartiness

Melinda said...

We LOVE to freeze Pop-Tarts- anything frozen is great.

my favorite snack as a kid was probably s'mores at the camp fire

Anonymous said...

I love the mini ice cream sandwiches! Perfect summertime treat!

mjharvey26 at yahoo dot com

name: joy

meeyeehere said...

I like the strawberry with plain tops!! Very cute and original idea! You clever kitty!

Lisa said...

My fav is the Vanilla Milk Shake - my kids love all things strawberry, so they love the Strawberry Milk Shake. It's very cool that they have a little lower sugar and by all means - TOASTED!

Kikilia said...

Very cool idea for poptarts! Who knew they had all these neat flavors now.

My favorite flavor was the unfrosted blueberry. Can't find them anymore though.

Shel said...

Your recipe is AWESOME and easy enough for a novice like me!

I love the Chocolate Fudge pop tarts..I eat them right out of the package..no warming. My husband has a quirk..he likes to toast the Cherry Pop Tarts and then put butter on the back of them...odd, but it does taste good.

Lauren said...

Um..YUMMY! I'm already thinking about what I could do with my personal fave Pop Tarts - S'mores! (And now I'm drooling over the thought of Shel's husband's trick of BUTTERING the back! Oh, the danger of me learning that...)

Anonymous said...

Oooh, toasted brown sugar, right out of the box are the best! Tempted to try these though ...

nightchild84(at)hotmail(dot)com

Yumm!

Emily N. said...

I like frosted blueberry poptarts.

momznite said...

Many school mornings I ran for the bus clutching a brown sugar pop tart, still hot, wrapped in a napkin.

Cute "recipe."

momznite_at_yahoo_daught_com

Angie Marion said...

your recipe is super cool and super easy!

And, I like mine out of the box... don't know why but I can't STAND THEM TOASTED.

yup.

pricousins at aol dot com

Ali said...

Great job! I love the brown sugar pop tarts toasted with lots of butter!

Amy Dunn said...

Loved your post. Made me laugh out loud! I'm partial to brown sugar cinnamon reduced fat! haha. who am i kidding?! untoasted. amygdunn at gmail dot com

Missybeez said...

Very Clever! I love the New Milkshake poptarts.



honeybeez80@yahoo.com

Nita said...

very cute and creative and fun

Toystory said...

You are sooo brave for cutting them in the first place. I wouldn't attempt that (not even close to "delicate") and I like frosted ones, and definately HOT out of the toaster.

Mandy W. said...

Very fun. My older girls would like to do this for the 4th I'm sure! thanks!

Amy said...

I love your Pop Tart & Berry Flag. My favorite flavor of Pop Tart is Brown Sugar & Cinnamon.

DG said...

I like strawberry pop tarts all warm and yummy from the toaster :)

dreamzz12{at}Aol{dot]com

ababe28 said...

I love your ideas!
I'm thinking of taking the Vanilla Milkshake ones and cutting them into fun shapes and topping a fudgy chocolate brownie with them!
Yum!
ababe28-at-hotmail-dot=com

Mommy Daisy said...

This looks like fun. I wonder if it would work to take letter cookie cutters and use them like this. Hmm.

I like my poptarts toasted, but I'll eat them plain in a pinch. I need to go get some poptarts now.

JoeyfromSC said...

I love the way you spelled out Happy 4th! cute!! lol@your hot filling story-I guess you learned the hard way about the molten lava centers lol

I LOVE mine toasted and prefer the brown sugar cinnamon ones! yum!

thanks for the chance to win!

ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

JC said...

Kids would totally go nuts for these!

pestkaj said...

brown sugar pop tarts toasted please- yum!

pestkaj(at)yahoo(dot com

Kathi A said...

I would also have to say brown sugar frosted right from the toaster. They are the best!

Anne J said...

Very cute recipe. I eat poptarts right out of the box.

ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

Marie Green said...

I'm... sorry. But did you... just say there is a.... POP TART that tastes like a vanilla sugar cookie?

I cannot think of anything else now. MUST TRY.

Susan C. said...

Oh, wow, this is such a great idea! Love it!

Betty N said...

I like the chocolate fudge warmed in the microwave

fawn said...

OK - your idea is GENUINELY AWESOME. I think if I tried this, all of the letters would have to be smooshed back together, haha.

p.s. pop tarts are what got me through my undergraduate degree, haha

slehan said...

My favorite flavor is still blueberry. Thanks for the contest.

Elizabeth in Chicago said...

Blueberry poptarts are my favorite, but if I had eaten them as a kid it probably would have been strawberry. (I started in college when it became study food. Nutritious!)

sara said...

That is my kind of cooking. I think I could actually manage that. My favorite at the moment, subject to change at any second, is the frosted strawberry. I eat them right out of the wrapper, for breakfast everyday this week as an example.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

Very impressive, m'dear.

(Brown sugar. Toasted. With butter.)

(What?)

-R- said...

I don't even know what flavors they come in, but I would guess strawberry would be best.

I never would have thought to put them in the oven instead of the toaster. Genius!

marilyn c. cole said...

I eat mine exactly the same way as clueless but hopeful mama! Brown sugar toasted with butter. Mmmmm. The strawberry unfrosted are really good with butter too.

Connecting back to the foreign language thing, when I had a French exchange student living at our house for a couple weeks my sophmore year in high school, we made her Pop-Tarts toasted with butter and she LOVED them. Do you know how good the pastries are in France? She kept raving over Pop-Tarts, though!

andreaunplugged said...

How cute and simple. I like the brown sugar poptarts and like them toasted.

J said...

So cute!

Melissa said...

You are extremely clever! I love all pop-tarts. Toasted very lightly.

Saly said...

I love brown sugar and cinnamon. I like them toasted or not. Either way, YUM.

Love your letters!

beyond said...

very clever and awesome!

Suzannah said...

I just bought a box of Pop Tarts because they were on sale for 94 cents (!) AND I had a coupon! I got the chocolate with chocolate kind, BUT they are the extra fiber kind, so they are practically healthy.

Whimsy said...

They have a VANILLA FLAVOR? I might have to go buy it. I had no idea PopTarts had expanded their empire in this way.

And your recipe idea is adorable.

C (Kid Things) said...

How incredibly creative!

Lucy said...

How creative! How fantastic! How lovely! :o)

Rebecca is fabulous said...

i love it!and now want want want some pop tarts!

Julie said...

Fun! I love the smores ones.

Meltini27 said...

I love pop tarts more than a grown woman should. SO GOOD!!

Swiggy said...

You are a GENIUS!

(I totally just spelled that genious - me not genius : ( )

el-e-e said...

I adore your "recipe" and my family adores Pop Tarts! win win! We usually eat Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon but these look very 4th of July festive. :)

Becky said...

This is awesome for 2 reasons; it looks cool and is easy, and also you get to eat the Pop Tart scraps while making it. Yummy!

Miss Grace said...

I think your recipe is quite awesome. Although for full disclosure's sake I feel I should tell you that I would never actually BUY poptarts for this recipe. Although I occasionally by the hippie natural ones as a treat.

Little-Bit said...

Genius! I think I would add a bit of ice cream on the top after they come out of the oven. Mmmm, ice cream...

Enniferjay said...

I'm not a Pop Tarts eater, but I like the way you worked literacy skills into the snack food.

Ashley said...

Great idea!

And thanks a lot everybody, for the super-AWESOME ideas of putting BUTTER/ICE CREAM on pop-tarts. I'm sure my jeans will appreciate these suggestions a little LESS than I do :)

ashhatesdogs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Kathy said...

Adorable! When I was a kid I liked the frosted brown sugar ones but I haven't bought them in years. Your post may inspire me though!

Morgan S. said...

Very creative! I am impressed.

Devany said...

That same (genius) idea would also be super cute (and easy) for a birthday party!

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

I love it! It is so much fun eating letters, because for some reason different letters taste different. What? They do. It's like how the giraffes are the best-tasting animal crackers and green M&Ms are better than brown ones. You eat with your eyes first, after all.

I haven't had a pop tart in a long while, but that's not because I don't WANT very badly to eat one. I used to eat the brown sugar ones all the time, toasted, crusts first. Why no I am not 12 years old, thank you for asking.

angie lilly said...

OMG that is SOOO cute!!!! How creative! I never would have thought to do that! FAB! My fav is their frosted grape and I will eat it hot or cold!
Angie
one 4 earth at aol dot com

Daycare Girl said...

I love pop-tarts and I wish there were gluten free ones because I miss them deeply. My favorite flavor was hot fudge sundae. And I like to butter the fruit flavored ones. And they must be toasted. And your letters are super cute. :)

Annie said...

What an awesome idea!

Scott said...

VERY inventive! Not sure I would have thought of that myself! Now I can't stop thinking up 8 letter words! LOL
Scott
nynekats at aol dot com

Kate B said...

Really cute!

We love the Brown Sugar Cinnamon because they are MILK FREE!!! It's nice when my allergy kid can eat what the other one eats. Yeah for Pop-Tarts.

Annika said...

You HAVE TO toast pop tarts. Otherwise they are just tarts.

ccr in MA said...

Just the words "pop tart recipe" make my mind go blank. How clever are you? I wouldn't have thought of that in a million years.

ttsc said...

toasted so they're all gooey inside, and I like the chocolate flavors. Great job!

Livinia Redlips said...

You rock Swistle.

CAQuincy said...

I like them both ways. What? That means, I like to eat one "cold" and toast the other one. heh.

I prefer the cherry kind withOUT the frosting. But I see them so infrequently at the store that I haven't had any for a while.

Shelly said...

That is brilliant! I love that you used the whole box - no leftovers to go stale.

I always loved the chocolate with vanilla creme and vanilla frosting. Toasted, of course.

Donna said...

Swistle, I heart your creativity almost as much as I heart your writing.

Safire said...

Very clever! I'm totally going to use this idea later for a friend who is allergic to peanuts but can have pop tarts. Thanks for the idea!

Sarah said...

I love brown sugar cinnamon for actual breakfast (ALWAYS toasted) and the chocolatey fudgey varieties for snacks. Except woefully I have stopped buying them because they are like crack to me and if they are in sight I will eat them daily and not the nutritious protein and fiber that mah bebe needs. Sigh.

Sara said...

That is so creative!! Love the letters!

I love the smores pop tarts. Like smores only better. :)

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea and my little people would love something so tasty and personal. Thanks

Magic27 said...

Oh boy, are you going to get fed up with me and my dumb European ignorance or what?! - I guess I could just go ask St Google, but (without knowing you) I like you better so here goes: what are Pop-Tarts (they look like iced cardboard in the photos, but are obviously much yummier than that) and what is "S'mores" flavour? I feel Europe is lagging way, way behind you guys still...

Swistle said...

Magic27- OH WHAT A SAD WORLD WE LIVE IN! Pop-Tarts are hard to explain, I suddenly realize, but I will give it a shot. I asked Paul how he would explain Pop-Tarts to someone from a Dark Land of No Pop-Tarts, and he said it's kind of like pie crust with a thin layer of pie filling in it. I think of it as a filled cookie (biscuit? should I say biscuit?).

Do you have Fig Newtons? They're like flatter, firmer Fig Newtons: the cookie part is firm enough to break, and there's less filling, and they're much larger, and they have a thin layer of crispy frosting on top, and really they're not at all like Fig Newtons now that I am trying to explain it.

They're meant to be put in a toaster to heat them up, but many people eat them untoasted.

S'mores flavor---does this mean you don't have s'mores there, either? OH WOE IS YOU! S'mores are a treat eaten around campfires, where two square graham crackers (oh dear, are there graham crackers? slightly sweet crackers eaten mostly by small children?) are sandwiched around a toasted-over-the-fire marshmallow and a graham-cracker-sized square of milk chocolate. The heat of the marshmallow makes the chocolate all melty and delicious. So s'mores flavor is the combination of graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate.

Ms. Molly said...

Swistle you are so funny. Love your idea...it good go on top of a frosted sheet cake too if you wanted to get super fancy.

Doing my best said...

You are so SMART!

Bethtastic said...

So clever. Love it! :)

Sam said...

I think you should do the letters PLUS frosting/fruit combo. And now I'm going to wring out my panties after imagining that...

Jeanne said...

This is a very clever idea! My favorite Poptarts are the frodted cherry kind, toasted of course. My 8 yo currently likes the frosted grape flavor, raw.

Diane said...

Creative and adorable. and obviously meant to be since it used the whole box. I like chocolate frosted, toasted.

VickieB said...

cute idea!

I like strawberry or blueberry, but I do like it toasted.

Magic27 said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you dear Swistle! Europe is indeed a sad and dark place where s'mores don't exist because they sound yummy beyond belief (and no, no graham crackers either and I can't think of an equivalent that you could possible toast). Pop-tarts sound sort of strange - kind of like a flat version of a pie, then? Yes, we have fig rolls (I guess that's what a fig newton is) so I think I see what you mean. Who would have thought such standard foodstuffs could be so difficult to comprehend between the different sides of the Atlantic? While I'm at it - goldfish crackers boggle my mind... I guess they're some kind of savoury (cheesy?) cracker in the shape of a fish, but the first thing I THINK of is goldfish-flavour crackers and that... um... well... sounds... yucky...
I'm a professional translator (this is why I ask you these questions - I love words! And, apparently, have logorrhoea too, even when writing) and I'm beginning to think a US-GB food dictionary could be a great idea (what with "cup" measurements and "sticks" of butter, mysterious ingredients and what have you, the US cookbooks I have are almost impossible to use for a kitchen-klutz like myself, no matter how yummy the stuff sounds *sigh*).

Magic27 said...

Gaaahhhh - didn't read the s'mores stuff properly - OK, so you don't need to toast the cracker (biscuit!), so I can imagine maybe a "petit beurre" might do the trick, or possibly a "biscuit thé"... still sound yummy though (when I was skiving of sport at school we used to "toast" marshmallows on the electric heater in the changing rooms and then dip them in dried coconut... yum! You just had to make sure you didn't let the marshmallow get too close as it sticks to the bars and is hellish to remove).
As for "biscuit" and "cookie", well, for me a "cookie" would be of the "chocolate chip" kind (they're a "US import" so we use your word to describe them!) and a "biscuit" just about everything else - fig rolls, "petits beurres", chocolate-covered things...
This is all so fascinating!
Sorry to be so long-winded - I've barely spoken to an adult all day, and am feeling very chatty!

Swistle said...

Ha, yes, a goldfish cracker DOES sound like it's goldfish-flavored, doesn't it? Oh yuck! But yes, you're right, they're cheese-flavored and fish-shaped.

I have trouble with old recipes from my grandparents that call for, for example, "a can" of something, and then I go to the store and the ingredient comes in three different can sizes, and who knows if any of them are the size that ingredient USED to come in? And when I first encountered a recipe that called for "oleo" (which turns out to be margarine), I thought it was a typo for Oreo (do you have Oreos? Oh please tell me you have Oreos). Or some of them call for, say, a quart of canned tomatoes---as in, tomatoes that one has canned oneself, which my grandmother did but I don't do.

Paul is science-minded so he's anti-U.S.-measurements. I bought him some milliliter measuring cups for Christmas a few years ago---BIG HIT.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Well, I have to admit that at first, I thought you were putting pop tarts into a vanilla shake and I was very grossed out so the real "recipe" was a huge relief.

I love that you cut them out and served them on a taped up end table. I do believe I love you.

Mari said...

My favorite way to eat pop tarts is by making an ice cream sandwich with them.
However your recipe idea was cute, and I'm sure the kids would enjoy making it.

runningmatey at hotmail dot com

Magic27 said...

VICTORY! All hope is not lost for the Old Continent - WE HAVE OREOS! We even have WHITE CHOCOLATE COATED OREOS. Are we modern, or what?!
But, to be honest, I like the sound of S'mores better... I feel some experimentation might be called for...

dawniawnie said...

Oooo. Aaah - you know like when you see a good firework! Very cute idea. I love frosted brown sugar, toasted with butter! Yummy.

Courtney said...

I LOVE it! And even better, Pop-Tarts are on sale at my Target this week for $2 per large box. YAY!