baking

Homemade Raspberry Lemon Pop-tarts by Julia Walck

Homemade Pop-tarts | Julia Walck

I made raspberry lemon pop-tarts this morning because the thought of homemade pop-tarts made my mouth water. I didn't go into this planning to do a blog post, but these turned out too good to not share! Tarts filled with sweet, puffy goodness... with sprinkles!

HOMEMADE POP-TARTS (makes 8)

Ingredients (Pastry):

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into parts

2 large eggs (one for the dough mixture, and one for brushing on the pastry)

2 tablespoons milk

Whole fruit jam (for the filling) I used Bonne Maman raspberry preserves

Ingredients (Lemon Glaze):

2 cups confectioners' sugar

3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Food coloring

Sprinkles

Homemade Pop-tarts | Julia Walck

Instructions:

Step 1: Make the dough

1. In a big bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt.

2. With your hands, work in the butter until the mixture holds together.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk one egg. Then pour over it the dough and mix everything together.

4. On a floured surface, knead the dough until it makes a smooth ball.

Homemade Pop-tarts | Julia Walck

Step 2: Assemble the tarts

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

2. Divide the dough in half. Take the first half and roll it out into a large rectangle, 1/8" thick, on a lightly floured surface. You'll be cutting this into a 9"x12" rectangle, which you will then cut into eight 3"x4" rectangles. 

3. Line up your eight dough rectangles to parchment paper on a baking pan. Repeat step 1 with the remainder of the dough. 

4. Beat your extra egg and brush it over the surface of the first dough (on the parchment paper). This is the "inside" of the tart, and the egg is kind of like the "glue". Scoop a big tablespoon of jam in the middle of each rectangle. Leave about 1/2-inch perimeter around the tart.

5. Place the second rectangles on top of the first. Use your fingertips to press firmly around the tarts, sealing the dough on all sides. Press the outer rims of the tarts with a fork, and puncture the tops with your fork to let some steam escape while they're baking. 

6. Bake for 30 minutes.

Homemade Pop-tarts | Julia Walck

Step 3: Make the glaze

1. Whisk confectioners' sugar and lemon juice in a medium bowl. The glaze should be thick, but pourable). Adjust sugar and lemon to get desired consistency.  

2. Glaze the tarts once they're completely cooled. Sprinkle immediately, let the glaze dry, and eat up! 

Homemade Pop-tarts | Julia Walck

This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Everything is Poetry

It's My Birthday! (Cake) by Julia Walck

Hooray! It's my birthday. According to Blink 182, nobody likes you when you're 23. They're probably wrong though, right?

So what screams birthday more than funfetti cake, confetti, glitter, pom poms and um googly eyes!? Nothing really. 

I initially saw this cake over on My Name is Yeh and it was so cute I had to make it. And c'mon, you can't go wrong with funfetti. Ever. You can find the original recipe on Food 52; I've also re-capped below in the case you don't want to go tab-crazy. 

Funfetti Cake

Ingredients (Cake):

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 large egg whites

2 tablespoons clear imitation vanilla (I use McCormick's --see headnote)

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 1/2 cups cake flour (see headnote)

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sprinkles

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. Cut out circles of parchment paper and line the bottom of the pans. Lightly spray the parchment. *We used two 10-inch cake pans for ours. A bit shorter but still did the trick! 

2. Mix together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer 'til fluffy. Add in the egg whites one at a time, mixing after each one. Mix in the vanilla and oil. 

3. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Have your mixer on low and add this to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk. Make sure your batter is smooth and fold in the 2/3 cup of sprinkles. 

4. Divide the batter up into the two pans. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of the sprinkles atop the cake and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Check for doneness around 25 minutes.

5. Let the cakes cool for a few minutes in the pans and then flip them onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Ingredients (Frosting):

2 cups (or 4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar, or to taste

2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla

1 pinch salt

Instructions:

1. Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the vanilla and salt and mix to combine. Taste and add more sugar, if desired.

2. Frost that cake! 

U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A! by Julia Walck

This Fourth of July was one of the most patriotic ones I've had yet. 

I started early, on July 3, and saw "The Goonies" at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery as part of the Cinespia showings. (You should totally go to these and can learn more about them here.) You could have your photo taken in a cave, drink wine and have dinner, and there was even a fireworks show afterwards. 

I had all of Friday off from work. Which literally never happens. So I made an icebox cake! Possibly the most red white and blue cake I'll make in my life... though I might see that as a challenge for next year. 

The recipe was from this awesome cookbook called Mad Hungry Cravings and was super easy to make! PS it was delicious.

Actual July 4th consisted of drinking, family time and a TON of fireworks. Obviously.