You can eat these, I promise.
The internet is a cruel place. It can tease you with the most glorious, processed food version of an iconic image from a beloved movie, only to reveal that it is actually unfit for human consumption.
Did you see the Han Solo pop-tarts? I did. Here, and a bunch of other places. And I was so excited before I actually tore my eyes away from the wonder and read the fine print, which is 100% resin. What? I can't eat that! Who wants a toy shaped like a pop-tart?
Turns out I was not the only one who thought so, and I got a text from my friend Ginny last weekend suggesting I try to make a version we could actually eat.
Obviously there are advantages working in resin vs. dough, so an exact replica made out of pie crust is probably too much to ever hope for. A resin hardens and sets, whereas a good pie dough, a delicious, flaky dough, must expand and puff up in the oven, thereby disfiguring any carefully crafted Han Solos. My carefully molded figures flattened in the oven but the cut out versions turned out kind of cute. Well, at least I could still tell they were supposed to be something.
I wasn't satisfied with my blobby Han Solo tarts, though, so I decided to take a different track and mold the icing instead. Filling my mold with icing and letting it harden would take days in order to make enough figures for a batch of pop tarts, so I went with a different icing route of homemade sculptable frosting, which was a breeze to mold and with a butter base, doesn't taste like fondant. It also doesn't taste like traditional pop tart frosting, but we are past that point, ok? Ok.
In the end, I think I aesthetically prefer the molded frosting, but taste-wise, the dough versions win out. And whether your pop tarts end up looking like some low-level padewan disaster or the fine work of a jedi master, these are still some very cute, very delicious strawberry pop tarts, so I think it's a win either way you make them.
Strawberry Pop Tarts
I used two different techiniques and tried different dough recipes each time. The pop tarts with Han Solo formed out of dough use the same dough recipe from my Rosemary Blackberry Pop Tarts, minus the rosemary. The tarts with Han molded from frosting use a recipe from Serious Eats.
You will need:
1 recipe tart dough (mine or any other recipe you like)
1/4 cup plus 2 tsp Strawberry Jam
Icing (recipe below)
1/2 recipe sculptable frosting, if using
Sprinkles, for garnish
Han Solo Carbonite Mold (I used this one, and cut out the large piece so it could act as a press)
6 oz powdered sugar
1 oz corn syrup or 1 egg white (see note)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
water, to thin
- To form pop-tarts with Han made out of dough: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out half of the tart dough, 1/4" thick at most. Using a ruler, cut dough into 3.5" x 2" rectangles. Transfer rectangles to a parchment lined cookie sheet and chill until ready to use. Repeat with half of the remaining dough. In total, you should have at least 20 rectangles, enough to make 10 pop tarts, but you may have more or less depending on how thick or thin you roll the dough.
- With the remaining dough, make the Han Solo shapes. I found this works best if the dough is very cold and the mold is warm (you can put it in the oven for a couple minutes). Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Press each piece into the warm mold, trying to get as much detail as possible to transfer. Set each finished piece aside and chill until ready to use.
- When ready to assemble pop tarts, wet half of the dough rectangles around the edges with water, then spoon 1 tsp of jam into the center of each. Top with the remaining rectangles of dough and press to seal. In the center of each tart, place a Han figure. Brush the back of the figure with water and gently press onto the tart. Try not to press too hard so you don't squeeze jam out of the sides. Prick the pop tarts in a few places with a fork, avoiding the figure in the center.
- Bake 25 minutes or until golden, then let cool. When ready to ice, mix the icing ingredients, then spoon over the tops, fully covering the Han Solo shape. Garnish with sprinkles and let set.
- To form pop-tarts with Han made out of frosting: Follow the directions as above, but use all of the dough and you should be able to get enough rectangles for 12 pop tarts. Make the sculptable frosting and shape 12 pieces with the mold. Set aside, covered, in the fridge to chill. Assemble pop tarts as above and bake. When pop tarts are cool, pipe icing around the edge of each tart and then a line down the middle. Place a Han frosting figure in the center of each tart and press gently to "glue" onto the tarts. Thin out the remaining icing with water and spoon over the figures, completely covering the molded frosting. Let set a few minutes and garnish with sprinkles. Let sit overnight (in the microwave works well) to harden.
- I made the icing once with corn syrup and once with egg white to compare. The corn syrup version is more of a glaze, while the egg white version makes more of a traditional royal icing, which is easier to pipe and hardens to a more opaque color.
- The Serious Eats recipe did create the most pop-tart like pastries I've ever made, but the dough was a nightmare to work with and I don't know if I would really recommend it over the other dough. If you are going for real pop tart texture though, it's pretty close.