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The holidays always have us nostalgic about our favorite childhood treats. Bring the holiday CHEER home to your families with our chef-inspired portable Cheerwine Pop Tarts from Adam Spears at Charlotte’s Local Loaf. 

Ingredients

Pop Tart Filling:

  • 3 cups Cheerwine 
  • 1 ½ cups cherry jam 
  • 2 cups granulated sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • 2 cups frozen cherries 
  • 1 cup dried cherries  
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • ½ cup kirsch liqueur (optional)

Pop Tart Dough:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, chilled 
  • 1 cup sour cream 
  • 1 egg

Pop Tart Icing:

  • 1 cup Cheerwine 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided 
  • 7 ¼ cups powder sugar, sifted 
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted 
  • ½ cup milk 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles (garnish)

Specialty Kitchen Tools:

Immersion blender (stick blender) or food processor 

Candy thermometer 

Instructions

Cheerwine Pop Tart Filling:

For best results we suggest making your Cheerwine Pop Tart filling at least 1 day prior to making pop tarts to allow for adequate cooling time.

  1. Whisk together Cheerwine, cherry jam, granulated sugar, salt, frozen cherries, dried cherries, vanilla extract, and kirsch liqueur (optional) in a large pot.
  2. Place on high heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test for nappe on the back of a spatula or wooden spoon.
  3. Remove from heat once filling has reached 230-250°F. (Use a candy thermometer for temperature.)
  4. Use an immersion blender or food processor to reach a jam-like consistency with the filling. Once smooth, place in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to chill. (Do not use a standard blender with hot liquid. If a standard blender is your only tool available, allow to cool to room temperature.)
  5. Fill your pop tarts with the filling once it is cool to the touch.    

Pop Tart Dough:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk egg and set aside for egg wash.
  3. Knead together all-purpose flour, salt, granulated sugar, unsalted butter, and sour cream until fully combined (3-5 minutes).
  4. Lightly flour your surface and roll dough out into a 12” x 24” rectangle that is approximately 1/16” thick.
  5. Cut 12 equal-sized rectangles that are 6” x 4”. Use a fork to poke holes in the center of 6 of them, these will be the tops.
  6. Spoon the chilled Cheerwine filling in the center of the 6 rectangles (that haven’t been poked) and spread it out, leaving 1/4” border towards the edges.
  7. Brush the 1/4” border of the bottom rectangles with egg wash.
  8. Take the rectangles (with the poked holes) and lay them on top.
  9. Use a fork to crimp the sides of the rectangles together, creating a seal.
  10. Place the pop tarts on a baking sheet and brush the tops with egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. While pop tarts are baking, make your icing (directions below).
  12. Allow pop tarts to cool before icing. Once cooled spoon/drizzle/pipe the icing over the pop tarts and garnish with sprinkles.

Pop Tart Icing:

  1. Combine Cheerwine, granulated sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium pot to create Cheerwine syrup. 
  2. Place on high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat to medium/low for another 10 minutes or until your mixture has reached 250°F. (Use a candy thermometer for temperature.)
  4. Once at 250°F, remove from heat and cool until it is slightly warm to the touch. 
  5. Combine sifted powdered sugar, prepared Cheerwine syrup, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, melted unsalted butter, milk, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Mix together until fully combined and smooth.
  6. Place in an airtight container until ready for use. (Do not refrigerate.)

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