Last Valentine’s Day I had big ambitions. The day would start with a romantic breakfast in bed. B and I would then get up and have a leisurely coffee at our favorite spot. We would walk to work and I would sneak home early, in hopes of arranging a surprise British summertime picnic in our living room. Sounds dreamy, right? In reality, I ended up staying awake until 2am the night before, cooking said picnic, cleaning the house, and making an extra last-minute homemade gift. So in the end we skipped the romantic breakfast in bed, and our leisurely morning coffee. Whoops!
Anyways, I’d had this recipe in my repertoire, ready to go for a quick and sweet weekday breakfast. A year later, I’ve finally gotten around to trying my own rendition! Granted, strawberry Nutella poptarts sound divine. But I’m more of a sweet and savory gal myself, and I live in the land of cheese. So instead of Nutella, I’ve used camembert. And instead of a pie dough, I’ve used a can of flaky crispy croissant rolls (I’m somewhat addicted lately), ready to be rolled out and bundled into a sweet pile of awesomeness for the oven. I give you, Hot Pockets of Sweet, Sweet Love. Or just poptarts, if you please.For this recipe, you only need three and a half things. Strawberries, camembert (you can use any soft cheese, even cream cheese if you like), and a can of pre-made croissant rolls. The ‘half’ ingredient is the sugar, which doesn’t really count, as I’m sure you have this in your kitchen already! You’ll need about a teaspoon for each poptart, or perhaps even just a drizzle of honey if you prefer. First, pop open your croissants, leaving them in squares of two. Lay them down on a flat surface.Next, use a knife to slice your cheese. You’ll need a little less than a thumb for each poptart. Place the cheese flat on the dough and make sure the cheese fits within the edges of the pastry. You’ll need to be able to seal the pockets later, and you wont want any pesky cheese poking out.Now it’s time to add the strawberries. Wash, and then slice your strawberries into thirds, discarding the stem. Pile the strawberries as flat as you can, into a pig pile on top of the cheese.Now it’s time. Sugar time! I used raw sugar, but you can really use any sweetener at hand, even a sugar alternative if you like. Without a pop of sweetness, the strawberries remain quite tart, so I don’t recommend skipping this step, unless you plan to smother your poptarts with Nutella in the end! Sprinkle about one tablespoon of sugar on top of each poptart.Now, fold the ends of the dough up and over to cover the strawberries and cheese. This should make a rounded pouch. I used my finger to gently seal down the lip in the middle, but you could also use the edge of a fork to create a light seal.Flip over the poptarts so that the fold is on the under side. Use a fork to crimp and seal the edges, pressing down gently, creating a light, decorative edge.As I had a handful of strawberries left, I followed the original Novice Chef recipe and created a strawberry heart adorned the outside of the pastry. However, unlike the Novice Chef recipe, I did not cut out a hole for the strawberry in the tart, I simply pressed it down lightly onto the outside . . . and added another sprinkle of sugar for good luck!
Now it’s time to bake! Transfer the tarts onto a greased baking tray or oven dish, and follow the baking directions on your croissant roll can. As a guide, I cooked my tarts for about 15 minutes in a 200°C oven. When they’re done, take the pastries out of the oven and serve hot, ideally with a big mug of cocoa or a warm pot of tea.The lucky recipient of this recipe was B, who finally got to eat these delicious Hot Pockets of Love, almost a year after I had originally intended to make them!
The inside was molten and cheesy, oozing with sugar and sweet, slippery berries. Overall a delicious concoction, and a quick one at that. This poptart recipe took about 5 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to cook – an ideal easy morning breakfast before work, or a simple quick dish to whip up when you have a group over for brunch.