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Homemade Pop Tarts

When I discovered last week that we had four (yes, four) half-eaten jars of peanut butter in the refrigerator, I was determined to not let it go to waste. There are plenty of great uses for peanut butter such as "O" Cookies, Bugs on a Log, Cold Soba Noodles and, of course, PB&J sandwiches, but when I realized that I also had a considerable amount of frozen pie dough leftover, my decision was made: homemade "pop tarts" filled with peanut butter and strawberry preserves.

The Raspberry Cream Cheese Heart Tarts we made for Valentine's Day this year went over even bigger with my kids than they did with my husband, so I'd been planning on coming up with a new variation on them. Finding out that I had a year's worth of peanut butter created the perfect excuse! My kids were so excited when they saw these tarts come out of the oven that they actually fought over who was going to get the first one. It was sad for me to watch them get so upset, but secretly it made me happy that they were so worked up about something I made! And once they tried these delectable treats, everyone was all smiles again -- especially me, who got our runaway peanut butter supply under control.

Ingredients

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter

1/4 cup strawberry preserves, jam or jelly

1 double crust recipe or 1 14 ounces pre-made pie crust*

Water

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Roll the pie crust 1/4 inch thick and cut into rectangles, about 2×3 inches.

3. Place one rectangle on a lightly floured work surface, top with 1 tsp each of the peanut butter and preserves in the very center. **

4. Lightly dip your index finger into a cup of water and “brush” the border of the dough with the water (this will allow the two sides of the rectangle to adhere to one another).

5. Top with another rectangular piece of pie dough. Take the tines of a fork and gently press down along the edges to adhere (making sure the mixture stays inside the tart).***

6. Place the tarts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes or until golden.

7. Serve warm.

* You can use prepared Pie Crusts too such as Pillsbury or your favorite brand

** You can also combine the peanut butter and preserves in a bowl and place 2 teaspoons of the mixture inside the tart.

*** To Freeze: place tarts on a cookie sheet and freeze for one hour. Remove, place in a Ziploc bag, label and freeze for up to 3 months.

When ready to eat follow steps 6-7, adding an extra 2 minutes to the baking time.

Serves 12

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