These over-the-top cookie bars will fill you up and satisfy your sweet tooth in about 2 bites. Mission: All the Empty Calories accomplished. Accomplishing your mission is simple. You’ll just need the following three things… a peanut butter cookie dough packed with graham cracker crumbs and chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff and a box of s’mores Pop Tarts.
This is yet another in my string of ‘dessert lasagna’ style recipes. Check out the Brownies and Bars page for the rest!
Pop Tarts is a brand of pre-baked toaster pastries owned by the Kellogg Company. They fall under the category ‘convenience food’ and consist of two layers of rectangular pastry crust with a sugary filling. Originally, Pop Tarts were going to be called Fruit Scones. Fortunately, some clever marketing person picked the current name which is said to have been inspired by Andy Warhol’s pop art. Most Pop Tarts are frosted but you can also buy the unfrosted kind. Although, why you would want to do that is beyond me. Pop Tarts is currently Kellogg’s most popular brand. They are distributed mainly in the US but are also sold in Canada, Finland, Ireland, the UK and New Zealand. The brand is currently making its second attempt to gain a foothold in Australia.
The first frosted Pop Tarts did not appear until 1967 because the company was not sure if the frosting could withstand the heat from toasting. The original Pop Tart flavors were strawberry, blueberry, brown sugar cinnamon and apple currant. There are now a whole freaking ton of flavors, including chocolate chip, peanut butter and jelly, hot fudge sundae and s’mores.
In the 1960s, Post actually developed a similar recipe and packaging method for toaster pastries before Kellogg and called them Country Squares. The preservation method was first developed by the pet food section of their company for use in a developed dog food. But because they are idiots they released their new product’s information to the press in 1963 before they were on store shelves. Kellogg developed their own version and got them on the market six months later, beating Post to the punch. The breakfast pastry industry is pretty cutthroat. These days, the main competitor for the Pop Tarts brand is Toaster Strudels. While both products have a similar size, shape and purpose. Toaster Strudels require refrigeration, are not pre-frosted and have a softer, flakier crust. Pop Tarts released Pastry Swirls in the 90s in an effort to compete with Toaster Strudels but they were unpopular and were later discontinued.
Random Amazing/Concerning Pop Tarts Information:
- In 1992, Thomas Nangle sued Kellogg when his Pop Tart got stuck in his toaster and caught fire.
- In 1994, Texan sciencey professor Patrick Michaud found that strawberry Pop Tarts could produce foot-high flames. What the heck do they put in those things?! Pop Tarts now carry a warning label not to leave your toaster unattended.
- In 2001, the US military airdropped 2.4 million Pop-Tarts in Afghanistan during the invasion.
- In 2004, Pop Tarts released their ‘Crazy Good’ advertising campaign that many felt resembled the work of animator Don Hertzfeldt. In 2006, Hertzfeldt was considering suing the company for copyright infringement. Stop getting sued, Kellogg! What are you doing?
- As early as 2003, the FDA and the Better Business Bureau has expressed concerns that Pop Tarts claim to be made with real fruit even though they are mostly packed with artificial flavors and sugar. In 2006, Kellogg agreed to remove these claims from their packaging and advertising. But then they changed their mind and put the claim back on their packaging. Kellogg is officially the shadiest company.
- Pop Tarts have been recalled on 3 occasions due to mislabeling issues which could lead to serious or life-threatening allergic reactions. (undeclared potential allergens in 1995, 2002 and 2006)
- A Pop Tarts World store opened in NYC on August 10, 2010 and closed in December. It was known for making Pop Tarts sushi, an amazing desserts menu and an hourly light show.
Other Pop Tarts-including recipes:
PB S’mores Pop Tart Bars
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup milk (I used vanilla soy milk.)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour.)
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 2 1/2 graham crackers)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 oz marshmallow fluff
5 s’mores Pop Tarts (Eat the spare or break it into tiny bits and cram into pan.)
2 additional s/mores Pop Tarts, chopped (In total, you’ll use an entire 8-count box of Pop Tarts.)
Preheat oven to 300° F.
Beat sugar and butters for 3 minutes or until smooth and fluffy.
Add eggs and milk, beating until just combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, crumbs, baking powder and salt.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture.
Mix in chocolate chips.
Spread half of dough in greased 13×9” square baking pan.
Spread marshmallow fluff over dough with a greased spatula.
Layer 5 pop tarts over fluff.
Cover with remaining batter.
Sprinkle additional pop tart pieces over dough and press down gently.
Bake 50-60 minutes or until edges are dark brown. (The edges will be slightly overdone. The ‘clean pick’ test won’t help you here since the marshmallow fluff will melt into the dough.)
Cool on wire rack and cut into squares.