From Pop-Up to Pop Tarts

Blush Bakeshop and other restaurants put their passion and expertise into DIY kits

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On the cusp of opening a brick-and-mortar in Federal Hill pre-pandemic, Blush Bakeshop, the all-vegan bakery owned by Samantha Chamberlain, popped up at farmers’ markets and VegFests, but due to COVID-19 quickly shifted to a preorder model with contact-free delivery and menus posted weekly on social media. Chamberlain recently added pop tart kits to the menu. “I thought it would be a fun, interactive way of getting folks to enjoy our product and pass the time without having to worry about a recipe,” she says.

Having grown up on Kellogg’s-brand Pop-Tarts for breakfast every morning, I welcomed the chance to try out a kit to make a more wholesome, vegan toaster pastry. The box was hand-delivered to my doorstep and outfitted with piping bags of icing and fruit filling, dough, sprinkles, and simple instructions.

All you need is some flour, a clean, flat space, and a rolling pin (or an empty wine bottle will work in a pinch). Following the instructions, I first rolled out the dough and cut into uniform rectangles – you can choose the size, but make sure they match up with each other when it comes time to pair those puppies up. I ended up with a little dough left over and, feeling inspired by the pizza buns I also ordered from Blush, formed the excess into a few mini strawberry rolls.

It will be tempting to squeeze all of the filling into the pastries themselves, but try to resist! If you save some for after, you can drizzle it on top with the icing to replicate the classic swirl of the wild berry-flavored original store-bought variety. Once assembled, bake until golden brown or, if you’re like me and didn’t pinch the edges well enough, until the fruity filling starts to ooze. The finished product is a flaky pie-crust pouch of syrupy fruit. Occasionally biting into a burst of real strawberry, you know this is the real deal.

With construction on their Atwells shop almost complete, Chamberlain is hopeful for a June opening and I’m looking forward to having the shop make one for me. Follow @blushbakeshoppvd on Instagram for weekly menus and updates.