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Published July 17, 2013, 10:00 PM

The Great Indoors: Homemade pastries on a stick a tiny delight

What is it about food on a stick that makes grown men and women skip leisurely lunch hours in air conditioned restaurants for a chance to stroll and chew?

By: Tracy Briggs, INFORUM

What is it about food on a stick that makes grown men and women skip leisurely lunch hours in air conditioned restaurants for a chance to stroll and chew?

Most of us have tried corndogs, but it goes beyond that. If you can eat it, someone, somewhere will serve it on a stick: from walleye and tater-tot casserole to deep-fried Twinkies and cheeseburgers.

You can see it for yourself as Downtown Fargo kicks off its 38th annual street fair today. Many people say their No. 1 reason for going to the fair is the food. It’s always fun to try the newest crazy concoction.

But what happens when the fairs are over and you’re left with a longing to once again nibble from a stick?

I thought it would be fun to find a do-it-yourself food-on-a-stick recipe (Kebobs don’t count). That’s when I ran across a blog written by Brooke McLay, a freelancer for Babble.com. Not only is this a fun, kid friendly recipe, it utilizes some of the cherries I picked up last week at the Cherries for Charity fundraiser and it replicates something my former radio partner Paul Bougie called “the world’s most perfect food.”

Yes, I’m making Pop Tarts on a stick.

Wince if you will, but for many of us the Pop Tart is a staple of our childhood. It brings me back to rushed mornings heading out the door to school and even rushed mornings heading out to do the morning radio show with Bougie.

But McLay’s recipe is more than just a breakfast treat. It’s a way to get the kids involved in the kitchen. (My daughters had a great time helping me cook the cherry compote and cut the dough.) I made the recipes as per McLay’s suggestion, although one of my daughters didn’t like the idea of little tarts. So we opted for a size change.

“This one is mine!” she exclaimed after making a tart nearly as big as a real Pop Tart.

Stick the homemade tarts (of whatever size) in a vase for a cute, edible brunch decoration. Give it a shot. It’s more difficult than picking up a box of Pop Tarts from the grocery store, but it’s a lot more fun.

Here is McLay’s recipe, but be sure to check out her post on Babble.com where, along with this recipe, she interviews Bakerella, the creator of cake pops at http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/poptart-pops-an-interview-with-bakerella/

Homemade Cherry Pop Tarts on a stick

1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and diced

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

½ teaspoon almond extract

1 package prepared pie crusts

Wooden Popsicle sticks

1 cup powdered sugar

1-2 tablespoons milk

½ teaspoon vanilla

Food coloring and sprinkles (optional)

In a small saucepan, combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch, water and almond extract. Cook on stove over medium heat until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.

Unroll pie crusts. Using a pizza cutter, slice into 1½-by 2-inch rectangles (I used a ruler to measure mine into equal sizes. Just use a butter knife to score your pie crust before cutting).

Place a wooden popsicle stick on top of one of the rectangles, then spoon a small amount (about 1½ teaspoons) of cooled cherry filling into the center of the pie square, taking care not to get it near the edges. Gently lay a second rectangle over the top of the cherry filling. Press the edges of the rectangles together with a fork. Transfer to a baking sheet.

Bake tart pops in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or just until the edges begin to brown.

In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla to make glaze. Tint with food coloring if desired. Spoon over cooled pops, sprinkle with colored sugar, and allow to the glaze to harden slightly before serving.

Watch ‘The Great Indoors’ with Tracy Briggs every Thursday on www.InforumTV.com

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