Alright, so, unlike my usual copycat snacks recipes, this one isn’t a direct 1:1 remake. Instead, I’ve taken the core flavors of the popped tart and turned it into a bar you can slice and eat. You can’t fit it in a toaster, but you won’t need to, it’s too delicious already.
Pop Tarts have a lot of different flavors. And, like many other products these days, they’ve started producing even more that they keep on shelves for a few months before retiring. I personally really like the banana bread ones!
Recently, though, I’ve been returning to an old classic: the brown sugar and cinnamon flavor. It’s light, it’s simple, it’s sweet, it has that little bite of cinnamon; what’s not to love? So I decided, why not try making something with that set of flavors, but better?
These bars are thick, heavy, and packed with flavor. The icing doesn’t set the same way it does on the pop-tarts, but they’re also not meant to be toasted up before eating them, so it’s fine.
They look a little complicated, but the truth is, these brown sugar and cinnamon bars are fairly simple, just a little labor-intensive. You make a shortbread dough and a filling, you layer them up, you bake it, and you coat it with icing. Easy! Here’s how.
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Shortbread Bars
- 9×9" Baking Dish
- Parchment Paper
- Stand Mixer
- Rubber Spatula Or icing spatula
For the Shortbread
- 2½ Cups Flour
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter Room temperature
- 1½ Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Filling
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 3 Tbsp Melted Butter
For the Icing
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- ½ Tbsp Cinnamon
- ½ Tbsp Flour
- 3 Tbsp Milk
Make the Shortbread
- Preheat your oven to 325℉. Grease your baking dish. Cut a strip of parchment paper as wide and slightly longer than the baking dish; then, cut a second one. One will be for assembly, and one for baking.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the flour and cinnamon.
- In your stand mixer, cream together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla, and mix well.
- Add n the flour mixture and mix to combine. The dough will end up thick and almost like play-dough in texture.
- Divide the dough in half. Spread half of it across the bottom of the baking sheet, on top of one of the parchment papers. Make it as smooth and flat as possible.
- Remove the parchment paper and dough, and set it aside. Remember it's going to be a little greasy, so don't set it on something important.
- Re-line the pan with parchment paper and spread the other half of the dough in place the same way. Leave this one in the pan.
Make the Filling
- Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, and melted butter. You'll end up with a grainy filling with the texture of wet sand.
- Spread this filling as evenly as possible across the bottom layer of dough in the pan.
- Take the second half of dough and flip it into the pan. Gently remove the parchment paper. If it sticks, use a spatula or butter knife to scrape it, and smooth it out on top of the filling.
- Bake the assembly for 40-45 minutes, until the edges are turning golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack for 30-60 minutes; then, place in the fridge for an hour to chill.
Make the Icing
- Once the bars are chilled, make the icing. Just mix together the powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and milk until it's smooth. Spread it over the bars and let it set, then slice and enjoy!