… Easy Peanut-Butter Filled or Peanut-Free and Jelly Pockets!
Looking for a way to change up the back-to-school sack lunch routine? Try making these tasty and out-of-the-ordinary filled crusts and do away with the standard PB & J sandwiches. These gluten free, dairy free pockets are similar to fruit-filled turnovers, but they’re made with homemade pie crust, and so much better than Pop-Tarts (in taste and nutritional value).
Nut Butter and Jelly Pockets make and bake in less than an hour and can be filled with your child’s favorite brand of peanut butter, nut butter, or sunflower butter. Dollop some no-sugar-added jam or jelly inside – Polaner’s Fruit Spread is my favorite – or some honey, raisins and sliced bananas, and you’ve got major yum sealed up tight. They can be made ahead and frozen (will thaw by lunchtime), travel well, and have a very satisfying snack appeal to them – without giving your kids too much of that refined sugar, preservatives, or processed junk.
Lunchtime will be fun and delicious, and I’m sure the other kids at the lunch table will be clambering for a trade to their standard fare. No one will ever suspect that they’re free of gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and are very low in sugar – even if you add just a minute sprinkling to the crust (but this step is completely optional, so the no-sugar-added claim is totally up to you).
You just need to realize one more thing … these are not just kid-friendly pockets … you just might get hooked too. I did!
Oh, yes, I almost forgot to tell you, these pockets make great breakfast sandwiches as well! What a great way to start the day, right?
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Nut Butter and Jelly Pocktes
Freeze time before cooking: 10 minutes, divided
Baking time: 35 minutes
Rest time: 15 minutes
Oven temp: 425ºF, then 375ºF
Makes: 4 pockets – recipe can easily be doubled*
1 1/2 cups (180g) gluten-free all-purpose Flour, plus a little extra for dusting – I use Authentic Foods Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend
Pinch of kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar, optional
4 Tablespoons ice cold water
1/2 – 2/3 cup favorite jam, jelly, or fruit spread – I like Polaner All Fruit with Fiber
1/4 – 1/2 cup favorite nut butter – I like Justin’s
1-2 Tablespoons almond or coconut milk, optional
1-2 teaspoons raw or granulated sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add flour, margarine, salt, and sugar (if using) to food processor and pulse until margarine is in small pieces. Add water and pulse until dough ball forms.
Transfer dough to parchment-lined baking sheet. Dust with flour. Roll dough into a rectangular shape, to pie crust thickness. (Place pan with rolled dough into freezer for 2-3 minutes if dough becomes difficult to work with and begins sticking to rolling pin.) On lower half of rectangle, visually divided into 4 sections, dollop 3-4 teaspoons of nut butter and 4 teaspoons jam onto each section, leaving some open dough between each pocket’s mound of filling. You’ll want more jam to nut butter ratio, so they don’t get too dry.
Brush a line of water onto dough around each section. This will act as glue to seal the crusts together. Using the parchment paper as support, gently fold the upper (unfilled) portion of the dough over the bottom (filled) portion. You end up with four mounds covered by one entire section of dough (similar to ravioli).
Press dough down around dollops, using your fingertips, to create sealed pockets, including the folded edge. You’ll want to seal them well or the jam will ooze out of the cracks. Don’t worry if this happens; the pockets will still cook just fine, the filling will just be a bit more dry. Return pan with filled dough to the freezer for about 5 minutes.
Cut the dough between filled sections to make 4 individual rectangular-shaped pockets. Press edges of each pocket again, using fingers or the tines of a fork, to seal all the edges well. While pockets are still very cold, slide them apart (using a spatula for support if needed), to allow air to flow around them while they bake.
Brush each pocket lightly with almond milk, and sprinkle with just a tiny amount of sugar if desired. (The milk will still create a lovely golden brown crust even if you choose not to add the sugar.)
Bake at 425ºF on center oven rack for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375ºF and continue baking another 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove pan from oven and slide the parchment paper with pockets onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool 5 minutes, then remove pockets from parchment and continue cooling on rack to room temperature.
Pockets will stay fresh in a resealable bag for a couple of days at room temperature. To freeze, cool completely, then place pockets on parchment paper on a flat surface in your freezer (unwrapped). When frozen, place in resealable bags and keep frozen until ready to use. To send to school, wrap frozen pocket in a large paper towel and place in a resealable bag. This will absorb any moisture during thawing. They’ll be just right by lunchtime. At home or at work, pockets can quickly be heated in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to thaw/rewarm. Be careful – filling will be hot.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™
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