Since the day Disneyland opened in 1955, Disney Parks have been places where guests can connect with Disney stories and characters through rides, parades, and shows. But there’s no doubt that an equally important part of any Disney theme park experience is the unique food items that we all look forward to enjoying whenever we visit the parks.
By Samantha Davis-Friedman
“Food is at the heart of every memory, every family celebration, every vacation, and it’s one of the main reasons many of our guests come from around the world to visit our parks and resorts,” says Alex Dunlap, Food & Beverage Communications Coordinator for the Disney Parks Blog.
Beci Mahnken, founder and CEO of MEI-Travel, agrees. “Theme parks get a bad rap when it comes to food inside their gates,” she says. “But for Disney destinations visitors, tasty treats and delicious mealtime nosh has become just as much of an experience as the attractions themselves.”
The parks may be temporarily closed, but that doesn’t mean Disney fans can’t enjoy delicious Disney magic while at home, so I challenged my son, Jacob — a first-year culinary student at Johnson & Wales University — to help me come up with “shortcuts” for one of our favorite Disney treats using ingredients we were able to find at our local grocery store and/or already had in our pantry.
Woody’s Lunch Box Tarts
My favorite sweet treats at Walt Disney World are the Lunch Box Tarts at Woody’s Lunch Box in Toy Story Land, and as an equal opportunity snacker, I love the chocolate-hazelnut and raspberry tarts equally.
The official park recipe has instructions for making the crust from scratch, but with staples like flour and butter in high demand these days (and in my neighborhood still tough to find), my son and I decided to use store-bought refrigerated pie crust. This shortcut also reduced the amount of time between making and eating the tarts, which was a major plus in my book.
Because pre-prepared pie crusts are round, our tarts were triangles instead of rectangles like Woody’s, and while that may be a deal-breaker for Disney purists, I was okay with the shape adjustment. Nevertheless, if the proper shape is essential for you, the crusts can certainly be cut into rectangles.
For the fillings, we used store-bought chocolate-hazelnut spread (you all know the brand) and that same strawberry jam from the Monte Cristo, but they were just as delicious as the raspberry tarts in the park – and since I think we all can agree that any kind of fruit-filled tart is delicious, I may experiment with other flavors next time.
We followed the official recipe for the glaze and also by sprinkling chopped bacon on top of the chocolate-hazelnut tarts (but the bacon can obviously be skipped).
Result: Our Lunch Box Tarts tasted very similar to the ones in Toy Story Land and other than the shape, they looked like them too.
Check out our recipe below:
- 2 round refrigerated pie crusts
- 1/2 cup of chocolate-hazelnut spread
- 1/2 cup of strawberry jam
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 4 strips of cooked and chopped bacon (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut each pie crust round into quarters and brush with beaten egg.
- Place a spoonful of chocolate-hazelnut spread on four of the quarters and a spoonful of strawberry jam on the other four. Make sure the filling is on one side of the dough, so you can fold it over to close.
- Press along the two edges with a fork to close completely. Brush the tops with beaten egg.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
- Combine powdered sugar, lemon, and milk in a small bowl.
- Spread the glaze over the cooled tarts and sprinkle chopped bacon on the chocolate-hazelnut tarts.
We want to see your creations if you decide to give the Woody’s Lunch Box Tarts recipe a try! Be sure to share photos with us on Twitter at @Attractions.