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Butter Tart Squares

I can’t remember when I first ate a butter tart…it’s been a very long time.  This is a recipe I’ve had for a while now and came across it when I was searching for another in my book of recipes I’ve collected over the years.  The butter tart square, I am guessing, hails from the butter tart which finds its roots in pioneer Canadian cooking.  The squares are less fussy to make.  And, if you have had the pleasure of eating these squares or tarts, you’ll know that the recipes vary where the filling can be gooey –drip off your chin–  or more set.  I prefer something in the middle.  I made these for the first time for my husband and daughter last month and both weren’t as excited as I was but that soon changed when they ate their first piece!  The words, ‘can I have another, please?’ quickly followed.  Need I say more?

Listen to CBC radio on what makes a great Canadian butter tart.

Makes 12 – 14 squares (depends on how big you slice it)

1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1//4 cup sugar
1 cup flour

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 180c (350f).   For the base, cream butter and sugar then add flour and combine until crumbly.  Press into an 8″ square pan (greased and floured) and bake 10 to 15 minutes until lightly browned.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

To make the topping, combine all ingredients and spread over base.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool in pan.

The Culinary Chase’s Note:
  This tart traditionally uses raisins but I love the flavor of naturally dried cranberries.  This is an easy dessert and the next time I will bake for 25 minutes as 30 minutes was a bit too set for my liking.  Enjoy!

6 Responses to Butter Tart Squares

  1. jane wright March 15, 2012 at 19:22 #

    We make an almost identical one but with pecans, at jane’s next door. It’s not a butter tart but it is really great. My favorite butter tarts are from the LaHave Bakery.

  2. The Culinary Chase March 16, 2012 at 02:34 #

    Thanks Jane! I like the slightly sharp flavor the NS dried cranberries bring to this otherwise very sweet dessert. I’ve never been to LaHave Bakery (http://lunenburgregion.ca/index.php/entries/place-to-eat/lahave-bakery) but will do so at some point in the future.

    My husband and I love your restaurant!! I’ve featured Jane’s On The Common in a previous post as one of the restaurant picks in Halifax (thanks to a recommendation from Natalie Maclean). http://theculinarychase.blogspot.com/2006/09/5-things-to-eat-before-you-die.html


  3. Emily (New York, NY) March 19, 2012 at 14:07 #

    I must admit – I am no baker (or cook, really) so I’ve never actually heard of these (although I’ve probably eaten one once or twice). They look + sound so yumm! They also seem quite easy to make so maybe this will be my baking start! Oyy.

  4. The Culinary Chase March 19, 2012 at 15:08 #

    Emily, give this recipe a go! It’s easy and in my humble opinion, a delicious treat! Cheers!

  5. Grandma Kat @ Easy Recipes Land March 20, 2012 at 18:02 #

    This looks yummy! I’m gonna give it a try this next weekend when my family comes over to visit!


    Grandma Kat

  6. The Culinary Chase March 20, 2012 at 18:39 #

    Thanks Grandma Kat! Your family will devour these! Cheers!