Thursday, 19 June 2014

Canadian Butter Tarts

Being Canadian is something that I'm very proud of.  We're not only a humourous bunch who love our hockey but we are humble to a fault, apologize for everything and have the unconscious need to add an 'eh' at the end of sentences.  Basically, we're really good peeps.

While we're a quietly proud country you have to know that food, specifically uniquely Canadian fare, is pretty important here in the Great White North.  We take our unique taste palate very seriously.  You don't mess with a perfect poutine, an impeccably made Nanaimo Bar or a Canadian's morning 'double-double' at the local Timmy's.  You just don't.

Butter tarts are a Canadian treasure.  They are truly delicious and will therefore be inhaled by a group of Canucks in no time flat.  For those of you who have not had the joy of biting into one of these tarts, think of it as a caramel (potentially gooey) tart that can have raisins, pecans or even chocolate chips hidden inside. 

Please be aware that there are two very distinct camps when it comes to the perfect consistency of a butter tart -- gooey or firm.  You must choose a side and defend it with all your might.  Personally, I prefer something in the middle.  A little gooey but no so much as to drip out of the tart.  I'm a complicated person, what can I say. 

I received this recipe last weekend from my youngest sister so I could make it for Brad and my Dad for Father's Day and they went over really well.  So well that I only got one!  My family does so love a good butter tart ... or 24. 

I have to come clean and admit to saving time and sanity by using store-bought frozen tart shells.  If you have the time, homemade tart shells would make this recipe even better.  I made half with mini chocolate chips (to appease the raisin hating children among us) and the other half with raisins.  The verdict?  My family loves 'em.  Whether with raisins, nuts or chocolate chips the butter tart is so versatile it will win anyone over.  They are truly delish, eh?

Yield: 24 tarts

2 cups dark brown sugar
2/3 cups butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tbsp coffee creamer (half and half)
2 tsp vanilla
24 frozen tart shells (or make your own from scratch)
1/2 cup raisins (and/or mini chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375F.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except tart shells, raisins and chocolate chips.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan place raisins and approximately 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil for a few minutes.  Drain raisins and set aside to cool.  I always do this step when adding raisins to baked goods because it plumps them up and brings them back to life.  You can skip this step if you want.

Place tart shells onto a cookie sheet.  Distribute raisins (and/or mini chocolate chips) into the frozen tart shells. 

Pour or spoon brown sugar mixture over the raisins/chocolate chips.  It will be quite thick.

Bake for 16-20 minutes.  Mixture will be bubbling.  Cool on wire racks.  Store in an air tight container.

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