Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Cookie Week - Butter Tart Bars

I love butter tarts so when I saw this recipe for butter tart bars in my recent Canadian House and Home magazine I thought they would be even better than making tarts - less fiddling around with crust and more of the yummy gooey filling. 

I understand that butter tarts are a Canadian delicacy and if you have never had one then you should run, not walk, to your kitchen and start baking right now because they are fantastic. Butter tarts are usually made with a flaky pie crust filled with a sweet, gooey, runny filling containing raisins, although they can also have chopped walnuts or pecans. These butter tart bars have a buttery shortbread crust with the usual gooey filling. 

I made a few modifications to the original recipe, so here is my version:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup butter, cold, diced

3 eggs
2 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla 
2 cups raisins

1. Grease 9 x 13 inch pan and place on a baking tray. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Combine flour and sugar to make crust and cut butter into mixture until it is a fine meal.
3. Press evenly into pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
4. Combing filling ingredients in a bowl and blend together. Pour over crust, spreading evenly.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling is brown and is set. Cool completely and then cut into squares. 

I found the edges of my bars were a little overdone and didn't look as nice as the middle part ... so... I cut up the centre part into squares and froze them to be used at Christmastime and ate the outside bits. I know, I know, but someone had to do it. Another little tip that I will pass along is that they cut much more neatly when I let them sit for 24 hours. The crust came out with nice clean edges just the way it should rather than crumbling.

Have you had butter tarts? Are you a fan? This is a new recipe to me and one that I foresee becoming a family favourite.

Don't forget to come back every day this week to see what other cookies and squares I made. 


  1. I have never had or even heard of a butter tart! Hubby won't eat raisins, so I'll substitute 2 cups of pecans. Looks divine...and I may just have to cook it just a wee bit too long so I can nibble the edges too :)

  2. This is the first time I've ever heard of a butter tart. Thanks for sharing! I want to try them. I'll pin it and try baking them when Shanley comes home for Christmas!

  3. Yes, I have had butter tart bars. One of my older sisters has a recipe that I have tried. Pinning this one too.