We are in the final week before Christmas and we are bringing out our BEST BUTER TARTS recipe!
I am so excited to have the whole family home and just relax. I don’t know about you, but I find the Christmas season more chill with older kids. Excited toddlers and littles are so charged up, it is really hard to get things done! It is also true that when the kids were little, I did a lot more Christmas baking.
In addition to squares, shortbread and the famous Davey Crockett, I also made homemade sugar cookies and gingerbread. We had cookie decorating parties and used a lot of our baking to take school events, teachers and concerts.
Now that those days are gone, we pick only the favourites to bake. Let’s face it – we eat it for 2 days and then it goes to the freezer. It sits around until one of my kids raids the freezer, or until the following year!!
One of the “can’t live without” baking items that is STILL on the baking menu is the BEST Butter Tart!
In my kids mind, “Is Christmas even Christmas without the BEST Butter Tarts?!”
And who doesn’t want to make something called the BEST Butter Tarts?
As much as I want to give up on my BEST butter tarts there are THREE reasons I just can’t (aside from the name “BEST butter tarts!”)
- Tradition – Christmas isn’t Christmas without a homemade butter tart in the house
- My son – his favorite thing in the whole world is butter tarts, so mama makes sure they are waiting when he comes home from Uni.
- Canadian Christmas – it seems weird, but as Canadians, we have so few truly Canadian foods. I love keeping something Canadian in our Christmas celebrations.
So – you still have a few days left. AND if you don’t want to make your own dough – just buy the Tenderflake Frozen Tart Shells. The filling can be made in literally 5 minutes.
This is your last minute, still doable, extremely easy recipe for the consummate Canadian Christmas Best Butter Tart.
Best Butter Tarts
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cubed (1 stick)
2 – 4 tablespoons ice water as needed
Pulse flour, sugar and salt in food processor to combine. Pulse in butter to form nice crumbly dough – pea size bits of butter and flour mixture. Slowly add water through the food processor tube until a dough forms. It should be crumbly but hold together when dough is pressed between two fingers.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp each vanilla and vinegar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup raisins
In a bowl whisk together all filling ingredients except raisins.
Once dough is ready, roll out on a floured surface to a 1/8″ thickness. Use a 4″ round cookie cutter to cut out circles. Fit into muffin cups. Divide raisins among shells (or not!). Spoon in filling until 3/4 full.
Bake in bottom third of 450F oven until filling is puffed and bubbly and pastry is golden, about 12 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes. Run metal spatula around tarts to loosen; carefully slide spatula under tarts and transfer to rack to let cool.
Drizzle with your favourite chocolate!
I am a terrible pastry maker, but practice makes perfect and I am forcing myself to make a homemade dough a lot more than I used to – mostly because I have more time. I categorized this recipe as moderate difficulty because I find pie dough tricky. It is not actually a difficult recipe but some of us are pastry challenged… 🙂
If you desire, in order to make these just a little more hype, more extra, more “bougie” – to use some of my kids vocab (!) you can always add a drizzle of really good milk chocolate, on top once the tarts have cooled. This makes them the “better than best” Best butter tarts!!
You might be getting tired, you might be almost to the end. You might need the recipe for Blueberry Tea. 🙂
The last week before Christmas is when all your hard work comes together – enjoy it!