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Butter Tart Squares Tested Recipe

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Butter Tart Squares Recipe

Butter Tart Squares are simply irresistible with their buttery shortbread crust that is topped with a rich and gooey caramel-like filling. They are similar to a Butter Tart, only in bar form, which makes them perfect for potlucks and other large gatherings.   


To make these bars, the first thing we do is make the shortbread crust which is pre baked until golden. This pre baking keeps the shortbread nice and crisp which contrasts so nicely with the soft and gooey filling. You can make the filling in your food processor or mixer and it is simply a combination of butter, eggs, brown sugar, and corn syrup. There is a debate on whether raisins or walnuts are better, so I will leave that decision to you.

Although the Butter Tart is unique to Canada they are quite similar to the American pecan pie or the British treacle tart. In fact, even though the Butter Tart Squares' filling typically uses either raisins or chopped walnuts, you can just as easily use chopped pecans to emulate the pecan pie. These squares are excellent warm, at room temperature or even cold.

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Butter Tart Squares: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or use a non stick cooking spray) an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) pan.

Shortbread Base: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and beat until the dough just comes together. Press evenly onto the bottom of your greased pan and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until pale golden in color. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.

Filling: In your food processor or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then beat in the corn syrup and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour, salt, and baking powder.

Sprinkle the raisins or nuts evenly over the baked shortbread base. Then pour the filling over the raisins (and/or nuts) and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Makes 16 - 2 inch squares.


Brody, Esther. 'The 250 Best Brownies Bars and Squares'. Robert Rose Inc. Toronto: 2001.

The Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. 'Grand Slam More Recipes from the Best of Bridge'. The Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. Calgary: 1988.

Stern, Bonnie. 'Bonnie Stern's Essentials of Home Cooking'. Random House Canada. Toronto: 2003.

Shortbread Base:

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt


1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup (205 grams) light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup (60 ml) light corn syrup

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon (15 grams) all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup (90 grams) raisins or 2/3 cup (75 grams) of chopped pecans or walnuts (can use a combination of raisins and nuts)




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