Butter Tart Squares

Butter Tarts (Canadian Living, photography by Edward Pond)

So the request from Zoe was followed by a suggestion from my Mom to post the Butter Tart Squares recipe that was featured in the same Canadian Living magazine as the Lemon Squares recipe. Although I feel a little like I am giving away all of my secrets, here it is.  I suppose I can’t claim exclusive rights to something that was published in a national magazine over twenty years ago… (I actually found the original recipe here and discovered that my Mom, genius that she is, has actually doubled the recipe so that you bake it in a 9×13 pan instead of a 9×9 pan.  Good move, Mom, good move.)

Butter Tart Squares

This recipe follows the same pattern as the Lemon Squares recipe – shortbread base with a topping.  So here goes. Blend the following ingredients using either a mixer or a dough blender.

2 cups flour
1 cup margarine
1/2 cup sugar

Press the crumbs into a 9×13 ungreased pan (glass is best) and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  While that is baking, mix together the following ingredients.  Just use the same bowl you used for the shortbread base – don’t worry about cleaning it out.

2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 pinches salt
2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped nuts (I use walnuts, but pecans would be good too)

When the shortbread is done pull it out of the oven and pour the topping on the shortbread.  Bake at 350 degrees (same temperature as the shortbread, so it is nice and simple) for 25 minutes or until it is nearly set.  Just like for the lemon squares, the way that I test the doneness (not even a word, but whatever) is gently life up one end of the pan.  If the middle barely moves, it is done.  If the middle shifts significantly, put it in for another few minutes.

The best part of this recipe is that you get all the deliciousness of butter tarts without having to bother with individual tart cups.  I’m all about efficient baking, and squares certainly fit that description!

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