When it comes to dessert, there are two recipes that are a hot debate with Canadians, Butter Tarts and Nanaimo Bars. Before I get into the reasons why, trust me when I say this Butter Tart Shortbread Bars recipe will be on all your dessert platters from here on.
There’s one thing I can say about Canadians during the holidays, we have a bit of a sweet tooth and both Nanaimo Bars and Butter Tart Shortbread Bar recipes can be found at nearly every holiday entertaining event.
Butter Tart Shortbread Bars
Texture is Everything – What makes the perfect butter tart shortbread bar, one might ask. It’s the shortbread crust that is stiff enough as a base but offers a melt-in-your mouth texture. Add on the chewy gooey topping with crunchy pecan nuts and you will forever have a new favourite sweet.
I would venture to guess you may have to close your eyes to take in the first bite. It’s that good.
Here I have cut them into bars but squares go a long way for cookie exchanges and holiday platters. What I love is knowing I can make these delicious dessert bars ahead and freeze them for holiday gifts, gatherings or unexpected company.
I promise you this recipe is super easy to make and you may just enjoy it so much that you decide to make it for other holidays or gatherings with friends and family.
If you like this recipe, let me know in the comments below, check out my other recipes and I’d also love if you’d pin it for later on Pinterest or follow along for other great recipes on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
HOLIDAY ENTERTAINING GUIDE
Through to the new year I will be sharing several delicious appetizer, meal and dessert recipes to help you entertain guests and family through the holidays in my Holiday Entertaining Guide. This recipe is part of the Holiday guide; make sure you check back for other new delicious recipes.
- Shortbread Base...
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¾ cup butter, softened
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 2 cups raisins (optional)
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine all shortbread ingredients until crumbly. Press crust mix down into an 11" x 7" baking dish, lined with parchment paper. A 9" x 13" works as well, the crust will just be thinner.
- Place into the oven for 18 mins or until light golden brown.
- While the crust is cooling, mix together the filling ingredients in a electric blender for 3 minutes on medium or until slightly frothy. If you are adding raisins, mix in after this step.
- Pour butter tart filling into the baking dish on top of the crust, sprinkle with pecans and cook for 25-30 minutes or until a light brown. The centre should still jiggle slightly when you pull from the oven.
- Allow the bars to set and cool completely before cutting into bars or slices.
- These are a good freezer recipe. You can also use this filling recipe to fill tart shells. Cooking time may vary.