This is, hands down, the most delicious and addictive cookie I have ever created! And by gawd it better be, given that it has been at least 2 years in the works! But consider this a warning... you will not be able to stop eating them (even if you freeze them)!
Butter tarts are amazing not only because they taste soooo good, but because they symbolize Christmas and are quintessentially Canadian. I also happen to love anything that vaguely resembles a butter tart, but there really isn't much out there as far as butter tart flavour goes. You've got your basic butter tarts, your butter tart squares and really, that's about it. As far as I'm concerned, that's not nearly enough butter tart options. And that's precisely why I created these Butter Tart cookies. I needed butter tarts in the form of a cookie.
Sometimes recipe creation is nothing other than a labour of love.
Butter Tart Cookies
Nailed it! The creation of this cookie was a very long process. I was able to get the butter tart cookies to taste pretty good at one point, but they still looked hideous. There were times when I wanted to throw in the towel, but instead, I just walked away for a while and focused on other recipes. I have made a lot of batches of these guys, experimenting with different amounts of ingredients (fats, leaveners etc), pre-cooking the filling, then filling the cookie before baking, then filling the cookie partway through the baking process and finally filling it afterwards. And after many trials, I believe I finally nailed it!
I grew up with my Grandma's butter tarts and I needed an easy butter tart filling for this butter tart stuffed cookie, so I adapted my Grandma's Best Ever Butter tart filling and it is perfect! In fact, I love her butter tarts so much that I basically wrote and Ode to the Butter Tart and baking in my story: Comfort & Baked Expectations.
To chill or not to chill cookies
HEADS UP: There is chilling time involved in this recipe, so you need to budget for it. But if you find you are asking yourself, "Do I really need to chill?" "What's the worst that could happen?" Well, I'm here to tell you that, "yes, you do need to chill" or your cookies will spread way too much and they won't be nearly as good or as nice looking. I know this because I am impatient and I tried it. That's also my job as a recipe tester.
So I am pretty sure you will want to budget that extra hour. However, if you're still on the fence and need more convincing, read this article: To chill or not to chill - that is the question!
If you are looking for an interesting cookie for your holiday baking tray, these butter tart thumbprint cookies are the perfect addition. If you are not a fan of raisin butter tarts, you can easily substitute pecans.
Butter Tart Recipes
Love and Obsession
Although I love to create recipes for contests, I did not create this recipe for a contest. Nor did I create this recipe for this blog post or for a special someone. I created it because I simply wanted a fantastic butter tart cookie. I won't get any money, accolades or showered with any affection (unless you really want to, of course... and you just may after you taste this!) But it's truly not about that. It's about love; the love of baking and creating something so delicious out of a bunch of random ingredients. I also love challenging myself creatively. And I especially love the feeling I get when I do finally nail it! It's also called passion. Oh, and maybe there's a little obsession. I like to call it determination, but some may see it in a different light. You can read more about that HERE and you be the judge.
WHAT'S YOUR PASSION?? Leave a comment below...
If you love butter tarts, try my:
My Amazon Recommendations (affiliate links)
ButterTart Thumbprint Cookies
Butter tart Filling:
- In small pot on stove top, add vanilla and whipping cream, heat, then add butter.
- In a separate bowl, combine egg, and brown sugar.
- Add egg mixture to warm cream mixture and simmer on low, then add vinegar and cornstarch.
- Keep whisking until thickened on med-low heat for about 10-15 minutes. It should be the consistency of gravy. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. After 10 minutes, refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs and mix well,
- In a separate bowl, add flour, ground pecan and baking powder together. Mix with spoon until it becomes to stiff to continue using a spoon, then use your hands to mix the dough together until it's completely incorporated.
- Cover and chill dough for 1 hour
- Roll dough into 1 " (approximately) balls. If the dough feels sticky, make sure you have some flour nearby to flour your hands as needed.
- Press thumb into centre of ball to make a pit
- Press outside edges of cookie with a floured fork, as you would around the edge of a pie
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom
- As soon as the cookies are out of the oven, use your thumb or the bottom of a teaspoon to reinforce indent in cookie.
- Fill indent with about ½ tsp of cooled butter tart filling.
- Continue to cool on rack for 5 minutes
- Store in fridge for 10 days or freeze for up to 4 months