It's fun for a week or so, then it just starts to get old.
And cold. Yesterday's expected low overnight with the windchill was 25 degrees below Celsius (that's -13 degrees Farenheit for my American friends).
I am not a cold weather, winter loving, true Canadian girl at all.
Nosiree. I would be quite happy if I could stay inside my house from November - March, in my jogging pants, hoodie and slippers. I hate cold feet, cold hands, and cold noses. And I have a job in that once you are cold, you are cold all day, and by the end of the week, you are cold to the bone. I do not enjoy shoveling, scraping, fishtailing on ice, or driving in zero visibility, all of which are part of "just another day around here".
So come winter time, I turn to comfort foods. I am already an emotional eater, and come this time of year, I often eat what makes me feel happy and cozy. Macaroni and cheese, french toast, chicken pot pie, potato and bacon soup, sweet potato casserole...
And butter tarts.
Yes, I am a true Canadian girl in that I love butter tarts. So that's what I wanted to make this week. I suggested it to the kids, and although they were both very clear that they did not want to eat them (fine with me), they were both quite willing to help make them.
Makenna thought maybe she had a recipe in one of her cookbooks
But when she couldn't find one, we turned to my Mom's recipe for "Best Ever Butter Tarts". Like her Banana Muffins, these are a part of my childhood and a part of who I am.
First step: Line a muffin pan with the frozen tart shells. You could make your own pastry, but I just buy the shells. Pastry is one thing I cannot seem to figure out. Jeff's mom makes
a m a z i n g tarts with her own homemade pastry. I would pay money for them.
You can then drop whatever you like into the tart shells - walnut or pecan pieces, chocolate chips, raisins (which I hate), whatever. Or nothing. Plain butter tarts are pretty fantastic too. This time, we had just the right amount of walnut pieces left for a project such as this, so that's what we used.
Now, I should say here...butter tarts have absolutely no nutritional benefit. None whatsoever. Quite the opposite in fact...they are basically shells of sugar. Nasty, bad sugar.
I know this. And I did point this out to Makenna.
But I loooooove them. Which I also made clear to Makenna.
We will do healthier, fruit filled recipes in the summer...I promise.
So, crack 3 eggs into the mixing bowl.
Add 1 cup of bad, nasty evil corn syrup.
Then 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup melted butter, and a pinch of salt.
Stir it all up until blended.
Mmmm....liquid, sugary gold.
Photo credit: Makenna.
I like using this spouted mixing bowl with a handle for muffin batters, cupcake batters, butter tarts, etc...makes repeated pouring so simple.
Now, when they come out of the oven, they will look like this.
The very first time I made these myself, it was the year 2000 or 2001. Jeff and I were living in our first apartment in Centralia, just south of Exeter. When I opened the oven door and saw them all puffed up like that, I panicked, thinking I had somehow ruined them. I tracked my mom down at my grandma's house and when she answered the phone I was so upset, carrying on that I had made butter tarts that looked like muffins. Neither my grandma nor my mother had any idea what I was talking about, and couldn't imagine how I could have possibly screwed up such a simple recipe.
To this day, 10 or 11 years later, they both still get quite a laugh out of this story and are happy to retell it, mimicking the panic in my voice.
Because you see, a few minutes AFTER you take them out of the oven, your butter tarts look like this:
Full of bad sugars and about a zillion calories...(you know you want some)...