If you are what you eat, then I’m a butter tart

questionmarkIf you were a food, what would you be?

Don’t think too hard about this one, just write what comes to mind in the comment section below.

Me, I’d be a butter tart square.  Like me, they are proudly Canadian, sweet, flaky, occasionally a little nutty and much to my ego’s pain: square.

While you ponder the good and bad aspects of   what kind of food epitomizes your character, try this recipe for butter tart squares from my repertoire of family faves:

Cranberry Butter Tart Squares

1/4 cup (50 mL) butter softened
1/3 cup (75 mL) packed brown sugar
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking powder
pinch salt
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) dried cranberries
1 square each bittersweet and white chocolate, melted (optional)

Crust: Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Beat the butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl until creamy. Add the flour and salt and stir until well combined and crumbly. Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-in (20 cm) square baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until pale golden around the edges. Reserve.

Topping: Stir the brown sugar with the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter, eggs and vanilla and stir until well blended and smooth. Stir in the dried cranberries.

Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden and bubbly around the edges but still slightly jiggly in the centre. Cool the squares completely in the pan on a wire rack. Drizzle with chocolate (if using). Slice into squares. Makes 16 squares.

Tip: Recipe doubles easily to fill a 9-x 13-in (3L) baking pan.


18 Responses to If you are what you eat, then I’m a butter tart

  1. Rosa says:

    These squares sound really good! I love cranberries…

    I’d be a peanut ;-P!



  2. Barb says:

    Sorry, can’t do without first giving this careful thought. Will have to post later!

  3. Butter tarts are my cryptonite. Those, and a man with a great smile.

  4. danamccauley says:

    Imagine how you’d react to a man with a great smile who also liked to bake butter tarts often?

    Barb, don’t forget to come back – I need to know your food identity!

  5. He wouldn’t even have to bake them, just bring good ones from a bakery.

    Of course everyone has their preferences when it comes to butter tarts. I like mine to be a balanced combination of runny and gooey, not too solid and not gelatinous. Flaky crust. Raisins, pecans or plain are acceptable, though I realize that technically the pecan ones are pecan tarts.

    Reminds me: As a child I once spotted a pecan pie in Isaac’s Bakery (can’t believe I remember that), pointed to it wide-eyed and said to my mother, “Look, a giant butter tart!” She informed me of its true identity.

    The first time I bought President’s Choice Butter Pecan Tart ice cream it was gone in three sittings.

    There are few very sweet things that I like. Usually I’m anti-sickeningly sweet. Butter tarts are the exception.

    I still don’t know what food I would be.

  6. danamccauley says:

    Canadian Foodie Girl, I’m shamelessly proud of my butter tart recipe and I think it fits your criteria. Try it sometime if you have a chance and let me know what you think about it:

  7. Amy says:


    I mean. I commented on your facebook : )

    Thanks for the tart recipe…I have plans to make one this weekend!

  8. Diva says:

    If you are what you eat then I’m … bittersweet chocolate. Dark (as in humor), often spicy, a bit mysterious, slightly sweet with a bitter edge, initially brittle but soft and melty under it all.

    Meanwhile, I’ve never had a butter tart … and had never heard of them until I started reading your blog. So glad you’ve shared your recipe, Dana, so I can finally see what they’re all about. Yay!

  9. Barb says:

    Diva – you didn’t mention but I think you must be, deep.

  10. danamccauley says:

    She’s deep alright, like a high ball glass. ; )

  11. Diva says:

    Bwah! Funny, Dana!

    And, thanks, Barb … I’ve been known to be deep on occasion … like after a few highballs. 😉

  12. cheryl says:

    I’d be a key lime pie, which I think is funny because it’s not my favorite dessert. But something about the half-sweet/half sour strikes me as pretty much on target.

    I’m still trying to figure out why Peter’s a hot dog. Is he processed? Is it because he’s tall and, I guess, therefore somewhat elongated? I’m refraining from making a joke about being nestled in buns, but only because I don’t want to embarrass myself. Oh, wait…

  13. danamccauley says:

    Cheryl, I, too was afraid to touch the topic of Peter’s food designation. I just ‘assumed’ he was referring to his daredevil lifestyle.

  14. Cheryl A says:

    If it is quite literally you are what you eat I would be chocolate. So many varieties – some smooth and comforting, some that shout at you to take notice, some that one person likes and another hates, but whatever variety you eat it will make you feel better.

    That, and I pretty much eat it every day.

    But if I was a drink it would be scotch, and for the same reasons.

  15. Sarah says:

    I think I’d be ice cream – always cold (routinely wear 2-3 long sleeve shirts!) usually sweet, sometimes nutty and infinitely variable.

  16. danamccauley says:

    Ha- love the ice cream analogy!

  17. jugos10.net says:


    Que tiempo has dedicado a tremendo a porte y hay muchas informacion que no conocia que me has aclarado,
    esta maravilloso.. te queria reconocer el tiempo que dedicaste, con unas infinitas gracias, por aconsejar a gente como yo

    Besos, saludos

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