Imagine, if you can, a kid who doesn't like butter tarts. This would be my son Dustin. Which is why I was almost speechless when he deemed these butter tarts "exceptional."
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vinegar
1/4 cup raisins, or chopped pecans (optional)
12 unbaked tart shells
In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the butter and the brown sugar until creamy. With the beaters still running, have your young helper drizzle in the maple syrup gradually, until the mixture is smooth. It may appear somewhat curdled - that's OK. Now add the egg and vinegar, and continue beating for a couple of minutes longer.
Now prepare your tart shells. Sometimes, when I am feeling ambitious, I will make my own butter tart shells using homemade pastry dough. And when I am not, I buy frozen tart shells. No one, other than myself, has ever noticed. Either way, you will need a dozen 2 in. (5 cm) shells.
If you like a little something in your butter tarts, have your junior chef place a few raisins or 1 tsp.(5 mL) of chopped pecans in the bottom of each tart shell. If you are a purist (like Jared) don't put anything into your tarts.
Spoon the maple syrup mixture into the tart shells, filling them evenly. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 15 to 20 minutes, until the filling is bubbling but not quite firm. Remove from oven and let cool until you can't stand it any longer.
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