In the quest for the perfect butter tart, I discovered Carla’s Cookie Box while at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival April 7, 2018.

They had a big booth and a display case loaded with butter tarts of various flavours.
Upon first sight, I thought the pastry to filling ratio was not properly balanced, so I kept going. I came back around a second time and I decided to purchase 6 tarts to give them a try. After all, it is not much of a butter tart quest if I am not willing to try. I chose the classic, peanut butter/chocolate chip, Nutella, pecan, caramel, and rocky road in order to get a good idea of the different flavours they had from basic to more elaborate.

Pastry:

I find lard-based crusts are typically greasy, oily, and denser. I also can taste the lard, whereas with shortening it doesn’t create the flavour – it is just there. So, I was pleased to hear that they are shortening with the addition of butter in the crust.

The ratio of pastry to filling was a bit off, by my standards. I prefer a more even crust to filling ratio so that you get the full taste of the butter tart in every bite. I do not care for biting into just crust. The larger tarts had an increased crust to filling ratio, which was disappointing.
The crust was tasty – flaky and light, just as I like. The butter is the key to the taste in this pastry- it creates a nice flavour.

Filling:

Classic: this is your basic butter tart with or without raisins – my preference is without. This is the tart that sets the tone for everything they do.
The filling was sweet, but not overly sweet. It had a great buttery flavour and just the right amount of gooey-ness. The thickness of the filling is crucial to the enjoyment of the tart – too runny, it’s a big mess, too thick and the experience is just not as elevated. Carla’s had a nice gooey filling which oozes out very slowly, so you have time to enjoy it all without it dripping down your arm.

Others: I enjoyed all of the other flavours. The fillings were good, and flavours well-represented. Of the flavours I ordered, I would give top marks to the caramel tart. It had the perfect level of butter tart filling and caramel – not too much caramel to overpower the butter tart, and enough caramel to get some in every bite.

Overall Experience:

These are really good tarts. Make no mistake, I thoroughly enjoyed them. My biggest concerns are that there is too much crust to filling ratio, and while the filling was good – I just missed that special ‘oomph’ that I look for when I eat a butter tart. Something that really WOWs me. The crust had a great taste that was not overpowering. It enhanced the overall experience and did not distract from it.

Carla's Cookie Box butter tarts in a variety of delicious flavours like pecan, peanut butter chocolate, caramel.

Carla's Cookie Box butter tarts have a delicious and sweet filling with the right amount of oozing.

Carla's Cookie Box butter tart display at the Elmira Maple Syrup Festival, and annual festival in Elmira, Ontario.

Author

Adventurer, gastro-tourist, avid road tripper, and buttertart aficionado. Exploring the road less travelled and the adventures that exist for all to see if you just open yourself up to new possibilities.

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