I love my birthday!
I even started a silly tradition back in high school where I would start counting down on September 1st. I’m sure over the years this has annoyed many people. Although there have been a few people who cheered me on and appreciated my child like approach to my special day… I mean come on people, IT’S YOUR DAY!
It’s like your 5 years old, and your heading to Chuckie Cheese or some equally super exciting kid filled birthday destination… with a van full of your friends for an afternoon of bad pizza, horrible video games, overly sugary birthday cake and some creepy mascot character lurking around, smelling like grandma’s house…. sorry grandma.
Even though birthdays ROCK, there are 2 things that I do not enjoy about them. Number one; the inevitable and embarrassing birthday song. You know the one. Someone starts it off in a loud and off key note, and then everyone else awkwardly joins in. It’s not even a good song. So please STOP this awful tradition. I don’t want to hear it and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to sing it. And now that I have stated this, everyone I know will be singing.
The second one is a little childish and kind of selfish. The shared birthday. I hate when I find out I share a birthday with someone. I try and ignore them, but sure enough, when my birthday comes around, there they are stealing my birthday spotlight. As far as I’m concerned, these birthday glory stealing individuals can have my piece of way sugary grocery store cake, my awkward happy birthday song and be on their way.
There is of course only ever been one exception to this, My dear friend Trina…. I could give you some sappy explanation as to why she is bestest friend ever, cause she really is… But I won’t bore you…. Instead make these super yummy butter tarts, which I made her for HER birthday.
1 1/2 Cups of Flour
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
1/4 Cup of Butter, Cold and Cut into Cubes
1/4 Cup of Lard, Cold and Cut into Cubes
1 Egg Yolk
1 Teaspoon of Vinegar
1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup of Corn Syrup
2 Tablespoons of Butter, Softened
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
1/4 Cup of Raisins
For the pastry
In a large bowl, whisk flour and salt together. using a pastry blender (or 2 knives, but seriously, get a pastry blender) cut the butter and lard in the flour, until it looks like a bunch of uneven crumbs. In a glass measuring cup, whisk the egg yolk and vinegar, and add as much ice water so you have 1/3 of a cup of liquid. Pour over the flour/butter crumbs, and fluff with a fork, until it comes together. Now get your hands in there and form in into a ball, and then flatten it into a disk. I always had trouble with pastry being dry. add extra water if you need it, and if it gets to wet, throw some flour on it. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. you want that butter to harden.
Prepare the filling
In a small bowl, whisk all the filling ingredients, (except the raisins), until blended. that’s it, seriously.
Putting it all together (seriously, I must love you Trina)
Take the pastry disc out of the fridge ( I usually let mine sit for 2-5 mins), roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until its about a1/8 inch thick. Cut into 4 inch round pieces ( I have fancy cookie cutters, but you can use a glass. I had to re-roll my dough to get 12.
Place them in a lightly greased muffin tin. It doesn’t have to be pretty, just get them in there. Place a few (or a lot as per Trina’s request) into the bottom of each pastry. Pour the filling in to about half way up (or make a double batch and fill each on ¾ full, as per Trina’s request)
Bake in the oven for 12 mins. Place on a wire rack for 5 mins, then remove them from the muffin tin and allow to cool completely on the wire rack.
The DON’T eat one, and send them off to your bestest friend ( seriously, I didn’t eat one).