Title: Cinnamon Oatcakes

Drawing of the slicing pattern for oatcakes.

Yield: 32 servings

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Category: Breads

Cuisine: Scottish

Source: James Card

Ingredients

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Place butter and water (if adding optional dried cranberries or raisins, I add them here to let the water begin to soften them up) in a microwave-safe container and heat for about 2 minutes until the butter is melted; OR use a small saucepan and carefully melt the butter over a low flame.

While the butter is melting, mix the cinnamon and brown sugar together in mixing bowl until there are no lumps left in the sugar.

Add pancake mix to sugar and cinnamon, then mix until there are no lumps and the mixture is uniform in color throughout.

Add oats to the other dry ingredients and mix together thoroughly.

Stir the melted butter and water and then add the mixture all at once to the dry ingredients.

Mix well until there are no dry spots left. The dough will be stiff and will form a ball as you work it. The dough is usually still somewhat sticky; adding more oats will result in a more crumbly finished product.

Turn the dough out onto a baking stone and shape it into a disk about one inch thick; or press the dough evenly into a buttered cake pan.

Slice the dough into wedges or bars before baking.

Bake at 325 degrees F. for about 40-45 minutes. Rotate the baking stone (or pan) a half-turn about half-way through the baking process to help them brown more evenly. Remove from the oven when the surface is golden brown (if there were bits of dough sticking up after slicing, they will brown sooner than the flat areas). The most reliable indicator of when they are done is smell: when the smell of browned butter becomes prominent then the time is right -- if you're not sure what that smells like put a bit of butter in a frying pan and heat it until is starts to turn brown, that's what we're looking for when the oatcakes are done.

Serve immediately, or they may be served cold later. They keep well if placed in sealed containers immediately after coming out of the oven. We worried a little because they "sweat" a bit while they're cooling and we were afraid they'd get soggy -- but that hasn't been a problem and it keeps them from drying out too quickly. We've eaten some that were kept at room temperature for over a week and they were still quite acceptable.

Notes

The PDF version of this file is formatted to print nicely on the front and back of a single sheet of paper.

The original recipe we adapted this from (at <http://hubpages.com/hub/Scottish-Oat-Cakes>) used 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. baking soda instead of the pancake mix that we use. We usually have pancake mix on hand, it is easier to use, and we found that we liked the results a little better. We like to use unsalted butter, but salted butter (or even a good quality margarine -- avoid the "light" versions that have more water than fats) also makes very tasty oatcakes.

We usually bake these on a 12-inch round baking stone, leaving a small margin all round the edge of the stone. The dough before slicing then looks like a large flat disk about 11 inches in diameter and 3/4 to 1 inch thick. I like to use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, but can shape it quite effectively using just a spatula if a rolling pin is not available.

We slice the dough into bars by making a cut straight across the middle of the disk, then another cut parallel with the first one about one-third of way between the first cut and each edge, followed by another cut parallel with the others, these being about two-thirds of the way toward the edge. This results in the disk being sliced into six strips. Then rotate the baking stone a quarter-turn and repeat the process: one cut right across the middle and then four parallel cuts. This results in 32 pieces rather than the 36 you would expect by cutting a 6x6 grid; since the dough was round, each of the four "corner" pieces would have been off the edge of the baking stone.

There will be crumbs! They, too, are delicious. By the way, am I the only one who's noticed that these are very similar to the "crumb topping" that we sometimes add to coffee cakes and fruit crisps? Butter, brown sugar, oats, flour -- sounds familiar.

MODIFICATIONS

We've added a variety of things to the dough before baking, and used a variety of accompaniments with the finished oatcakes. We can recommend adding a couple of tablespoons (more or less, according to your taste) of flax seed, chia seed, raisins, dried cranberries, or other small bits of fruit. We enjoyed adding a mashed ripe banana to the dough. We tried using vanilla instead of cinnamon, but we definitely prefer the cinnamon version.

We usually eat them plain, either warm from the oven, cold, or (especially nice) reheated by placing them in a toaster-oven at 300 degrees for 5-8 minutes. If you need a bit of variety or a little extra something to fancy them up for company we've been known to spread cranberry or rhubarb sauce on them (both very simple: cook the chopped fruit with some sugar, don't add anything else), or a favourite fruit jam or syrup; some folks even like a bit of maple syrup on them. If you're feeling especially indulgent melt some butter on top of warm oatcakes.

Nutritional Information

Nutritional information reflects amount per serving.
Calories 149
Total Fat (g) 5
Saturated Fat (g) 3
Cholesterol (mg) 12
Sodium (mg) 64
Total Carbohydrate (g) 22
Dietary Fiber (g) 2
Sugars (g) 6
Protein (g) 3

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