I have a lovely student named Elsa. She could easily fit in here at our house. Neat and tidy, highly organized, and really into cooking and crafting. She’s the kind of kid who likes all of that old-fashioned-is-cool-again stuff. When she and her mother, Christy, are around me at work, my day is always less yucky. Christy teaches as well. Some of her students have violins that are the size of my hand. Perfectly adorable.
A couple of months ago, Elsa and Christy gave me some oat cakes. I did not get to eat the oat cakes, because 2.0 gobbled them up. There one minute, gone the next. Then began the begging. For two months he cried about the oat cakes. They were the best oat cakes he had ever had. Why couldn’t I make him those oat cakes? When would I get the recipe from Elsa? Moaning and groaning, whimpering and whining. Two months. I told him that some people (Rosie Beaucoup) are very protective of their family recipes, but that I would do my best.
Much to our delight – and great relief, Christy and Elsa were happy to share Great Grammie’s recipe, and have allowed me to pass it on to you. These oatcakes are deeeelightful. Not too dry. Not too heavy. Just right. I love family recipes. Passed down from kitchen to kitchen. I can imagine Christy sitting at a table with Grammie, madly scribbling down the details of her recipes – just as many of us have done with our own grammies.
Speaking of scribbling, there’s something you need to know about Christy. Christy likes to make notes. Notes about everything. Little reminders to herself about details she might forget. So I wasn’t surprised to find Christy’s notes scribbled on the recipe card she allowed me to photocopy. One of Christy’s notes for mixing the oat cake dough reads: stir vigorously with fork till goes into a ball. Now, I think I should tell you that your dough is not spontaneously going to form itself into a ball. Especially when you’re stirring with a fork. So I’ve changed that in the recipe notes. Also, I haven’t included Christy’s cutting diagram. Because it might confuse you in the same way it confused me.
. . .
Elsa Hodder’s Great Grammie’s Scottish Oat Cakes
recipe: from Elsa Hodder’s Great Grammie, adapted slightly by yours truly
- 2 cups flour
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup lard (I used butter)
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in butter with a knife or pastry cutter until coarse, mealy crumbs form. Add the ice cold water and stir vigorously with a fork until dough comes together. (The process is very similar to making biscuits, shortcakes and the like – don’t over-work the dough.) Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and shape dough into a ball. Take about a quarter of the dough from the ball, and roll it out to be 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. (Grammie emphasized that you don’t want to over-handle the dough, thus she only rolled and cut a quarter of the dough at a time.) Cut into circles with a biscuit/cookie cutter or inverted drinking glass, or cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Place on parchment lined baking sheets for baking. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake at 350° until golden (check at 8 minutes). Makes about 2 dozen.