We’ve had this particular recipe for years and years and can trace it all the way back to the Glenghorm Resort in Ingonish, Nova Scotia, where we picked it up back in the summer of 1994. For a week that July, we traveled around Nova Scotia and just had a great time seeing the sights and talking with people. It’s a beautiful part of the world, and the people were so nice and welcoming. Now, the reason we know we picked up this recipe on that trip is not because of our phenomenal memories; instead, it’s because we still have the original postcard from the dining area where we had lunch.We don’t remember exactly what we had for lunch (it has been nearly 20 years, after all), but we do remember that we picked up a package of these oat cakes to take along on our travels. We’ve made these from time to time, generally when we need to make a snacky treat in a large quantity, as this recipe will make a lot of oat cakes. Fortunately, everyone really seems to like them, so they will go fast. Careful readers will note that we’ve changed the recipe just slightly, and that’s mainly because we think the consistency of shortening has changed as it’s moved to a “trans-fat free” version.
Makes a lot.
Oats: for this we mean Old-Fashioned rolled oats.
Procedure in detail:
Mix dry ingredients. In a large (4-quart) bowl, mix all the ingredients except the shortening and water. Mix them around with your hands. Now’s not the time to go all fru-fru about mixing by hand. Professional chefs do this all the time, and with good reason; you can feel the texture, it’s simple to clean up, and, most of all, it’s often the fastest and most efficient way.
Add shortening and water. Now, measure in the shortening and water, and, again, mix thoroughly with your hands. Pretend you’re a kid. Or, maybe you don’t need to pretend, as this would be a good recipe for the little ones to help with. It’s not as if you can mess up mixing this together, so it’s perfect for the younger set.
Cover and refrigerate. Since the dough was so soft, we thought that it would be better to chill it a bit before rolling. Our dough was soft enough that we would have been able to film that kitchen horror movie: Rolling Pin vs. Oat Dough.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Roll out. Cover a workspace with a generous amount of rolled oats (Old-Fashioned), and plop out about 1/4 of the dough. Generously sprinkle oats on top and start rolling. Add more oats as necessary, and keep rolling until you get the dough 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Then cut into 2-inch squares, and transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Yeah, we made these. Rolling and cutting them into regular-sized pieces is tough.
Bake. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or just starting to brown.
Cool. Transfer the cakes to a rack to cool.
Enjoy. Try one and imagine you’re in Nova Scotia. That’s what we do.
These are a great little snack; they aren’t too sweet and they have enough oats that you can pretend they might be good for you. Taken together, you’ll end up eating more than you should. But, if you are like us, you won’t be making these all that often, so it’ll work out. While these are really tasty, they are a bit of a bear to shape, so four stars.