Friday, September 4, 2009


Maybe I'll start blogging on oats and how delicious they are. It is true, I do love the humble oat. I think it began while living in San Francisco because there was a little bakery in my neighborhood called "101 Carl" that made oat scones we all treasured and planned our weekends around. I still haven't replicated that recipe so if anyone out there knows it...

There was this Australian man who came to W.W.O.O.F (Willing Workers On Organic Farms - i.e. volunteer for food and board and precious organic farming wisdom) on our farm in Ireland who only ate raw foods. It just so happened that the day before he came to stay, we had gotten our bulk order from the health food company and had a 25 kilo bag of oats sitting in the corner of our kitchen. We were shocked by what 25 kilos looked like and wondered what we were going to do with all those oats before "Mr. H" came. In the week he was staying with us, I think he went through half of it because he ONLY ate raw oats, raw almonds, raw honey, and water. No delicious meal I prepared could lure him away from his special diet (which I was totally annoyed by), but we were coming to the end of our lives having w.w.o.o.fers. Everything was becoming annoying about these interlopers that , of course, I had invited to stay. I thought he was slightly crazy then (maybe he was), but of course, I pretty much feed my family that same meal most mornings, so it goes to show ya...... I could also write a blog about the weird things that happened while having wwoofers, but I digress.

My dear friend Timothy always brings us boxes of culinary delights when he comes to visit and last week, along with about 10 pounds of alpine cheeses, he brought us a box of Northern Irish oatcakes which were so delicious and gone in a half second. I think I successfully replicated them and now I will share them with you. Oh, I did give them a little protein and flavor boost by adding almonds. Add the sugar quantity to taste. I like them both ways. They are coarse and gooo-oood.

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw almonds
3 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 350.

1) Grind the oats and almonds in a food processor, blender, or in a jar with a hand blender (which is how I do it since I don't have either of the other tools). They should look like this,

ground to a meal. If you are working in a food processor, add butter and blend to incorporate, then add the salt, soda, and sugar, pulse a few times to incorporate. Add the water and pulse until you get a dough ball. If you are not using a food processor, pour oat and almond meal into a large bowl, add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until it is incorporated. Add salt, soda, and sugar and stir to mix. Add the water and stir until the dough comes together.
3) Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and roll to 1/4" thickness. Press and mend any cracks with your fingers. Cut with biscuit cutters and place on baking sheet (no need to grease).
4) Bake for 10 minutes, keeping a watch full eye near the end. You don't want them to get too brown. Turn off oven, and leave the oat cakes in there with the door ajar while the oven cools. This will ensure that they are nice and crisp. If your oven runs hot and they have gotten brown quickly, remove them from the oven to cool.

Serve with slices of cheddar or hand them to your kids in place of cookies.

They would also be great with little currants mixed into the dough. I'll try that next time.


  1. It's funny that you wrote about those oat cakes....because I just returned from the cheese shop where I bought every box they had, and then got back to the house and saw your post. Parcel coming at you soon.

  2. Oooh, yummy! Thanks in advance. You are a dear man.

  3. Okay. So I went home, took the kid to the grocery store to get the ingredients. I had to make these. And they were so good! Kid loved them. Husband loved them. I love them. And what's great for us is they are gluten free (an issue for our family) So thank you for posting this.

    PS. My boss is from Scotland and I brought him one and he said that his mom used to add a bit of ginger. I thought that sounded delicious

  4. I'm so glad you made them and they worked out well. I changed the directions a bit, so I hope you didn't try to roll them out to an 1/8", which is too thin! Thanks for the comment!

  5. Just checking in again to say I've made them over and over and over. And over again! I have a feeling I'll still be loving these cakes when I'm 78.

    And, another thing to add to your "ode to oats" - Oat Straw Tea. High in calcium. Tastes like a walk in a field in high summer.

  6. oh they look great - wish I had time to make them - do you post???

  7. Thanks for the check in Kate. Just wanted to share that I went to see Mary Oliver read her poetry last night at Smith College and I swear she was like a walk in a field in high summer. Just words, but, oh, what words they were.

  8. I just saw the link to your site from Crafty Crow. I just had to make these oat cakes!! I immediately loaded my 3 kids in the car to get almonds from the store. I did add craisins into my mix and they turned out better than I could have imagined. I think this will be a new favorite around our house as my husband ordered me to make another batch ASAP! Thanks for the recipe!!

  9. Yes, what is it about oatcakes that makes us have to have them immediately upon thinking about them? I came up with this recipe the day after I had those Irish ones that were so good. I am thrilled you Powells had such good results!

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  11. Hi, thanks for sharing this nice, easy and healty recipe. But I would like to know what should I do if I want to change brown sugar with molasses...


  12. I am going to try to make these this weekend and I'll try to sub honey for the sugar. Wish me luck! :)

  13. I swear that somewhere I have the 101 Carl scone recipe. I practically bribed them for it! I will try to locate it....