Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Scottish Oat Cakes

These oat cakes are my very favorite - except for those I posted Jan. 25, 2012, which are also my favorite. If my sainted Scottish mother-in-law were still alive, Id bake her some for Christmas. They’re every bit as good as the famous brand sold worldwide, and are quick, easy, and economical to make. Oat cakes are delicate and a little crumbly, so be sure to present them in a sturdy Christmas tin with some tissue paper to cushion and protect them. They arent good candidates for mailing, so send the Scot in your life something else.

Christmas Scottish Oat Cakes:

1 c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
½ c. shortening
1 c. regular or quick-cooking oats
2-to-3 tbsp. ice water

Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt, mixing well. Stir in rolled oats. Using two knives or pastry cutter, combine shortening into oats and flour mixture until shortening resembles fine crumbs. Add water, 1 tbsp. at a time, mixing well between additions. 

With a lightly floured pin on a lightly floured surface, roll into a circle with a ⅛-in. thickness. Cut into 8 wedges or 10 rounds. Carefully transfer to ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake 12-to-15 min., just until oat cakes start to brown at edges. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack before transferring cakes to small gift tin or a festive cello wrapper with wire twist tie. Makes 8 wedges or ten 3-in. rounds. 

This size of rounds - whether iced cookies or oat cakes - neatly fits into a 1-qt. canning jar as a welcome Christmas gift. With the fully cooled oat cakes in the jar, it’s easy enough to slap a circle of cloth with a festive design, a piece of felt, or Christmas-patterned paper over the lid of the jar, affixing it with an elastic band and a ribbon. 

I used a frilly hair scrunchy and tissue paper for the final photo, below. Softer and more pliable than wrapping paper, tissue paper does the better and cheaper job, I believe. I used a 9-in. cake pan as the template for my circle.

Use pastry cutter to reduce mixture to fine crumbs.

Gather into a ball before rolling into ⅛-in. thickness.

Bake 12-to-15 min., checking against over-browning.

A quart jar is the ideal container for 3-in. rounds.

Tomorrow: Carrots! They’re not just a snowman’s nose, anymore. Tomorrows blog will elevate them to a special holiday dessert!

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