I LOVE oats: Scotch or Irish oats with brown sugar and cream. Oatmeal cookies. Breakfast bars with oatmeal in them. Breads made with oat flour. Oatcakes.
A reader asked if I had an oatcake of my own. And I do. (Sorry, I don’t have a picture of it.)
I don’t much like the well-known Starbucks version, though I do buy them from time to time. They’re a bit on the heavy side for me, and the flavors seem indistinct. And the color? Unappetizing.
Some years ago, I devised an oatcake of my own, which can be baked in a rimmed baking pan, in muffin tins (standard or mini), in mini bundt pan s or an English-style tart pan. Chop the dried fruit in a mini food processor, if you have one. Note that the dish has no added fat. The cake is rather rough-textured and chewy.
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup flour (or whole wheat pastry flour for more fiber)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar (or Splenda Brown Sugar Blend)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped dried fruit*
1/4 cup raisins or Craisins (dried, sweetened cranberries)
1/2 cup plain, nonfat yogurt or nonfat buttermilk
1/2 cup liquid sweetener**
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 egg whites, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Treat desired pan or tin with oil spray, baking spray or bakers’ release. In a food processor or blender, process 2 cups oats to make oat flour (or you can buy it in the health food store). In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Quickly stir to completely combine. Transfer batter to jelly roll pan and gently flatten with fingers or roll with rolling pan. Or spoon into muffin pans (fill no more than 3/4 full). Bake 17 minutes or slighlty longer for jelly roll pan, until golden brown. Cool on a rack. If using jelly roll pan, cut oatcakes into bar shapes. Store in an airtight container. Makes 20-24 cakes.
* Dried fruit might include dried apple (muted flavor), apricot (tart-sweet), prunes (darker flavor), cherries (sprightly sweetness), dates or figs (both intensely sweet).
* *Liquid sweeteners include pancake syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup, honey or molasses. The latter two can lend a very pronounced flavor; if this isn’t the desired effect, use 1/4 cup each honey or molasses and 1/4 cup corn syrup or agave syrup.