The sad thing about living on the West Coast is its lack of oatcakes, which were our favourite snack in the Maritimes. Because they’re made with oats, we easily convinced ourselves they’re a healthy alternative to any meal. No time for breakfast/lunch/dinner? No problem! Just have another oatcake.
Oatcakes came over with the Scots and have since been adapted into various crave-worthy forms all across the East Coast. They sit somewhere between a cookie and a biscuit—not quite sweet, but not quite savoury, so you can top them with cheddar or chocolate. Our favourite ones were Honeybeans’s in St. Andrews by-the-Sea, New Brunswick. Thanks to Matt and Angela Honey for agreeing to share their recipe.
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (107 g) lightly packed brown sugar
- 11/2 cups (225 g) all-purpose flour (see note on page 6)
- 11/2 cups (160 g) old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 1/2 tsp (1.5 g) salt
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water, if needed
- 1 cup (130 g) coarsely chopped dark chocolate (optional)
- Fleur de sel or flaky sea salt (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer (or using beaters or a wooden spoon), cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, oats, and salt together, then add to the butter mixture in three increments, beating as you add. If you’ve added all the oat mixture and the dough is still quite dry, add the water, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time, until the dough comes together.
- Between two large sheets of waxed paper or parch- ment paper, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to about a 1/4-inch-thick (6 mm) slab. Pull the top layer of paper off and cut the dough into circles about 3 inches (8 cm) in diameter with a cookie cutter or the top of a glass. Transfer the oatcakes to an ungreased baking sheet—you should end up with about a dozen.
- Bake the oatcakes for 15 to 20 minutes in the pre- heated oven, or until they begin browning very slightly around the edges. Remove from the oven, let cool for 2 to 3 minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to cooling racks.
- To make these a little more decadent, melt the chopped dark chocolate over low heat in a saucepan or over medium heat in a double boiler. Once melted, remove from the heat and dip half of each oatcake in the chocolate, then lay on a cooling rack or piece of parchment to set. For the ultimate experience, sprinkle a little fleur de sel or flaky sea salt over the melted chocolate before it hardens. Whether sweet or savoury, these are always great with a dram of whisky.
Excerpted from Feast: Recipes and Stories from a Canadian Roadtrip by Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Copyright © 2017 Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.