Secret Recipe Club contribution. This month I had Shelley at C Mom Cook. She had plenty of recipes that were family-friendly, but still interesting. That's right up my alley. One that caught my eye was these Scottish Oatcakes. They are not a cake or even a cookie, but a cracker. A cracker made almost entirely from oats.
Which is why it seems almost magical to me how good they are. Now, don't get me wrong, I didn't expect them to be bad or I wouldn't have made them, but I was surprised by how very tasty and flavorful something could be that was basically grain and water with a pat of butter and maple syrup. Now I have to tell you something. As I made these, I wasn't sure how they were going to turn out. To look at the dough (a grey blob of oatmeal) and expect it to turn into a cracker that was not only edible, but enjoyable was a small stretch of faith. And then as they were cooking, I was a bit like, "These are never going to harden up." But taste good, they did. And harden up, they did. They're the best homemade cracker I've ever made. And super simple to boot. Also, my girls and I had a great time cutting them into different shapes. We ate them with hummus (me and Savannah) and peanut butter (everybody else). Delightful.
Scottish Oatcakes (aka Gluten-free Crackers)
adapted from C Mom Cook
Makes about 20-24 largish crackers
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
oatmeal.25, butter: .06, syrup: .04
2 1/2 C oats (Shelley used old-fashioned; I used quick)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 C water
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp maple syrup (I used the real stuff and recommend this or honey)
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine oatmeal, baking soda, and salt in bowl.
Heat water and butter until butter melts (this could be done in a saucepan or the microwave).
Pour liquid into the center of the oatmeal mix and stir it up (a bit quickly--you want to get the water well-incorporated before in is absorbed into the oats). If you're using quick oats, the water will get sucked up pretty quickly. If you're using old-fashioned, it will seem wet at first, but will absorb and make a dough-like blob.
Dust work surface with oat flour or wheat flour (depending on whether you need these gluten-free or not). Roll dough until it's about 1/4 inch thick. (This is thicker than a store-bought cracker will be. Go thinner if you wish to and can. I liked the thickness.) Cut into squares or if you're an exciting person, use cookie cutters to cut shapes. The advantage of the cookie cutters is funness. The advantage of the squares is that you don't have to re-roll the dough at all. I will confess that by the 3rd or 4th re-roll, my dough was starting to fall apart a bit. It still made tasty crackers though.
Place crackers on baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes (I did 30), flipping them over every five minutes or so. I know that this seems like a pesky instruction, but it ensures that the crackers don't steam themselves and get nice and crisp. Also, this recipe is so simple a little extra flipping didn't seem too painful.
When cooked, they'll be crisp and just barely turning golden. (Note: They'll firm up even more as they cool.)