Monday, October 17, 2011

Cape Breton Oatcakes

On a recent trip home to Cape Breton, one afternoon I went for a walk to Tim Horton's for a cup of coffee and a snack. As I looked over the options of donuts, muffins and cookies, something almost jumped through the glass. Oatcakes! Oatcakes are basically an oat cookie that is a staple on any kitchen table when the tea pot is on. It goes perfect with a cup of tea, which Cape Bretoners drink by the gallons.

Tim Horton's in Calgary doesn't stock these delicious treats on their shelves, so it was a no brainer for me to get a couple of the Cape Breton classics.

To add even more of a Cape Breton flavour, this recipe comes from Natalie MacMaster's mother. The recipe is posted on Natalie's website.

Cape Breton Oatcakes - Minnie MacMaster

1/2 cup butter 
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar

Mix all the above together and then put about 3 tablespoons of boiling water in a cup and add 1/2 tsp of baking soda to it and pour into the above mixture.  Beat well and add...

1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 tsp salt


Combine and roll out on a floured counter to the thickness you would prefer.

Trim the sides of the rolled out dough to make a square and cut into triangles. 


Use a spatula to scrape the cookies off the floured surface and transfer them to a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 oven for about 6 minutes or until they are golden brown.   Each oven is different and so watch carefully that they do not burn.

(This recipe doubles very well).

Here are a few ideas that I have tried with this recipe and they work very well....

For the 1/2 cup white sugar.....I sometimes change that to 1/4 cup of white and 1/4 cup of brown. You can also add 1/2 cup rice crispies to this recipe for a nice texture. Or you may add 1/4 cup fine sweetened coconut for a very tasty addition.


Make sure you rub some flour into your rolling pin. It will prevent the dough from sticking to it.

As a rule for all baking, use vegetable oil. Canola oil will certainly work just fine, but any professional baker will tell you that vegetable oil will give you a much better flavour.

1 comment:

  1. Definitely gonna try these this winter. I'm always looking for the perfect accompaniment to the cup of Earl Grey tea.


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