This is my second recipe post here inspired by someone’s grandmother. I just love it, I could cook this way all day long. Before I realized these Scottish Oat Cakes were from Movita’s grammie, I thought to myself, “These remind me so much of my great-aunt’s cookies.” It is simple rolled oats combined with that very simple texture and crunch—the pure, understated oat cookie of that generation. I was so excited to make these.
To make these yourself, you’ll need: flour, rolled oats, baking soda, salt, white sugar, brown sugar, and cold butter (or lard! Mmm).
Start by combining all of the dry ingredients in a bowl, everything but the butter.
Mix it thoroughly with a whisk, or my favorite tool: your hands!
Add the butter and incorporate that as well.
This is where your hands are especially useful because you want to mix this butter in quickly and create a sandy texture.
Once that is nice and sandy, pour in water a little at a time, about 1/2 cup.
You just want to moisten it enough until it gathers together and there isn’t any dry matter on the bottom of the bowl straggling behind.
Grease a baking sheet with spray or be like me—smear around a big stick of butter. I’m very precise that way.
Then on a clean, lightly floured surface, separate the dough into smaller batches.
Roll out the dough.
Use a ring cutter or the rim of a glass to cut ¼ inch thick circles.
Lay them in rows on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven!
What is interesting about these is that they don’t change their shape much. They just simply firm up a bit. It’s a fun combination between a true cookie and a scone.
In fact, they seemed very British to me … or Scottish. They would be so perfect for a traditional afternoon tea. And they made me want to have a tea party instantly. Thank you to Movita for this wonderful recipe and for making me want to have a tea party! Be sure to check out her website Movita Beaucoup for more inspiration.
A yummy family favourite.
- 2 cups Flour, All Purpose
- 3 cups Rolled Oats
- ¼ cups Brown Sugar
- ¼ cups White Sugar
- ½ teaspoons Salt
- ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
- ½ cups Lard Or Butter
- ½ cups Ice Cold Water
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in butter with a knife or pastry cutter until coarse, mealy crumbs form. Add the ice cold water and stir vigorously with a fork until dough comes together. (The process is very similar to making biscuits, shortcakes and the like—don’t overwork the dough.) Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and shape dough into a ball. Take about a quarter of the dough from the ball, and roll it out to be 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. (Grammie emphasized that you don’t want to over-handle the dough, thus she only rolled and cut a quarter of the dough at a time.) Cut into circles with a biscuit/cookie cutter or inverted drinking glass, or cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets for baking. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake at 350°F until golden (check at 8 minutes). Makes about 2 dozen.
Adapted from a family recipe handed down to me by Elsa and Christy Hodder.
There’s so much to say about Georgia, we don’t know where to start. Leaving Wall Street for the French Culinary Institute, followed by a stint at the Gramercy Tavern and La Chassagnette in France, her passion for food and food traditions are evident and inspiring. Visit her site at Georgia Pellegrini, where you’ll find more recipes, photos, learn all about her wonderful book Food Heroes, and enjoy her latest adventures.
Comments are closed for this recipe.
Catt of the Garage on 1.3.2012
I’ll second that. Oatcakes are not cookies, they are more like savoury crackers,and you eat them with butter and other toppings. Usually they contain just oats, water, salt and butter or lard. The sugar surprises me.
Also they are thin, and not doughy at all – the photo makes these look like they might be slightly soft? Scottish oatcakes are crisp and crunchy all the way through, and should taste of toasted oat, which is a subtle flavour but not bland. Also they are usually made with oatmeal or pinhead (steel-cut) oats, not rolled oats, as the rolled oats can make them doughy, chewy (in a bad way) and bland.
I realise people like to make variations on recipes and there’s nothing wrong with that. If you like this version, you keep making it! I just felt that some harsh things were being said about Scottish food, and I don’t want people to judge it based on something that isn’t really Scottish at all.
Rebecca in Scotland on 12.25.2011
Just in response to a couple of the comments above, here in Scotland, Oatcakes aren’t meant to be eaten as cookies, per se. They are more of a “biscuit” in the British sense, best eaten with a bit of cheese, chutney, or tuna mayonnaise. They are generally served with a cheese course at the end of meal, and are savoury, not sweet.
It’s true the Scots are a thrifty bunch, and food is very different here. But having just completed an extravagent Christmas lunch, it is anything BUT bland!
These biscuits are a dream when you serve them correctly. Thanks for posting the recipe. I’ll be returning to the USA soon and can’t wait to surprise my Scottish husband with them on our return!
triciaw on 12.22.2011
These look great. My Mom used to make something similar to this when I was little. I never was able to get her recipe. What a wonderful new holiday recipe to pass on to the family.
laura h on 12.13.2011
These are truly a ‘cookie’ that would be served in Scotland-at least the part of the highlands my daughter lived. She told us over the years that the food was so bland at times she wanted to scream. The area she was in was extremely poor, some of the poorest people she has ever known.
They would only use the extreme basics to make these favorite scones to have with their tea (she still uses the bag 4 times before throwing away). Everything they made was with the very extreme basics and no more.
Kathy on 12.13.2011
I made these yesterday. Maybe it’s because we’re not Scottish, but no one in my family cared for them — and we love oats. They are very dry and bland. Sorry — not my cup of tea.
Zee @ The Recipe Code on 12.13.2011
Those look awesome but I have one question.. Aren’t they difficult to pick up after cutting? I mean it looks like they’ll breakup easily on the way from work surface to baking tray.. Any suggestions to avoid that?
Laurie on 12.12.2011
My mom always makes a batch of these for my dad for his birthday. They have always had a special place in the heart of my family. AND – they go great with a slice of cheddar cheese on top (and a cup of coffee).
Brook V on 12.12.2011
I for got to mention on my earlier post that my grandmother is also Scottish. I showed this post to my husband, we can’t stop talking about it!
Heather :) :) :) on 12.12.2011
Oh, I really like these kind of goodies that have taste and texture Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather
Shelia in TX on 12.12.2011
I don’t get it. Can someone Please tell me why every post uses someone else’s recipe? Really, I don’t get it. I’m not a member of Tasty Kitchen or anyother cooking forum but this seems strange to me. Does no one just make up their own recipes from complete scratch? ( I come by way of The Pioneer Woman.)
Jennifer L. on 12.12.2011
These look amazing… and would be fun in other shapes, as well! (I’m thinking stars.)
Homeschool on the Croft on 12.12.2011
I think I’ll try these… I am in Scotland and make oatcakes all the time, and absolutely *love* them. I blogged the recipe here: http://www.homeschoolonthecroft.com/2010/09/oatcakes.html
DooTell on 12.12.2011
Where do you add the butterflies….or do they just fly onto the cookies themselves?
Another yummy cookie recipe to try!
Katrina on 12.12.2011
These sound delightful!
Ethel Quiram on 12.12.2011
My grandmother made about the same cookie, but she used “Rolled Wheat”…… a different and delicious’s’s’s’s flavor.
You brought back great memories. Thank you.
Robyn on 12.12.2011
I’ve had these with dried currants added, and they were divine.
barb r on 12.12.2011
Could anything be added to this cookie dough?— Or would that change the make-up to much? I’m wondering about raisens.
thanks. I also love oats in anything.
Brook V on 12.12.2011
OMG! Our family loves these. We call them G’ma Velm’s and just assumed it was something she came up with as she has more of a salty/ crunchy tooth rather than a sweet tooth. I saw the picture on PW’s site, thought they looked familiar, clicked on it, and scrolled through the post with my mouth ajar. These are really good especially for those who like salty/sweet treats!
All Good in Mommyhood on 12.12.2011
Oh I LOVE oats…used them in so many of my recipes on my “Desserts” page. Yummmmmm! Will have to make these bad boys!
movita beaucoup on 12.12.2011
Well, I’m totally flattered! Thanks for sharing my recipe!
Doreen, Houston, MN on 12.12.2011
Would it work to form in to logs and freeze for a bit then slice as you would for “refrigerator cookies”?? This is a ‘must try’ recipe…….anytime I can use oats is a “love it”!!!!