I spent a week of my summer holiday travelling and eating my way around Nova Scotia. A local discovery was the oat cake, a Cape Breton specialty that may look familiar: the digestive cookie is an oat cake's not too distant cousin.
Oat cakes, as I discovered, pair perfectly with a cup of tea on a blustery day along the coast. They are hearty and satisfying with their crisp edges and chewy centres. You can also eat them on your couch while watching Netflix, and they will be equally as satisfying. I have personally tested both options.
An oat cake vacillates between being a cookie and being a cracker. It's not sure it wants to fit into either box, so it's up to you to decide. Oat cakes have a savouriness to them that you can play around with by changing the amount of brown sugar and salt in the recipe. I like them as a not-so-sweet cookie snack. They can be whipped up in an hour with ingredients that are likely already in your pantry. I also use whole rolled oats (not quick!) to boost their texture.
Nova Scotia oat cakes
Adapted from Molly Watson
Total active time: 15 minutes
Total time before consumption: 30 minutes
Servings: 16 oat cakes
2 cups (175g) whole rolled oats
1 cup (160g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (160g) brown sugar
3/4 tsp (6g) salt
1/4 tsp (1g) baking soda
3/4 cup (170g) salted butter, cold
1/4 cup (57g) hot water
Tools & equipment
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda.
- Cut up the cold butter into cubes. Use a pastry cutter to incorporate the butter into the dry ingredients. You're looking to create a crumbly mix.
- Add the hot water and stir the mixture until it comes together into a mass of dough.
- With a rolling pin, roll the dough out in between two sheets of parchment paper until it is 1/4 inch thick.
- Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 375°F.
- When the dough has chilled, use a 2 3/4 inch round cookie cutter to cut out cookie rounds.
- Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with a Silpat or parchment.
- Bake for 12 minutes at 375°F. Lower the oven to 325°F and bake for another 5 minutes for chewy oat cakes. For crispier cakes, continue to bake for a total of 10 minutes at 325°F.
- Cool completely and enjoy!
Oat cakes keep well on the counter in an airtight container for up to a week. They also freeze well and can be stored frozen for up to two months.