23 February 2013


This recipe has been on my recipe bucket list for over a year. Ownie Mom has had this recipe in her pile of recipes to make for about the same amount of time. She beat me to the punch—or roll, in this case—on New Year’s Eve by making these for brunch.

Like many things my mother does, hers turned out much neater than mine.

I think I prefer using “oatmeal oats,” or quick oats, as she did. Granted, ShopRite does not seem to stock Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free rolled oats, so when I go home, it’s quick oats. Not that I’m complaining; it’s easier to go from rolled oats to quick oats than rebuild quick oats into rolled!

In case you didn’t get it, you can’t make rolled oats from quick oats.

As Ownie Mom iced hers and made them into squares, they strongly resembled in taste and sensibility Quaker Oats’ square oatmeal breakfast bar things. Last time I had one of those was…2007 or 8, or earlier.  The current similar product from Quaker is the soft-baked bars.

Yeah, go ahead, click and read. If you can’t understand the chemistry set at the end of that ingredient list, then you shouldn’t be eating it. Period. I will pull rank and make that a “should,” much as I normally rail against “shoulds.”

Obviamente, Ownie Mom and I did not use dried whole eggs, oligofructose, enzyme-modified soy protein, or other—quite frankly—shit in our bars. The list of ingredients is short and not-too-sweet.

I didn’t roll mine as the recipe suggests because anything that calls for rolling I look at twice. Rolling means more GF flour, which, as we all know, ain’t cheap. Instead of rolling the oatcakes and cutting them, I used an ice-cream scoop to scoop large dollops and I flattened them with a spatula. Sure, I didn’t have triangles, but with the rolled oats and raisins disrupting the fragile GF flour matrix, they weren’t going to triangulate easy.


3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond)
1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 cups GF rolled oats
1/4 cup Sucanat
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup oat flour
3 tablespoons nonhydrogenated shortening (I used organic palmfruit)

1 cup craisins

glaze (optional and very not-period): 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons non-dairy milk or water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.

In a small measuring cup, combine vinegar and non-dairy milk and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together oats, Sucanat, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum, and cinnamon. In a small bowl, combine shortening and oat flour with your fingers, two butter knives, or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles small pebbles. Add flour mixture to oat mixture and pour in soured non-dairy milk.  Fold in the craisins and mix until uniformly distributed. Use an ice cream (1/4-cup capacity) scoop to dollop oatcakes on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten with a spatula. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until browned on the bottom and firm on the top (they will spring back to the touch). Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before moving to a rack to cool completely. Makes about a dozen 2-inch squares.

Mix water and sugar for optional glaze. Drizzle with glaze when completely cool.

As they are so similar to oat farls, I would like to try these with less fat and agave or maple syrup instead of the Sucanat. I have been trying to keep sugar content to a minimum in my diet for the last few weeks after discovering that when I am tired and stressed, sweetened and salted peanut butter is not my friend. Though Sucanat is less processed than plain ol’ organic sugar, it’s still sugar and still does that whole blood sugar spike thing which is just not fun. My agave-sweetened morning glory loaf is far less tempting late at night compared to the pumpkin-sugar-sweetened chocolate peanut butter-filled cinnamon rolls for whatever reason. The body knows it needs carbs when it’s tired and it knows how to get them real fast. The human body is very smart.

Oatcakes are part of a song: “A Girl in the Valley” from the musical The Secret Garden contains the lines

'Share my tea' 

She bade me so gently

Oatcakes and cream 

Sweet plums in a jar

Now I have the song in my head. I almost couldn’t hear it; the music fast has a way of doing that. On Thursday at work I heard about four songs I knew on the radio. Were I a different sort of believer, I would say God was testing me. However, I do not believe in a punitive divine order. Rather, the Great Creator was trying to tell me something about music, that enjoyment of it is fine, but excessive indulgence, to the point of turning it up way too loud…that’s not how you enjoy art truly. These were all songs to which I knew the words (U2’s “Miracle Drug,” some DeVotchKa song, The Cure’s “Love Song”); the participation in them by singing along is what I really like.

Looking forward to making some music tomorrow in church and at the gathering.
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