Posts tagged oat cakes

Nut and Fruit Steel-Cut Oatcakes and Strawberry Oat Squares

[Also published on KQED's Bay Area Bites.]

Sunday mornings are special at my house. Instead of rushing around and trying to make breakfast for my daughters while finding homework or soccer shoes, I get to lounge around, reading the paper while my husband cooks up a pot of steel-cut oats. I live for Sunday mornings, with my hot cup of coffee and steaming bowl of oatmeal.

Because one batch of oats was never enough to feed the four of us, my husband started making two batches each Sunday. But two batches was just a bit too much for our crowd and I often ended up with about a cup of cooked oats leftover. With this little container of oaty goodness each weekend, I set out on a quest to find the perfect oat cake recipe. Remembering some lovely oatcakes I used to order at a little café when we lived on Nob Hill, I started experimenting.

After a few tries, I came up with a recipe that created great breakfast cakes: supple, yet still firm, with a hint of nuttiness, and just the right amount of fruit to add bits of sweetness to each bite. They are the perfect quick breakfast for a hungry child before school, and an antidote to a crazy Monday morning.

I’ve also added jam, instead of fruit and nuts, to create a Sunday dessert. The outcome is a pan of delicious oat squares filled with gooey strawberries. It’s a crowd pleaser for both kids and adults.

With either recipe, these oatcakes take only about five minutes to throw together. So now, in addition to benefiting from the treat of a lovingly cooked oatmeal breakfast on Sundays, I get the added perk of a nut and fruit oat cake on Monday mornings, or strawberry oat squares Sunday night. It’s a win/win/win situation.

Note: For a great recipe detailing how to make steel-cut oats, see Kim Laidlaw’s Steel-Cut My Oats. Trader Joe’s also sells cooked steel-cut oats in their freezer department. I tried them in my recipe and it turned out great. So, if you’re not interested in making your own pot of porridge, this is a great alternative.

Nut and Fruit Oat Cakes

Makes 9 servings

1 cup cooked steel-cut oats

3/4 stick of softened butter

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup cut up currants, prunes, raisins or dried apricots

1/4 cup chopped pecans, walnuts or almonds

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree.
  2. Combine butter, sugar and egg and mix until combined. I use an electric mixer, but you can do this by hand.
  3. Add in the cooked oats, being sure to fully incorporate it into the mix.
  4. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and then add to the oat and butter mixture.
  5. Add in fruit and nuts and mix until just incorporated (but not too much or the batter will become rubbery).
  6. Spread the batter into a greased 8 x 8 pan.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool and serve.

Strawberry Oat Squares

Makes 9 servings

1 cup cooked steel-cut oats

3/4 stick of softened butter

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup strawberry or other fruit jam

2 Tbsp brown sugar

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree.
  2. Combine butter, sugar and egg and mix until combined. I use an electric mixer, but you can do this by hand.
  3. Add in the cooked oats, being sure to fully incorporate it into the mix.
  4. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl and then add to the oat and butter mixture.
  5. Spread half the batter into a greased 8 x 8 pan.
  6. Top with the jam, spreading it evenly over the batter.
  7. Spread the remaining batter over the jam.
  8. Sprinkle brown sugar on top.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Cool and serve.

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