THE celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the Selkirk Settlers happened to coincide with reader requests for some Scottish oat-related recipes. Gwen Litke sent in a recipe for oatmeal cookies that she has been using for 40 years. It's from a trusted Five Roses Flour cookbook, versions of which were put out by the Canadian flour company for decades. Thanks also to Linda Snider from Glenboro, who sent in a recipe for a low-fat version of "proper Scottish scones."
Please keep the apple recipes coming in for Peter Kotyk, who's dealing with a bumper crop from his tree right now. If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
Grandmother's oatmeal cookies
500 ml (2 cups) all-purpose flour
5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda
5 ml (1 tsp) salt
500 ml (2 cups) quick oats
250 ml (1 cup) brown sugar
114 g (1/2 cup) butter
125 ml (1/2 cup) shortening
125 ml (1/2 cup) sour milk
Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Stir flour, baking soda, salt, oats and sugar. Melt butter and shortening and mix with dry ingredients. Stir in milk, mixing well. Chill dough for 30 minutes. Roll out dough to 6 mm (1/4 inch) thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut with 5 cm (2 inches) round cookie cutter. Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Yields 5-6 dozen.
Tester's notes: A nice old-fashioned oatmeal cookie, and you can always toss in some newfangled additions like dried cranberries or dark chocolate chips. Gwen rolls the dough out into a large rectangle and then cuts into diamond shapes. She finds that this method is easier and means less re-rolling. Sour milk is often seen in older recipes. I used buttermilk as a substitute, but you can also add 2 ml (1/2 tsp) white vinegar to a scant 125 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk and let sit for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts to curdle.
Proper Scottish oat scones
30 ml (2 tbsp) butter
310 ml (1 1/4 cups) rolled oats
175 ml (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
175 ml (3/4 cup) whole-wheat pastry flour
60 ml (1/4 cup) sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp) baking powder
2 ml (1/2 tsp) baking soda
2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
125 ml (1/2 cup) raisins
125 ml (1/2 cup) non-fat plain yogurt
30 ml (2 tbsp) canola oil
Preheat oven to 220C (425F). Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper. In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter and cook until it begins to turn light brown, about 2 minutes. Skim foam and pour into a small bowl. In a large bowl, mix together oats, flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add raisins and make a well in centre of dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine butter, egg, yogurt and oil. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. On lightly floured surface, turn out and gently knead several times to form a ball. Pat ball into 20 cm (8 in) circle and then cut into 8 or 12 wedges. Bake for about 12 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool slightly and serve warm.
Tester's notes: With whole-wheat flour, oats, vegetable oil and low-fat yogurt, these are a healthier option than many traditional scones, which usually get their rich taste and crumbly texture from loads of butter. These have a nice, nutty, not-too-sweet taste, and they are best served warm and fresh, since the lower fat content means they will dry out quickly. I applied an egg wash and a little dark brown sugar before baking to give them some colour.