Moving to Halifax in 1996, I knew nothing about the city. I didn't know anyone from there, had heard very little about it, other than it's potential as 'Seattle of the North' in the heyday of Grunge. Now, I research the heck out of anything I attempt to do or places I am going, but at that time, email was a Free-Net account and my second hand monochrome IBM laptop was best for writing papers and playing Wolfenstein.That first semester was equal parts misery and wonder. I was partly miserable because I couldn't find anything I was used to eating - Toronto was paradise, especially living near Kensington Market - the Halifax grocery stores were woefully lacking and Holy Expensive Batman!
I did discover things that I loved and couldn't get in T.O. however. Peninsula Farms yogurt and OATCAKES! Both I could find at the saturday Farmers Market and coffee shops across the city. I quickly discovered that there were many variations on the oatcake theme - my daily breakfast one came from a coffee shop on Hollis St. called Sweet Lou's. It was a large square, thick, chewy and full of brown sugar. Nowhere else in the city seemed to have one similar. Luckily in my last year at NSCAD, my closest friend Marie got a part-time job at Sweet Lou's and lo and behold......she got me the recipe!!!! That I haven't lost it is a miracle. Obviously they were meant to be made, however long it took me to do it.
the original recipe starting with 16cups of oats and no temperature for baking!!!
This weekend past, I severely reduced the ingredient amounts and made a batch of these. I baked them at 350* for 30 minutes and.....oh my word they tasted JUST like I remember. And Darling husband, who mostly remembers the other style of oatcake better, has decided these are too good to share!
Nova Scotia Oatcakes - Sweet Lou's Style
4 cups rolled oats
2 cups flour
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups melted butter
1/3 cup ice water
Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixer bowl. Add the butter and mix. Add water and mix until combined. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper that and press or roll oat mixture into cookie sheet until flat. Bake in an oven preheated to 350* for 25-30 minutes. Will still be soft but should have golden brown edges. Cut into squares when cool.
To Come- The OTHER type of oatcake!