Crispy Oatbiscuits

All around the world people are using oat in cooking and baking. It is an exceptionally healthy grain even though it is the fattiest grain of all. It contains considerably bigger amount of good vegetable oil than any other type of grain. Oat is also suitable for people who suffer form gluten allergy (celiac disease) common in Northern Europe.

In Finland almost every grandmother knows how to make crunchy oatbiscuits for their grandchildren and those biscuits are considered very Finnish and also a significant part of ”wartime kitchen”. Unfortunately I have to shoot down this former claim although the latter one is quite true. It seems like in every country they have their own version of oatbiscuits that are part of so called ”traditional kitchen”. I realized this with my dear Aussie man when ANZAC day arrived.  It is celebrated every year on the 25th of April. It is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zeland. The name ANZAC comes from the Australian and New Zeland Army Corps. On the ANZAC day people are remembering this army that fought in Gallipoli in Turkey during the World War I. Both Australia and NZ lost massive amount of soldiers albeit UK and France lost even more.

How oatbiscuits and ANZAC day belong together then? On ANZAC day in addition that Aussies want to dress themselves in green and gold they also bake oatbiscuits -funny tradition, but it has a story behind it. Traditionally it is thought that the wives sent oatbiscuits to soldiers abroad back in Gallipoli times. Why oatbiscuits? Because the oaty ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. Smart women and tasty biscuits! Finally those certain kind of oatbiscuits were called ANZAC biscuits and served every year on ANZAC day in April!

Here I want to share my Finnish modified recipe of oatbiscuits. It is my favourite one and you can also make the biscuits even tastier by adding  some chewy date mousse topping on them. With all respect to Australian version of oatbiscuits, below you can also find a recipe for ANZAC biscuits. One of the most important ingredient for them is golden syrup.

FINNISH CRISPY OATBISCUITS

9 big biscuits

1 1/2 dl rolled oats

1 1/2 dl white flour

2 tl baking powder

100g melted butter

3 tbs honey

1 dl cream (milk goes as well)

1. Mix all the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter, honey and cream.

2. Form biscuits on the baking tray.

3. Bake them for 10-15 minutes in 225 degrees.

DATE TOPPING

1 dl dates (seedless)

1/2 dl almonds

water

1. Soak the dates and almons together in a small amount of water for a few hours and smooth them in the end. Add the topping for biscuits and cook them in the oven. This date topping tastes like caramel sauce.

ANZAC BISCUITS

125 g flour

150g caster sugar

1 dl coconut flakes

1 dl rolled oats

100g butter

1 tbs golden syrup

1/2 baking soda

2 tbs boiling water

1. Mix the flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats. Melt butter and golden syrup. Dissolve baking soda in the butter-syrup mixture and add it with the flour mixture in a bowl. Mix well. Form biscuits on a baking tray.

2. Bake them in the oven of 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

ENJOY!

HOMESICKNESS KILLER CARROT CAKE

I know Finnish winter can be tough..not just for poor foreigners but also for Finns..especially this winter when it has been snowing over 65 cm in the south and the temperature just keeps on staying under -10 degrees…Well my poor Aussieman was missing home so badly…feeling so homesick that the only comfort he was able to find was a real tasty carrot cake!

This recipe is from Good Food magazine. I tested it and it is unbelievable!!! Its amazing taste won’t let you down. It is moist, carroty and not too sweet! This recipe is devoted for all the women whose boyfriends or husbands are feeling homesick and they want to have something that tastes like home. And for the Finns, this is ”try to love your cold below zero home country” comfort cake!

CARROT CAKE

  • 300g plain flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250ml oil
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1 lemon , zested
  • 200g carrots , finely grated
  • 150g walnuts, chopped, I RECOMMEND ALMONDS, CHOPPED
  • 227g tin pineapple pieces, well drained and chopped (optional)

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 125g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 250g cream cheese
  1. Heat the oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Line a 20cm, 10cm deep cake tin. Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together and stir in the sugar. Beat the eggs with the oil and citrus zests. Stir in the carrots and fold everything into the flour mixture. Fold in the walnuts and pineapple if using. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool.
  2. For the frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar together until soft and then beat in the cream cheese. Chill the mixture until it’s thick but spreadable. Spread a thick layer on top of the cake, making sure the side of the icing is flat and continues upwards from the side of the cake.