Posted in Baking With My Ancestors

Irish Oat Cookies

Never underestimate the power of an oat. Especially if that oat is in an Irish Oat Cookie! While these cookies are not what you traditionally think of when you think of Irish cuisine, they do have a very Irish history.

The History

Thanks to the Celts who immigrated from Mainland Europe, oats have a very long history in Ireland. Oats were a staple crop in the country from pre-historic time until the 17th century. While potatoes replaced oats as the main staple, oats made their comeback during the Great Potato Famine. Oats were cheap to grow and leant itself to many different recipes.

Oatmeal was the most obvious way to enjoy oats. So much so, that oatmeal was used as a way to pay rent. Butter and salt was eventually added and the Irish discovered a way to make oat bread. However, when honey and sugar were added to the mix, the Irish soon realized that they could use oats to enjoy the sweeter things in life. Both scones and biscuits (cookies) were soon being baked in Irish kitchens across the country.

The Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (55 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp (3 grams) firmly packed orange zest
  • 1 tsp (6 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 2 1/4 cups (212 grams) old-fashioned oats
  • 1 3/4 cups (219 grams) unbleached self-rising flour
  • 1/4 cup (44 grams) steel-cut oats
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

The Making of Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugars, orange zest, and vanilla bean paste at medium speed until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together old-fashioned oats, flour, steel-cut oats, and salt. Add oats mixture to butter mixture all at once; beat at medium-low speed just until combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  4. Using a 2-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, scoop dough, and roll into balls. Place at least 2 inches apart on prepared pans; press to about 3/4-inch thickness, pinching closed any cracks and smoothing edges, if needed.
  5. Bake in batches until edges are golden, 12 to 16 minutes. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack placed over a parchment-lined baking sheet.

The Glaze Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) crΓ¨me fraiche
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 grams) fresh orange juice

The Making of the Glaze

  1. In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients until smooth and well combined. Use immediately.
  2. Place the glaze in a small pastry bag or plastic bag; cut a 1/4-inch opening in tip or corner. Drizzle glaze onto cooled cookies as desired; let stand until set, about 15 minutes.

Full disclosure; these have become my favorite cookies. It’s nearly impossible to eat only one Irish Oat Cookie!

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