A Feast of Ice and Fire: Modern Oatcakes

A review of Modern Oatcakes from “The North” section of the A Feast of Ice and Fire Cookbook.

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Modern Oatcakes

“When they woke the next morning, the fire had gone out and the Liddle was gone, but he’d left a sausage for them, and a dozen oatcakes folded up neatly in a green and white cloth.  Some of the cakes had pinenuts baked in them and some had blackberries.  Bran ate one of each, and still did not know which sort he liked the best.” – A Storm of Swords

True to the book, some of these oatcakes have pine nuts in them while others have blackberries (jam, that is).  The difference for this modern version, however, is that instead of the nuts and berries being baked in they are sandwiched between two “cakes” (cookies, really).

The dough for these was a bit of a crumbly pain in the butt.  The butter and sugar are mixed, and then egg, vanilla, and spices are added before finally adding the rest of the dry ingredients.

NOTE: When they say “add the remaining dry ingredients,” they do not mean pine nuts.  It’s not clear at all, and I had to read ahead in the recipe to make sure I wasn’t supposed to add those at this point in the recipe.

The dough is divided in half, pressed into a flat disk, wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated for an hour.

Then the dough is rolled out (which I couldn’t do with about half the dough because it fell apart so easily) and cut with a cookie cutter.  I didn’t have a round one, but the recipe indicated hearts would be just fine.  These then bake until lightly golden.

For the filling, the pine nuts are blended in a food processor with olive oil until a paste is made.  And the blackberry jam should be ready to go!

1/4 of the oatcakes receive the pine nut spread, and another 1/4 receive blackberry jam.  Then the remaining cookies are placed on top to make sandwiches.

Taste: 8/10 for pine nut oatcakes, and 9/10 for blackberry jam oatcakes

Unlike Bran, my husband and I had no problem deciding which oatcakes we liked more.

We tried the pine nut ones first.  These are far cleaner than the ones that received jam, and the pine nut flavor is subtle and barely there.  These taste like they’re on the healthier side, but definitely not in a bad way.  We liked them very much and were pretty impressed.20200630_152733

Then we had the jam ones, and both of us agreed these were better.  Though far messier than the pine nut version, they had an extra bit of sweetness and fruity flavor that I think these cookies benefited from.

Difficulty: Challenging

The real challenge with these cookies was the extremely crumbly dough.  Rather than following the recipe exactly, I should have held back some of the flour when adding it to the mix.  While I was able to work with about half the dough with some effort, the other half was salvageable.  It would not stick together at all, and kept cracking and crumbling everywhere.  I ended up only making half the cookies.

Cost: Cheap / Average

I want to say cheap, but considering that you really only make about 12-14 sandwich cookies out of this it could end up a little more on the average side if you need to purchase a lot of the ingredients.

Ingredients include butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, baking powder, rolled oats, flour, pine nuts, olive oil, and blackberry jam.

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