Scottish shortbread is famous for its buttery goodness, but being little more than butter, sugar and white flour it doesn’t have any redeeming health benefits. Of course, that doesn’t stop it from being sold in multiple booths at any Scottish festival. A few weeks ago I went to the Mid-Maryland Celtic Festival and brought home gluten-free shortbread cookies for a friend. They were flavorless and gooed into my molars in a disgusting fashion.
I got to thinking about the Outlander books, where the Scottish love of oats is frequently described. It turns out, white flour wasn’t available to the common people in Scotland until long after shortbread was established. I bet the first shortbread recipes were butter and oats, because they had oats and they had cows, and the baked mixture would last a long time in a pocket. Later, sugar became available but costly, so only a little was used.
So… I looked for and found a whole-grain oat flour shortbread recipe, and made half a batch (added a little more sugar):
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Cream one stick butter with 1/3 cup sugar. Add a pinch of salt.
Mash 6 oz of whole grain oat flour in with a spoon until it’s a homogenous paste.
Press into a meatloaf pan.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until it just starts turning brown at the edges.
Cut into bars while warm. Let cool thoroughly.
Admittedly, it doesn’t look great, but it’s addictive. My son and husband were both impressed, and this small batch didn’t last long. Try it! Take a bite and chew longer than you usually might. The flavors develop as you chew, and are very satisfying. Okay, it’s still not health-food, but oats are good for you! And this recipe is a gluten-free wonder.