In search for perfect oatmeal cookies I accidentally stumbled on one of Russian cooking forums on a recipe that looked interesting to me. I tried it and it turned out perfect – crunchy, not too sweet little cakes that melt in your mouth and barely have a hint of quite assertive oatmeal flavor.
As of today I already baked these cakes twice for different people and everybody loved them. Though the recipe is very simple to make, there are a couple of tricks that can help to make it even easier.
1 ½ cup rolled oats
1 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
½ a teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
175 grams or 1 ½ stick cold butter
1 table spoon Amaretto or a little bit an almond essence (it is also OK to use vanilla sugar)
¾ cup thick jam or preserve (I used lingonberry but raspberry should work too)
Second time I chose to double the recipe since it was SOOO good.
In a large bowl mix all of the dry components. Add finely cut or coarsely grated cold butter. Add it in parts and mix with the dry components in between. Beat the egg slightly, add Amaretto or Almond Essence and add it all to the dry mix. Using your hands, "smoosh" the butter and the egg mix into the dry mixture. Mix it very well until it is of even consistency.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking tray with parchment paper or a foil and butter it slightly.
Take about 2/3 of the dough and distribute it evenly over the tray in rectangular shape. I should be less than ½ inch thick. You can use a roller to achieve even thickness. Don’t worry is cake shape is not exactly perfect. It can be easily corrected by cutting extra dough form where you see extra and adding it where it is needed.
Using a spoon carefully distribute the jam over the rolled mixture trying to get it close to the edges.
Distribute the remained part of the dough on a piece of a plastic wrap and shape it in a rectangle of the same size as the one already on a baking tray.
Cover it with the second layer of plastic, roll up to uniform thickness and then remove the top layer of plastic. You will need help for the next step since it is challenging to do using just two hands. Pick the plastic wrap with the rolled dough using four angles and carefully flip it over the part that is already on a baking tray trying to align them while performing the flip. If you slightly missed the mark, you can do some cutting and patching again. Level the sides of the cake with the knife trying to seal the jam inside as much as possible.
Place the tray with the cake into preheated oven and bake for approximately 60 minutes or until cake is golden brown. When ready, remove it from the oven and let it cool down for 15-20 minutes. Carefully pull the foil with the cake from the baking tray onto the counter and cut it into 2in x 2in squares. If you wait too long before cutting, cake will harden and becomes difficult to cut and will be crumbling a lot.
Cakes actually improve in taste from sitting and drying for a couple of days.
Here is link to the Russian version that has step-by-step photos: