Currant and Oat Biscuits

Currant Oat Biscuits


*rubs hands together enthusiastically* Oh, I love a good oaty biscuit, and it struck me recently that we’ve only got two oaty biscuit recipes on the blog, which is an OUTRAGE! *bangs desk for emphasis*

So to rectify that, here we have a recipe gathered by the Los Angeles Times for their Sunday ‘Culinary SOS’ column. This column addresses the needs of people who have eaten something amazing at a particular restaurant or cafe and who, despite their best begging and wheedling, have been unable to get the owners to part with the recipe, or they just plain forgot to ask and now have these dishes haunt their dreams.

With a circulation of over a million, when the L.A.Times comes a-wheedling, people tend to be more generous in sharing their recipes. I think this is a great idea – home bakers are happy, restaurant/cafe owners happy with the free publicity and boost in business – everybody wins!

This recipe is based on one from Corner Baker, a chain of almost 150 cafes dotted across the country. I like the fact that it uses currants – smaller, sharper, less sweet and chewier than the more regularly use raisins. Needless to say, I’ve tinkered with the recipe, not least because the original quantities were HUGE and hadn’t been scaled down from a catering quantity. I used a mixture of soft brown sugar and Demerera instead of the original white sugar, but feel free to go with whatever sugar you prefer – the darker the sugar, the more toffee-like the flavour.

Currant and Oat Biscuits – Makes 30

225g plain flour
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1.5tsp cinnamon
3/4tsp salt
170g unsalted butter – softened
100g soft brown sugar
200g Demerera sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
180g rolled oats [1]
100g cup currants

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C, 140°C Fan.
  • Sift the flour, soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl and set aside.
  • Cream together the butter and the sugars until light and fluffy.
  • Add the egg and the vanilla and mix in thoroughly.
  • Gradually stir in the flour mixture, one spoonful at a time.
  • Finally, fold in the oats, followed by the currants. NB: The mixture will be very stiff by the end.
  • Divide the mixture into balls the size of a walnut, about a heaped tablespoon, and roll smooth.
  • Lay the balls of dough onto baking sheets and press down slightly, flattening them. Leave about 5cm between biscuits to allow for spreading. This quantity of mixture will be enough for four baking sheets, so bake them in 2 batches of 2.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, until crisp and golden. Turn the baking sheets around 180 degrees after ten minutes, to ensure even colouring. Don’t over-bake, or the cooled biscuits will be extremely hard.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Store in an airtight container.

[1] Try and get steel-cut rolled oats if possible – there’s more whole flakes and less oat dust.

7 Comments on “Currant and Oat Biscuits”

  1. Leigh Caple says:

    I love an oaty recipe (your fruit and oat slice recipe is a favourite in this house) but must admit confusion when it comes to oats! The supermarkets only seem to have Porridge Oats, I’m assuming this is different to rolled oats…but what about Jumbo Oats where do they factor in?!?

    • MAB says:

      Wotchers Leigh! My bad for the confusion – the bag I bought in Sainsbury’s is labelled ‘Scottish Whole Rolled Porridge Oats’ I found the following very helpful explanation of the different types online:

      Porridge oats are grains of oats that have been rolled flat until they are about to lose their shape completely and turn into a coarse flour; in other words as fine as possible while still retaining their shape as a flake. This means that they are fairly powdery and will therefore absorb liquid quickly, which is why you only have to cook them for 2 or 3 minutes to get porridge. Jumbo oats are coarser. They are rolled flat but that is all and because they are not broken down so much, they retain their shape. Porridge oats go pastey when they get wet but jumbo oats stay firm. Jumbo oats will break down like porridge oats, but they need cooking for much longer. Jumbos are much better for things like biscuits and flapjack where a crisper or firmer texture is required. Rolled oats and oatflakes are just 2 other words for the same thing and both words can be used for either porridge or jumbos depending on which part of the country you are in. A classic example of a word meaning one thing in the north and the opposite in the south.

  2. Christina Payne says:

    I made these last night, but substituted dried cranberries for the currants as my teenagers not that keen on currants. The biscuits were an immediate success and nearly all gone in one evening!!!
    Thanks for these recipes.

  3. Leigh Caple says:

    We’ve made 2 batches since I posted and they are probably my favourite biscuit now! 30 biscuits went in about 3 days and I’m ashamed to say that my family didn’t really get a look in!

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