Bardo’s Bakery: Oat Cakes

December 4 of 31 December-ish posts

Some kids dream of running away to join the circus. (Well, at least that’s what they do in movies, right?)

Some adults dream of quitting their jobs and starting a business.

If I could run away today (with a few hundred grand in my pocket to help the plan) I would probably run down the street and open a bakery.

What do you wish you’d
done more of this past year?

Maybe I watch too many baking shows on Netflix, but it occured to me this year that I should bake more. My run-away-and-bake plan would likely get some assistance with more experience, after all, no?

We keep a lot of ingredients and tools around the house, so this doesn’t represent much more than an investment of time and energy. I usually don’t need to run to the store for anything, save for some special or weird ingredient. I don’t need to gasp in exasperation at a recipe because I don’t have a certain gadget or implement. On most days I could turn off that television and go bake my own cookies, pie, bread, or other interesting treat.

I didn’t do that as much as I should have this year.

And given the year I had … wondering what if, pining over a sore knee, being stressed at work … some fresh baked chocolate chip cookies would have gone a long way too, no?

I didn’t always sit idly this year and lazily ignore the oven, though.

Yesterday, having picked the cupboards bare of any really delicious snacks, I recalled that a super-simple treat was just about 20 minutes of work away. Oat cakes are apparently a Canadian East Coast staple, though I haven’t been there since I was a kid and can’t really confirm that.

Either way, they are super simple, and tasty in a hearty, wholesome kind of way that catches you off guard when you hear the name “oat cakes” and think it’s probably some kind of farm animal food or something.

No, oat cakes are yum! And if you don’t believe me then go right now, scroll down to the recipe below and spend less than half an hour to make a batch and see for yourself.

Meanwhile, I’ll be planning how to get off the couch and into the kitchen with a little more frequency in 2023.


2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter (crumbled or grated)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup boiling water

Preheat your oven to 375F and then in a large bowl combine the oats, sugar, flour, salt and baking soda. Once combined work the butter into the mixture with your fingertips to create a coarse, crumbly consistency. Finally, add the hot water and blend some more until everything comes together as a sticky dough.

Oat cakes can be shaped any way you’d like, as cookies or bars, but I like to spread the whole mixture out on a cooke sheet and roll it between layers of parchment until it’s a consistent 1/4 inch thick. On the sheet I use a table knife to score lines about half way thru into roughly rectangular shapes.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the desired doneness is reached. The cakes will be very crumbly until they’ve cooled completely.

Keeps for a few days on the counter… if they even last that long before someone eats them!


It’s been nearly a month since I’ve dropped a post here, I realize, but with the world swirling in chaos and my life sometimes feeling like a lot of the same, I now find myself needing to write yet another explanation post.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my professional life these days.

I’m locked up in golden handcuffs, as they say, doing a job that pays entirely too well, can be occasionally cushy, and gives me a lot of flexibility in life. On the other hand, I have no passion for the work, I’m a cog in a bureaucracy and rarely seem to have any effect on anything, and my work life is a never-ending series of video meetings on what amounts to the same general topic day, after day, after day… after day.

It’s boring and frustrating and unremarkable all at once.

I’ve been reading about midlife career change.

I’ve been talking to people who have pulled the plug on something in their forties and reinvented themselves.

I’ve been pondering budgets and possibilities and realities of economy and family and obligation and how it all fits together into a giant jigsaw that is my career choices.

This morning I took the first tenuous step towards a massive change.

Not a plunge. Not a flying leap. Not an irreversible veer.

A step.

And it may amount to nothing. Or it may turn out to be everything.

Only time will tell.

But if and when something comes out of that first step, and it’s time to take a second… third… and on and on, then I’ll likely have a lot more stuff to say, and be able to be much less cryptic about it.