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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Chris's Week Six Recipe: Wholemeal Parkins

Whilst going through my cookbooks, I came upon a little ring-bound volume by Kay Shaw Nelson called A Bonnie Scottish Cookbook. I'm sure that I picked it up on some visit or other to the Minnesota Scottish Fair and Highland Games which used to be at Macalester College in St. Paul, but which is now held down at the Dakota County Fairgrounds. (I highly recommend a visit!)

This book is full of all sorts of fascinating recipes and I had gotten it mainly for reading, not cooking, but looking through it this weekend my eye lighted upon a recipe for Parkins. I had heard about this tea-time treat, but never tasted it.

Parkins, or Parkin, is a recipe from Northern England and Scotland. Recipes vary wildly, as you would expect with any long-established, regional fare and range from crunchy to sticky, but all seem to have treacle (dark molasses) and oats. How could I resist?

The following recipe is adapted from the recipe in Kay Shaw Nelson's book and differs in that I lowered the amount of salt called for and used wholemeal flour (that's whole wheat flour for you non-Anglophiles) and turbinado sugar instead of all-purpose flour and plain sugar.

Wholemeal Parkins

1 c dark molasses
1/2 c turbinado sugar
1/2 c (one stick) butter
1 egg
1 c milk
2-1/4 c wholemeal flour
2 t baking powder
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
2 c rolled oats

Combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In a saucepan, melt together the butter, molasses and sugar.

Whisk the egg separately, then whisk in the milk. Add this mixture slowly to the dry ingredients. Then stir in the butter/molasses mixture and mix until well-combined. Stir in the oats.

Bake in a 9x9 pan for 35-40 min at 350F or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Would I make this recipe again? Indeed I would! I have a feeling these are even going to be tastier the longer they sit around in a tightly-sealed tin. In fact, some people make these a few days in advance, but I was happy to brew up some tea and eat my first Parkins warm from the oven.


  1. I am totally going to make some of these. I even have the turbinado and "wholemeal" flour in my pantry on a regular basis!

  2. I have everything but the molasses in my house. Hmm...

    And thanks to the French for introducing this lady to turbinado sugar sprinkled on top of plain yogurt.