Tuesday, 11 June 2013

The Perfect Picnic Snack - Flapjacks

Golden Flapjacks
Oh how I love the humble flapjack. Not cool or sexy in any way, but really simple to make, very easy to transport to a picnic (weather permitting) and oh, so yummy. And they always sound so wholesome and have that slightly worthy feel to them, don't they?

All I can say, lovely blog fans, is don't be fooled. Unfortunately, something that tastes that sweet and tasty is of course not good for you! At it's heart, it is a mix of porridge oats (okay, I grant you, that's healthy), butter (lots of it), sugar and golden syrup. Gorgeous.

Of course, you can make them in a variety of different ways, and add what you like. Today, I am making them for my daughter's sponsored walk from her creche, so as the audience will be mostly aged between 2 and 4 years of age, I've plumped for the straightforward option. You can, of course, make them with honey instead... But this doesn't make them any healthier, as honey is exactly the same glycaemic value of sugar, and I find the taste a bit strident, so sugar it is for me.

The recipe I am using today is a hybrid of some internet research and the recipe from Nigella Lawson's book "How to be a Domestic Goddess".

Firstly, you need to line a tin. The easiest way to do this is to cut a piece of parchment paper larger than required, then snipping the corners so that you overlay the corners, making it neater. Delia Smith explains it reasonably well here, with pictures.

Next up, the recipe -a s I say, simplicity itself.

Basic Flapjacks

  • 300g butter
  • 75g brown sugar (light brown would be ideal, today I have a mix of dark soft brown and a little caster sugar - needs must. Fingers crossed)
  • 5 or 6 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 450g rolled oats (porridge - this can be a mix of jumbo or regular oats, or ideally a mix of both. I prefer the 250g regular to 200g jumbo proportion myself although again today, it's just regular)
  • Preheat the oven to fan 180 (or a little less, depending on how chewy you like them)
  1. Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup gently over a low heat and stir well to combine
  2. Add to the oats and mix thoroughly (make sure to mix well, no one wants to find a big lump of dry oats in the middle of a bite)
  3. Press into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes (again, 30 minutes if you prefer a crunchier texture)
  4. Allow to cool in the tin; although do cut into squares in the tin about 5-10 minutes after they come out
    1. Add chopped sultanas to the dry oats before adding the melted butter and sugar
    2. Add chopped dried cherries and a generous sprinkle of desiccated coconut
    3. Sprinkle a spoon of sesame seeds on top of the flapjacks before they go in the oven
    4. Add a pinch of ginger or other spices to the mix 
    5. Dip one side in melted chocolate after they have cooled, and then leave to dry on greaseproof paper
Perfect with a picnic - now, just pray the rain stays away!

Sarah xx

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