March 12, 2012

flapjacks (oat bars)

we prefer the chewier flapjack version

I've never heard of these English oat bars called flapjacks until I read about it in an old issue of Food & Wine magazine. It sounded very appealing as I always have a weakness for sweet snack treats like this. They're similar to granola bars although the simplest version only has oats as the main ingredient without nuts and other dried fruits. Lyle's Golden Syrup, the sweetener suggested in the recipe, is a popular syrup in the UK. As much as I would like to try it, we've just ordered our honey supply so I guess it will have to work for now. However, I'm also curious about the golden syrup and would like to try it sometime.

The first time I made it (as shown above) I measured the honey and oil wrong. I grabbed the 1/3 instead of the 1/4 measuring cup. The mistake actually worked out better as I later found when I made them again. It's funny how amazing things can sometimes get discovered by mistake. The original recipe was a bit disappointing as they turned out dry. My husband also preferred the first batch I made. For a crispier but drier texture, use 1/4 cup each honey and oil only. For a chewier version (which may be a bit oily), adjust the honey and oil to 1/3 cup each.


I also found this recipe by British pastry chef, Lorraine Pascale online. The recipe, which I found in Food & Wine and altered to suit our taste for a chewier flapjack version, goes like this:

2 cups old-fashioned oats, slightly blended (quick cooking oats may also be used)
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (optional - I just happen to have this)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon buttery sweet dough flavoring or vanilla
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 to 1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup or 1/2 stick unsalted butter

Combine the slightly blended oatmeal, ground flax and salt in a large bowl. Melt the butter, oil, honey and brown sugar in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. As soon as small bubbles start to appear around the edges, take it off the heat. Pour into the oatmeal mixture then add the flavoring. Stir until well combined. Spread evenly in an 8 x 8" baking dish lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly then cut into bars or wedges. These are great for a quick breakfast treat or snack.

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