JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Thursday, April 01, 2010

A new take on flapjacks

I've always had trouble making flapjacks that don't flake into a hopeless mess of crumbs, never quite managing to achieve the chewy texture that make flapjacks so appealing. So I wasn't at all surprised when this recipe didn't work first time. I say "didn't work" - the resulting crumbs were the most delicious flapjacks I've ever tasted. It's just that if the oats don't stick together, you can't quite call your baking a success.

I followed the recipe faithfully (SO hard), apart from one apparently insignificant detail: I used jumbo oats instead of half jumbo and half rolled. These fudgy oats are going on apples at the weekend for a cheering Easter pud, a sort of cross between apple crumble and a brown Betty. Meanwhile I have now achieved flapjack perfection, by using rolled oats chopped fine which are easily glued together by the buttery sugary fudgy mess you boil up in a saucepan first. Easy.


170g light brown soft sugar
75g golden syrup
130g unsalted butter
75ml apple juice
380g finely chopped rolled oats
95g sultanas
50g pumpkin seeds
50g sunflower seeds

Preheat the oven to 180C

Line a 20x30cm baking tin with greaseproof paper. Do not bother to grease either tin or paper.

Put the sugar, syrup, butter and apple juice in a pan and heat until the butter has melted. Weigh the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pour on the buttery sugary juice and stir well. Pour into the tin, press down, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Leave them in the tin to cool.

Lift the flapjacks out of the tin by their paper and cut into squares or bars. They'll keep for a week in a tin. If they last that long.


* As you can see, the photograph is from the first batch, made with jumbo crumbs. You are looking for oats chopped finely - you can do it yourself in a food processor (when I make our oatcakes, I routinely start by blitzing oats to make fine oatmeal, then I only need to keep one sort in the larder).

* This is adapted from Isidora Popovic's wonderful Book of Baking. The recipes are original yet adaptable, unusual but easy, beautiful and delicious. Not surprising, I suppose, as she ran a baking stall at Portobello Market for years, and so knows through and through what people like to bake and eat.


thenewstead6 said...

I'll try these! My own recipe comes out fairly rock hard - I don't usually like the soft, fall apart, floury ones you often get. These come with a denture warning ;-)

Joan said...


Thank you so much for this recipe. I could not figure out why my flapjacks always came out so crumbly when I always followe the recipe and I have tried several.

Sophie said...

Ah, this is a good tip Joanna, I often have this problem with flapjacks but put it down to my inability to stick to a recipe

Joanna said...

These are chewy, Newstead6, not too hard on the teeth. Joan, I have never made a flapjack that you could take on a picnic until I used this recipe properly, and heaven knows I've tried enough! Hi Sophie, yes, I know what you mean about not being able to follow a recipe, but I think in the case of flapjacks it's more about the heat of the sugar: that fudge quickly turning to toffee thing that I've never quite got either.


Helen said...

They look lovely Joanna, I honestly think that I have never made flapjacks. There is a tale from my university days where anyone mentioning flapjacks would be asked if they were moist at which point everyone would convulse with laughter.

molly said...

Hi Joanna,

You've got a beautiful blog here. Thank you for your notes on flapjacks - I love making them as they are easily adaptable for those of us with food sensitivities - but it's the details that matter! Looking forward to reading more.