My good friend Emily knows this: flapjacks are the cure-all for hungry people who want something sweet and have loads of random packets of ‘stuff’ to use up. Flapjacks are a fun, simple recipe to make with small people, and it gives the opportunity to talk about why we need to be careful to not waste food, why it’s fun to adapt a recipe to the ingredients you have on hand.
When I went through a phase of buying a lot of rolled grains, I would bake and my flapjacks would fail – too crumbly, not chewy. I wanted a flapjack, not a tray of granola. It took me so long to learn the correct ratio for a flapjack that could use up oats, jumbo oats, other grains, random dried fruits, seeds…
So, I present to you the Flexible Flapjack recipe. Stick to these amounts, and add in sultanas and dried figs, half a bar of chocolate and some flaked almonds. It doesn’t matter what you’ve got, just enjoy stirring in a few leftover cornflakes, a couple of walnuts, and take pride in knowing your teatime treat is avoiding food waste and helping our precious climate.
- If you’re using nuts, toast them in the oven as it warms up. You’ll achieve a much better, more rounded and deeper flavour
- Also as the oven warms, melt the butter in the butter, using the heat being generated
- Measuring spoons
- Large saucepan
- Square baking tin
- Greaseproof paper
- Wooden spoon
- Optional: baking tray if toasting nuts
- Optional: sharp knife & chopping board, if you're chopping nuts/large pieces of dried fruit/chocolate
- 300 grams rolled porridge oats Don't use all jumbo oats; maximum 100 grams jumbo
- 100 grams nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate, handfuls of leftover cereal... If you have 150 grams of little bits and bobs to use up, do use them, but then decrease the amount of oats in the mixture
- 75 grams sugar caster, soft brown – whatever
- 150 grams golden syrup
- 200 grams unsalted butter/vegan equivalent + a little more for greasing
- Good pinch of salt
- Line your baking tin with greaseproof paper and turn your oven to 180°C.
- Whilst the oven is warming, place the butter in the oven proof dish and melt as the oven warms; when the butter is liquid, golden syrup and sugar together and stir until fully combined. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
- If you are using any nuts, place them on a baking tray and toast in the warming oven for around 10 minutes. If you're using any whole nuts, chop them into smaller pieces once roasted. If using, chop any large fruits (e.g., figs, dates, glace cherries) or chunks of chocolate into smaller pieces.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet. Stir well, making sure that every little oat is drenched in syrup
- Pat the flapjacks into the corners of the pan and a flat top but not too firmly – you’ll never get them out!
- Bake for about 25 minutes until bubbling and golden
- Leave to cool in the tin, and cut into squares
- Keep in a lidded, airtight container for up to a week. If they last that long. (They might last longer than a week but they’ll go stale)