I’ve been very lax recently. While home cooking continued on course, the time to photograph, write up and record was in short supply. Tonight, I accomplished all three and feel pretty proud of myself!
Flapjacks remind me of being in the Girl Guides. I’m not sure why as I never remember making them then. As my sojourn into the Guides was short-lived, it is little wonder my memory is so scratchy! I know I didn’t get a badge for baking them because that was earned for baking brown bread. Hard as a rock because there was a misprint in the recipe, which called for ‘milk’ and not ‘buttermilk’, the Brigade Leader awarded me the badge – begrudgingly.
The Guides was not for me. I liked the fun but balked at the regimentation, the tasks, the awful leather belt, cycling through cold nights to get there and the uniform. I hated my school uniform so it is still amiss to why I raced home to change from one uniform into another to attend the Guides. Why did I leave? Truth be told, I didn’t really leave – I ran away. The word ‘camping’ was mentioned and that was me gone. I have never slept in a tent and never intend to. I like my creature comforts too much – crisp bed linen, heating, hot water and now that I am that bit older, a well stocked mini-bar! Did I enjoy any thing about the my time in the Guides? Sporting my one and only badge could probably be the sum total of it had I stayed long enough to sew it on! And an odd memory of Flapjacks.
Flapjacks do odd things to our senses. Why is it that when we throw oatmeal into the mix, we kid ourselves it’s healthy? Flapjacks may contain oatmeal but listen closely to the other ingredients and you can hear your arteries harden! Nevertheless, they are still delicious and I can fool myself when looking at them that they are health bars or fashionable energy bars. I used organic oatmeal tonight – not because I was trying to imbibe any extra fibre into these gorgeous baked babies but because it was all I had in the cupboard. I also added sultanas – not for their vitamin content but because they were sitting next to the oatmeal and add an extra dimension of chewiness!
Flapjacks is my favourite traybake but so many get them wrong. They have to be gooey and chewy to be worthy of the name. My all-time favourite is sold in Courtney’s Bakery in Dingle, County Kerry. Chewy and sweet with the corners dipped in chocolate. Perfection!
4 1/2 ounces butter
4 1/2 ounces brown sugar
9 ounces oatmeal
3 tablespoons golden syrup
Pinch of salt
2 ounces of sultanas (optional)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C
2. Grease a baking tin and line with baking parchment (I use one which is 20cm x 20cm)
3. Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl
4. Melt the butter
5. When melted, add the butter and golden syrup to the dry ingredients, mixing until all are combined
6. Turn into the baking tray – press into the corners and flatten down so that the mixture will bake evenly
7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown
8. Let cool in the tin and when ready, cut into 9 generous or 12 small squares.