Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Flapjack success

Sometimes there is a recipe, quite often for something apparently simple, which you just can't seem to crack (when I say you, I hope I mean us, and not just me). One such defeat for me had been flapjacks. I've managed to mess up Nigella's version a couple of times and I find her so reliable that if I can't get a good result with her recipe it's sort of game over. The problem wasn't the flavour but that the dratted things just disintegrated which wasn't very pleasing. 

All that's changed now though. Having a good look through Roger Saul's 'Spelt' I found something called Maple Pecan squares which sounded both excellent and like something that I had all the ingredients for - except the spelt porridge - but plenty of ordinary porridge oats so...

I made them and they were excellent, and then I made them again with some adjustments and they were even better. They are also basically flapjacks so as well as being full of oats, butter, and sugar, I'm also full of gratification at a job finally done. 

Take 150g of unsalted butter, 125g of soft brown sugar, 1/3 cup (or 115g) maple syrup, 1 tsp of vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Put in a saucepan and slowly bring to a gentle simmer. Meanwhile heat oven to 180 degrees, locate and line a 9 inch square cake tin, and measure out roughly 125g of pecans, 25g of pumpkin seeds, 50g of dried cranberries (the pumpkin seeds and cranberries are what I had hanging around, are not in the original recipe which calls for 150g of pecans only, and are obviously optional or interchangeable) and 170g of porridge oats (original calls for 150g but I figure spelt absorbs more liquid so a little extra was probably called for). Mix the dry ingredients into the syrup mix, spoon into the cake tin and bake for 30 mins or until the top is golden brown and going crisp. 

Cool, and this may well be the vital part, in the tin and then put in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight before cutting. The results haven't disintegrated, are extremely filling - which is just as well given the amount of butter and sugar - and best of all its a recipe that can stand to be tinkered with. They also keep well in a tin for about a week. 


  1. These sound yummy - anything with pecans and maple syrup, plus I love the sound of your addition of dried cranberries. Just a quick question, any idea what would be an American equivalent of porridge oats - we generally have steel cut and rolled oats available here, either may work but I don't know if there is anything else to look for?

  2. Glad I'm not the only one with a history of flap jack failures! Will try this recipe. Thank you for your great blog.

  3. Hah, I'm glad I'm not the only one too!

  4. Sounds wonderful, I am a bit of a flapjack failure too....I still remember the ones the mum of a friend of mine made in Germany when I was about ten (army brat) and the ones in the tea shop in Durham Cathedral are excellent too!

  5. Flapjacks are surely on my list of 'Top Ten Things I Miss About Not Being in the UK' (cheaper whisky is another) - I have never been able to duplicate that firm yet soft consistency at home. I get cobblestones. Definitely going to try these.