My most recent clutch of visitors brought with them a selection of yummy treats from Marks & Spencer. I have been trying to ration my consumption of them but I have been reminded of how much I love flapjacks!
Confusingly in the USA flapjacks are pancakes (the big fluffy sort.) From what I can tell the closest thing to a flapjack as I know it is called an oatmeal square, but they still aren’t quite the same.
As the days get gradually gloomier I find that there is something very therapeutic about a recipe that can be made largely with just a bowl and a wooden spoon. I think of it as the solace of stirring!
As I have mentioned in my previous posts Golden Syrup is not readily available here and I’m not quite prepared to make the quantity necessary for a batch of flapjacks. At least not whilst I still have a few of the M&S versions in the pantry.
I remember once reading that you could make flapjacks (or a least a chewy oatey sibling for them) using tahini. It just so happens that I have a fairly sizeable tin of tahini remaining from various hummus adventures during the summer. I’ve always wondered exactly how much hummus you have to be consuming to justify the volumes that tahini is often sold in. Perhaps I should try my hand at making halva…
The resulting bars bear more than a passing resemblance to traditionally made flapjacks, slightly less sweet and slightly more crumbly, they quite comfortably fit the flapjack shaped gap in my stomach. The tahini gives them a really nice nutty flavour.
These also have the added bonus of using less butter and sugar than traditional recipes. I wouldn’t go quite as far as to claim they were healthy but they are a little less guilt-ridden than usual.
makes 8 decent sized bars
70g brown sugar
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp maple syrup
15g sesame seeds
50g dried apricots
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pre-heat your oven to 180°c.
Line a smallish baking tin with grease proof paper.
Using a medium saucepan gently melt together the butter, sugar, tahini and maple syrup. Try not to let this boil, a little bubbling is fine however. Be sure to stir it carefully every now and then to encourage the tahini to emulsify with the other ingredients.
Finely chop the apricots and mix these with oats, sesame seed, spices and salt in a large bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the wet ingredients and mix well, ensuring that everything is well incorporated.
Press the mixture firmly into the prepared tin and bake for 20-25 mins. By this time they should have turned a beautiful autumnal gold. Remove from the oven but leave them in the tin to cool. Cut the flapjacks into squares or bars once it has cooled a little but isn’t quite cold. Once it is cold you should be able to successfully turn them out of the tin and break them apart.
Store them in an air tight tin and they’ll keep for several days. Unless Mr Colonial Cravings pops round of course…