On Flapjacks And Nostalgia


The item I have baked most frequently of late is flapjacks.  There are some recipes that seem to be passed down through families – the one I use to make flapjacks is one of those. I have never even looked at another flapjack recipe – which is perhaps a little unadventurous, but, for me, these are the only flapjacks that meet my expectations.

My mum has this old Be-Ro cookbook which is the definition of well-used – falling apart, pages missing, covered in stains from being too close to things being mixed and sieved. It is the cookery book that I learnt to make sponge cake, shortbread, flapjacks, and quite a few other things from. I used to stand next to my mum when she was making cakes and help her out and get to eat leftover cake mix once the cake had gone in the oven. These flapjacks are a huge childhood memory of mine – coming home and smelling freshly baked flapjacks, and consuming as many as I possibly could. 

(My housemate just walked in to find me sitting on the kitchen floor writing this post – even when I’m not baking, I am rather attached to the kitchen. She thinks I’m weird.)

Yesterday my dear friend Laura came to visit me, and as it’s summer we decided to go for a picnic in the best place to picnic in Cambridge – Grantchester. This was a good opportunity for me to use up some stuff I had around the kitchen, so I cooked sausages and made pear and feta salad, packed bread. Then I realised that we didn’t have anything for dessert, and that I’d eaten the last of my eggs for breakfast. Suddenly it occurred to me that flapjacks are the best and the quickest thing. Laura was perhaps the most appreciative person ever of these flapjacks, having come into the kitchen to find me pouring the mix into a tin, and was bewildered by the fact that I had just decided to start baking. 

I had to take them straight out of the oven and put them into a container to take with us, but despite my concerns, they were still really good. So much so that I didn’t actually take any pictures of them. But the recipe is here (just for you Laura)… 

100g butter

1tbsp golden syrup

100g sugar

50g oats

50g self-raising flour

75g crushed bran flakes (you can use corn flakes, but bran flakes is what makes these so good to me, and better for you, at least according to Laura…)

1. Melt the butter and golden syrup together on a low heat

2. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then pour on butter mixture and mix well.

3. Spread evenly into a greased swiss roll tin and press down firmly

4. Bake at 190C or Gas Mark 5 for about 20 mins (shorter if you want them gooey)

5. Cut into fingers whilst still warm (not with a plastic spatula that isn’t heatproof, which I once did, much to my mum’s dismay as I managed to melt her spatula. Doh.)

6. Enjoy!


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