December 19, 2008

Two Spoonfuls: Sweet Treats

When I first went over to live in England, I was given the pleasure of eating a delicious thing called a flapjack. For my American friends, no, they aren't pancakes. They're sort of like sweet and somewhat gooey granola bars. Truly yummy. I got a recipe from Nick's mum and here's how it went...

First off, the recipe:

1 1/2 Sticks Butter
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs Sugar
1 Tbs. Karo Brown Sugar Corn Syrup [or Golden Syrup (UK) or Honey]
2 1/4 cups quick oats

Preheat oven to 350F (180c, Gas Mark 4)
1. Heat butter, sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan on low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and add oats. Mix well.
2. Spread evenly in a greased 8x8" or 9x9" (20x20cm) baking pan.
3. Bake 20-25 minutes until just golden at the edges.
4. Let cool for about 10 minutes, cut into bars in pan. Cool completely before removing from pan. Cut again with sharp knife as needed.

In the UK, Flapjacks are generally made with a product called "Golden Syrup". According to Wikipedia, golden syrup is a thick, amber-colored form of inverted sugar syrup, made in the process of refining sugar cane juice into sugar, or by treatment of a sugar solution with acid. I happen to have some in my house because I live with an Englishman. In order to make things easier on you, I made my flapjacks with Corn Syrup. Karo makes a brown sugar variety that seems to be very similar to Golden Syrup and I found it at my local grocery store. Easy. Some recipes online say you can use honey, but I'm not sure it would taste right.

We happen to have the quick variety of oats, they're more chopped up. I think whole oats would work as well.

I made 4 batches of flapjacks to get to these. The first 3 were made using completely wrong amounts of the ingredients. A British recipe is hard to follow if you're used to using volume rather than weight to measure things. oops!

Ginny's Notes:

1. My last batch of flapjacks came out tasty, but still a little greasy. The next time I make them, I'll use a little less butter. Perhaps 1 stick is enough. They're just too gooey and greasy.

2. I did a lot of research online and found many recipes, all of which used different amounts of each ingredient. Here are a few of them if you want to give them a whirl:
Lyle's Golden Syrup: They make Golden Syrup and have a downloadable recipe booklet that has flapjacks on page 20.
Traditional Scottish Recipes
A Chewy and Chrunchier Version

3. I cooked my flapjacks for 25 minutes at 350F. I will likely bump up the temp. to 375F next time and see how it goes. They should be a little more golden brown than mine were.

4. The corn syrup worked well, but if you want to use golden syrup, here's some resources in America:
Taste of Britain by Post
Jolly Grub
Shop England Online
Cost Plus World Market may have a store near you

5. Don't be afraid to add chocolate chips or little bits of fruit to your flapjacks.

I learned a lot from this recipe and I'm so glad I finally gave it a try. Let me know if you try it and what works for you. Now I want to stop in at Jenn's & see what she's up to...


Mrs.Kwitty said...

Very interesting--I always thought flapjacks were pancakes!
They sound pretty yummy.
Smiles, Karen

Junie Moon said...

It's fun to discover how the same word is used differently in other countries. The recipe sounds yummy and I appreciate your sharing it as well as your notes and the history.

Jenn Maruska said...

I'll be trying this one out!