It’s been going on for years.
I’ve tried everything.
Baking wonderful flapjacks should be easy. It’s what you learn in school, right? It’s what they make on Blue Peter and what’s always in every children’s cookery book. It shouldn’t be too difficult to get it right, but I have had disaster after disaster after disaster. Either I have ended up with a dry, crumbly mess which has morphed into a jar of breakfast cereal or the mixture has stayed so sticky and squidgy that i needed a spoon to eat it.
I could have just given up – but, you know how it is, sometimes a flapjack is just what you want. When a chocolatey bake is too rich and sweet, and a savoury bake is … well, just TOO savoury – only a ‘flapjack’ will hit the mark.
I have tried and tweaked lots of recipes, lots of times, but they have never really delivered and, let’s face it, there’s only so much joy to be had munching through jar after jar of dry
flapjack cereal mess.
Then my EUREKA moment happened.
I baked Anzac Biscuits from Rose Carrarini’s Breakfast, Lunch and Tea, just tweaking the ingredients a little, and they were delicious, perfect – exactly the right level of squidge and not a crumble in sight.
And they contain oats, so they feel like they are in the flapjack family – a close relation at that … no second cousins twice removed here. And there’s coconut in them too and that makes for a great taste / texture combo.
So I made Anzac biscuits a few more times and – drum roll, drum roll – every time they were gorgeous and no fuss. So, from that point on, I have abandoned my quest for the perfect flapjack, I have shelved my flapjack frustrations and now I am in love with Anzac biscuits. Where flapjacks failed, they deliver …. and some. The only problem? … they are so moreish that they are gone in a flash.
Oh well, at least it’s quick and easy to make some more.
- 125g unsalted butter + a bit extra for greasing
- 160g plain flour
- 100g desiccated coconut
- 180g light brown sugar
- 100g rolled oats - 'quick cook' oats result in a thicker, more rounded cookie; regular oats make a thinner, but still chewy cookie
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- Grease two baking sheets and line them with baking parchment.
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC, 325ºF (gas mark 3).
- Put the dry ingredients (except for the bicarbonate of soda) in a bowl and mix well.
- Put the butter and golden syrup in a saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring, until the butter has melted.
- Now mix the bicarbonate of soda with 2 tablespoons of boiling water and add to the butter and golden syrup - it will foam up almost immediately. Pour this over the dry ingredients and bring them together to form a dough.
- Flatten out the dough in the bottom of the bowl and, using a knife, divide it evenly into 8 sections - like cutting up a pie. Use each section to make 3 balls of dough and place well apart on the 2 prepared baking trays.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until golden. Do not over bake as the biscuits should be slightly chewy.
- Cool on a wire rack before enjoying this gorgeous, no fuss, flapjack alternative ...