Now, I know what you Yanks are all saying. "Flapjacks? I thought flapjacks were those round things that come in a stack on a plate, covered with syrup and butter.... made from batter, cooked on a griddle?" No, sillies. Those are pancakes. The reason some of you misguided Colonials call them flapjacks is beyond me. It's not the International House Of Flapjacks, is it? IHOF doesn't make any sense. Okay, okay, I can hear the whining and complaining.... I give. I guess the word flapjack has meant a flat tart or pancake since Medieval times. It is really only in the 20th Century that the term began to be used to denote what we see above.
So what are flapjacks, apart from delicious?
Well, a flapjack is a sweet tray-baked oat bar made from rolled oats, butter, brown sugar and golden syrup. This dish is found in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and is also found in Australasia, but known as a 'muesli bar'. In other countries including Canada, the United States, and South Africa, flapjack refers to a form of pancake, although flapjacks do exist as 'Hudson Bay Bars'. It is cooked in an oven tin and cut into rectangles, made from rolled oats, fat (typically butter), brown sugar and usually Golden syrup or honey (but the Golden Syrup takes some beating). As well as being baked at home, they are widely available in shops, ready-packaged, often with extra ingredients such as chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, yoghurt and toffee pieces or coatings, either as individual servings or full unsliced trayfuls. Because of the high levels of fat and calories in traditional recipes, some 'diet' versions are available with lower fat and calorie content.
They are dead easy to make. Here's a recipe:
150g butter, plus extra for greasing
50g golden caster sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup
275g rolled oats
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan170°C/gas 5. Grease and line a shallow 20cm-square tin with baking paper.
2. Put the butter, sugar and syrup into a small pan over a low heat and stir until the butter has melted. Stir in the oats. Press the mixture into the tin and bake for 20 minutes, or until just golden at the edges.
3. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Cut into bars in the tin. Cool completely before turning out and cutting again with a sharp knife.
Give it a go! You will not be sorry...
Oh, and if you don't know across the pond what Golden Syrup is.... it looks like this...
and I'm pretty sure there are plenty of online suppliers of British Foods, if you cannot find it at your local high-end or specialist grocer. It's a bit like treacle, but better.
So... what's the next Name This Food! food?