First off, for any of my American readers who may be thinking, “a flapjack is a pancake, and that’s not a pancake”, let me assure you that the delectable goodie in the photo above is indeed a flapjack… at least on this side of the pond. We have only one word for pancakes over here, although I should perhaps mention that an American pancake is different from an English pancake, just as an American muffin is different from an English muffin.
A flapjack is a snack bar made from oatmeal, margarine and sweeteners — usually golden syrup and sugar (or honey). Common additions are dried fruit, nuts and chocolate.
Commercial flapjacks are very popular, and can be bought pretty much anywhere. For anyone unfamiliar with just how popular flapjacks are, check out the Blackfriars Bakery website, which lists 23 different varieties of flapjacks. Commercial flapjacks are usually VERY sweet and sometimes contain questionable ingredients. They’re often not vegan either, although vegan varieties are available.
These homemade flapjacks are moist & chewy and just bursting with oaty goodness. They don’t just taste as good as the commercial variety, they taste better! They’re also very cheap and easy to make.
Furthermore, making homemade flapjacks means eliminating the plastic wrap that commercial ones have, a small step in the plastic reduction challenge.
This version is made with dessicated coconut, maraschino cherries and sultanas. I usually wouldn’t buy maraschino cherries because of the colourings and additives, but in a moment of madness I bought some a while back to put in Christmas cake, which I subsequently didn’t make.
Many thanks to Hanan of the blog Sunshine Cooking, whose flapjack recipe I modified. I substituted margarine for butter, added extra oats, cut the amount of sugar, and subbed maple syrup for honey & golden syrup (golden syrup is traditionally used for flapjacks, but I didn’t have any). They were still really sweet, so next time I’ll cut the sugar further.
Coconut cherry flapjacks
|150g||porridge oats (rolled oats)||1-1/2 cups|
|125g||vegan margarine, melted (I use Pure)||9 tablespoons|
|75g||self-raising flour||generous 1/2 cup|
|75g||white sugar (or less)||1/3 cup|
|60g||glace cherries||1/3 cup|
|45g||dessicated coconut||generous 1/2 cup|
|2 tablespoons||maple syrup or golden syrup||2 tablespoons|
1. Grease a 22cm (9″) square pan (I used a glass pan) with margarine, then cut a piece of baking paper to cover the base and two opposite sides. Grease the baking paper with margarine.
2. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
3. In a mixing bowl, combine oats, sultanas, flour, sugar, cherries and coconut.
4. Stir maple syrup or golden syrup into melted margarine.
5. Pour margarine over oats and mix well.
6. Press mixture into prepared pan, pressing firmly. A potato masher works well.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.
8. Cool in pan before cutting into bars.
Makes 8 flapjacks.