Operation Flapjack

On Monday Papa B goes in to hospital for a big operation so I am spending part of this weekend filling his fridge and freezer with nice healthy-ish things for him to have when he comes out and so given how much my pa enjoys a good flapjack, this addition to the get well hamper is non-negotiable.

In my opinion a flapjack should be chewy not crunchy. It’s unorthodox I know but I’ve pimped my usual recipe up with seeds, nuts and chopped dried fruit for extra health brownie points.

If you find your mixtures crumble when you so much as touch them, try pressing the mixture down before baking and letting them cool in the tin before lifting them out. If you want to be really clever, melt dark chocolate and drizzle it all over the top – Jackson Pollack style – and sprinkle with toasted almonds. I guarantee you they will look and taste amazing. And if it all goes wrong, well you’ve gone one heck of a crumble topping handy…

Makes 16 chunky squares

200g unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
75g demerara sugar
6 tablespoons of golden syrup
350g oats
10g sesame seeds
10g pumpkin seeds
20g flaked toasted almonds
50g chopped mixed nuts (almonds, brasils, hazelnuts should do nicely)
100g chopped dried fruit – a mixture of sour cherries, dried apricots and sticky dates
1 tsp of vanilla extract

1.       Preheat the oven to 150C / 300F / gas 2
2.       Line a 30 x 20cm baking tin with baking parchment
3.       In a pan melt the butter with the sugar, syrup and a pinch of salt, stir to combine then remove from the heat and stir in the oats, seeds, nuts, dried apricots and vanilla extract
4.       Press evenly into the tin and bake for 25 minutes (if you like your flapjacks a bit crunchier, turn the heat up to 180C)
5.       Once they’re cooked and by this I mean looking all golden and set, take out of the oven and let them cool for about 20 minutes in the tin before cutting into nice fat squares

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